Best literature to learn whitetail/bowhunting?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Rugger, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Rugger

    Rugger Weekend Warrior

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    I'm in my second season hunting, first with a bow. I've had decent success going at it alone without any real guidance or know how. I would like to become as much of an off-season expert as I can between now and September.

    What are your top books to read on whitetail? I'm most interested in patterning, bedding, food sources...basically maximizing my chances of finding deer each time I'm out and really finding the most productive and promising locations of a given property. I hunt almost exclusively public land so i really need to be on top of my game. I have general knowledge of the types of areas deer hang out, food sources, etc but haven't really systematically put it all together to really focus on finding those key areas. My plan is to read read read read as much as I can then put a lot of time in scouting and try and approach it systematically.
     
  2. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    The very best learning tool is the woods themselves! No book will duplicate your hunting area, or teach you more about the woods that you hunt than the woods themselves. Put in as much time as you can "reading" your woods.
     
  3. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    The biggest part of the lack of good books is that the money is in magazines and shows not in writing quality books with in-depth information. Dr Ken Nordberg used to write books back in the 90's he had an excellent series of books you can still find some of his books online.
     
  4. dmen

    dmen Die Hard Bowhunter

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    My favorite book on whitetail hunting is by Greg Miller, bowhunting forests and deep woods.
     
  5. jcz

    jcz Weekend Warrior

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    Check out the hunting beast dvd's very informative
     
  6. alenhard15

    alenhard15 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Where are you hunting rugger?


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  7. Rugger

    Rugger Weekend Warrior

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    good question, sorry. I hunt hardwoods on the east coast (non-mountain east coast). I've found that basically for bedding, the thicker the brush the better in these hardwoods. Obviously then there is oak trees. What I haven't been able to find as the next step is where these deer are going to eat now that the acorns have been eaten up and the forest floors are primarily brown.
     
  8. alenhard15

    alenhard15 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    What state?


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  9. MasterHunter

    MasterHunter Weekend Warrior

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    Masterhunting like the pro's available on Amazon.
     
  10. Arkyinks

    Arkyinks Weekend Warrior

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    Percision Bowhunting and Mapping Trophy Bucks. If you get snow where you are this winter and can access the land you intend to hunt go walk tracks. Follow them and learn where and how deer will move through the woods. Their food sources will change and their bedding area but you can learn how they move.
     
  11. Rugger

    Rugger Weekend Warrior

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    that's a great idea, I haven't thought of that before. For those asking, I hunt in PA and MD.
     
  12. 130Woodman

    130Woodman Grizzled Veteran

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    Earlyin said it the best, after the season do a lot of walking or as I call it shed hunting. Look at every detail, take pictures and ask questions here. You can't find a book that can get you the detail to hunt your area like your looking for it's up to you to do it.
     
  13. Josh/OH

    Josh/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Anything still green and within reach is an open-buffet right now. Around here (Ohio), honeysuckle is golden. Don't give up on the acorns, though. If you're able to get out and walk after a snow, you'll see where they'll continue to dig for them well into the post-season.
    On literature, I'd stick to Google and let it lead me to whatever articles and websites I'm interested in. I prefer a broader spectrum of information, rather than getting sucked into 300 pages of one guy's perspective, usually in one particular area.
    But all that's for general ideas and scouting tips... like early said; there's nothing like getting out there.
    Also, shooting as much 3D as possible during the spring & summer months is never a bad thing. All the deer knowledge in the world is worthless if your bow game isn't on point!


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  14. Shane0709

    Shane0709 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Another vote for on foot scouting and even trail cameras. As far as books, mapping trophy bucks is really good. I am reading one right now by gene wensel. It's not bad either.
     
  15. BowhuntOrDie

    BowhuntOrDie Weekend Warrior

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    As everyone has already been saying, putting your own time in, in the woods you hunt, is one of the best ways to learn the deer habits in your particular area. But one key, essential thing to understand is, if you mark down deer patterns during the offseason, it may not be the same during the season. Another thing is, season where deer go can only help you so much, more importantly is knowing WHY they go their, or why they do the things that they do in different times of the year. Since you are new to the sport, ill share this with you. This is a book that i actually rented from my local library system this past august just to see what else new that i can learn. Deer habits vary from season to season and from location to location. Its really hard to just give you a book and you be able to go out and capitalize on what youve just read. But this book covers tons of basic points and habits for both whitetail and mule deer across the country. Its called "Total Deer Hunters Manual" and its not written like a standard book, but more like a bullet point list with tons of illustrations to help explain each point. Learning these basics can definitely help understand what different weather conditions, and hunting pressure can do to your area. Once you flip through this, youll be able to make more use of your own scouting. Good luck to you and welcome to the addiction! 20161127_190031.jpg
     
  16. TommyP

    TommyP Newb

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    Can't remember the exact name of the book, as it has been many years since reading it, but Leonard Lee Rue III is a great authority on deer and deer hunting.
     
  17. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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  18. WIarrowslinger

    WIarrowslinger Weekend Warrior

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    I would suggest reading Hunting Trophy Whitetails in the Real World by Don Higgins or Giant Whitetails by the Drury Brothers. I learned quite a bit from them both.
     
  19. Jrob140

    Jrob140 Weekend Warrior

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    I agree I've learned a lot from magazines and videos. Dr. Grant woods has a show called growingdeer.tv that I'm sure a lot of you have heard of and was extremely helpful when I first started and still really informative. But as already stated the best way is to just get out there, and learn from success and failure
     
  20. w33kender

    w33kender Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Do you study aerials? They will help you find those narrow travel routes between different habitats the deer must cross regardless of what they're eating. Sounds too simplistic, but gracious it is sooooo true. I'm new to bowhunting but old to deer hunting. Aerials followed by stealth scouting = deer sightings and killings.

    Look at the aerial below. Notice the tall hardwoods with edgy regrowing cutovers and young pine stands around them? There is deer sign and pig sign along every edge where different habitats come together. Look where the road ends and leads from an old clear cut to an even older clearcut into tall tall tall standing narrow timber? Money, right there.
    aerial 2.jpg
     

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