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Mapping Trophy Bucks Paperback – September 17, 2003
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Deer are creatures of habit, and just like humans, they prefer to take the easiest route from Point A to Point B. Sure deer visit areas where you find sign, but how often? Perhaps they visit these areas outside of legal hunting hours. Your best bet is to locate certain terrain features that deer prefer in order to best spend your time in the woods. Topographical maps are the key to locating these hotspots.
Now let me speak from personal experience, as I have been a fan of Brad Herndon's work for many years. I started following his monthly terrain articles in Whitetail Hunting Strategies magazine and followed his advice. The hunting locations that I chose based on his information lacked deer sign and I actually had hunting partners scoff at my chosen locations at times. But they aren't laughing anymore. I've taken 7 mature bucks in the last 9 seasons by following Brad's advice.
Brad Herndon is a wildlife photographer by trade, and this expertise shows in this book. Excellent color photos are found on virtually every page. His illustrations show that the average guy (and gal) can take trophy bucks. Even his wife has taken some bruiser bucks -- and these weren't harvested on managed ranches or large food plots as is commonly seen on televised hunting shows. No, the Herndons hunt public and private land near their home, picking their stand locations from topographical maps from the comfort of their log home.
If you honestly want to increase your deer sightings, then you need to check out this book. You'll be amazed at the results.
I give it a three because if nothing else it makes you aware of another tool to use to find deer. But as an experienced hunter I have been using GPS, TOPO, satellite images for years. As soon as GOOGLE Earth gets more detailed for my hunting area this should make scouting all the easier. If you are new to hunting get the book. If you've been at it awhile, it's ok. Nothing really new.
Let me start out by saying that I like Herndon's style. He condenses pertinent information and uses good examples. After reading the topography information I can pinpoint reasons I saw or didn't see deer at a particular stand location. The material on wind is simply outstanding and makes me realize how many times I screwed up.
Besides finding deer trails and the like, Herndon does not put too much stock in sign. As a matter of fact he basically states that rubs and scrapes will not get you as far as the method of finding good terrain funnels. This is very much a contrast to the likes of Greg Miller who almost exclusively use sign, especially rub lines, when finding stand sites. I don't fault Herdon for this, but don't totally agree either.
Being from Indiana I enjoyed this book even more since I recognized many of the specific features Herndon writes about. I also appreciated his honesty regarding lost opportunities and hunts that didn't work out so well. Particularly the story about a bow shot that perhaps should not have been taken.
The only knock I have on this book is a personal one: I get tired of feeling like everything is an advertisement. What I mean is that many of the pictures seem staged and of course, everybody is 'Team Realtree' or what not.
Pick this book up...
The diagrams have most of the information you need. Most of the text was the author explaining the diagrams in too much detail or telling a story from experience in too much irrelevant detail.
The experience stories were relevant in saying that the author or his wife had successfully hunted the areas suggested. However, the experience stories did not teach much on how to do it by example; most of the stories could be summed up like this: "I did what i suggested in the last paragraph in 1996 and bagged a big buck doing it." They were mostly the same so i skimmed most of them once i figured out the pattern.
I would estimate that half of this book is photos, which makes it a quick read, but the extent of detail makes it boring and dragged out.
It gets 4 stars because the author is definitely a good hunter and the knowledge presented is definitely helpful to anyone who would hunt, but it was a dragged out read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, differs from every other hunting book ive readPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great resource for scouting with the use of topo maps and the Internet!Published 6 months ago by Michael C Homan
Very helpful book for those who are looking for ways to pattern deer. Focuses on the use of topo and aerial maps, but also provides other hunting techniques and tips.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer