Customer Reviews: Mapping Trophy Bucks
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on October 16, 2005
Many whitetail deer hunters take a leisurely stroll through the woods, find a rub or scrape, and climb the nearest tree. Then they wonder why they hunt day in and day out only to see nothing. Brad Herndon reveals the secrets of using various terrain features to your advantage in order to maximize your chances of taking a whitetailed deer -- be it a doe for the freezer or a trophy buck.

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.
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on September 7, 2005
This book is OK, it is pretty basic unless you are a complete novice at deer hunting. If you know anything about deer you will find the information a little lacking in details. Most of the illustrations are a little oversimplified. For example, in one instance he tells how to approach your stand. Of course the drawing has an arrow showing entry into the woods so as not to cross a deer trail. Well, it generally isn't that simple. A lot of the pages are full page full color pictures of the author and his wife with their deer.

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.
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on July 15, 2004
I am not the worlds greatest whitetail hunter by any stretch. But I very much enjoy reading books about hunting and trying to improve my skills as a deer hunter. When I saw the description of this book I knew I had to have it.
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...
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on January 7, 2016
This should be required reading for all whitetail deer hunters! Very informative and technical - which I like. Can NEVER get outdated in my opinion. Helps you pick out spots remotely with the use of today's internet based digital maps and aerial imagery. I wish I had this years ago when I started hunting! It would have saved a lot of time scouting unproductive locations on new turf which is this books greatest feature. Whether looking at new hunting grounds (public land, or private) or even looking at the property you've hunted for years with a new perspective, this book is really THE SOURCE for helping you find potential spots prior to in-field scouting. There's also plenty of good information about technology, hunting setup tactics, hunting the wind, and countless others. Honestly, one of the few MUST HAVE books on hunting whitetailed deer.
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on November 2, 2013
This book has some great information, but it could have easily conveyed the information effectively in half of the pages. It is worth reading but I found myself skimming through most of the information.

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.
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on April 23, 2014
Some of the information has become slightly dated with the advent of Google Earth, but the rest of it is pure gold. I read it over last summer, anticipating the coming hunting season and I was amazed how much this book opened my eyes as to how the deer were using the topography of the land. I set up on many of the spots this past season that this book discussed as good hunting locations and I saw deer moving through them. This book will surely help you to take deer more consistently (I got my first real crack at a deer this past season using my traditional archery set up..... don't ask.... :) ) and if nothing else, add some reason to the seemingly irrational things that deer do. If you are a trophy buck hunter, the information in this book will surely become a part of your hunting strategy.
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on January 17, 2015
great book on finding deer hunting spots from only looking at arial photos and topo maps. You experienced hunters will say, this is t a no brainier but this book is ideal for the new hunter or those looking to hunt big woods properties for the first time.
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on December 12, 2003
This is a great book from start to finish. Hi-quality photos and illustrations along with easy to follow and common sense instructions on where to find the big bucks. My first 5 years hunting, I could count the bucks I saw on ONE hand..not too mention I never filled my tag. Then I started hunting smarter in areas that that this author tells you to look for a buck. I've learned through a lot of hard work and trial and error ( mostly error ) on where to find the big deer, but if I had this book when I first started deer hunting I would have many more trophies on my wall to show for it. I have been able to consistently see and kill deer in the areas that Brad goes over.
Mr. Herndon tells you how to use a topo map and other tools to find these deer. Of course the hunter has to get out into the field to experience the truth of this book, but the book is a GREAT start. It goes over alot of common sense basic stuff such as wind direction and using funnels and other land features to find and catch your buck before he knows of your whereabouts. But common sense basics is what alot of us forget when we go out into the woods. You can't just pick any spot in the woods and hope to find the big guys - you have to exercise common sense. Meanderless wanderings in the woods can get you lucky sometimes but it's much better to have a plan of action and work it. This book is a must have for any deer hunter. I can only hope that my competitive hunting buddies don't buy it, because I want to own the bragging rights over them for years to come. ;)
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on April 19, 2012
I am ashamed at my arrogance for having ignored this book for quite some time thinking that I knew all I needed to know about interpreting maps and incorporating them into my hunting strategy. I had already taken a few nice bucks on unfamiliar ground thanks to reading maps, so I pridefully thought there wouldn't be much information for me to glean from Herndon's book.

Boy am I glad I broke down and picked up this book, what a humbling experience reading this book was. The author's knowledge and experience on reading topo/aerial maps and perceiving how deer will use certain terrain and topography is stunning. I am seeing all of my old hunting grounds in new ways. I also feel even more confident in hunting unfamiliar ground.

The quality of the physical book is also second to none, large beautiful illustrations can be found throughout. This is now one of my favorite deer hunting books, and I have read a few shelve's full.

If you think yourself pretty savvy in map reading, don't be like me. Don't wait another week, month, year to buy this book. It is so much more than just telling you how to make sense of those squiggly lines. This is a thorough guide on deer movement and how to hunt them.
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on October 18, 2015
I hunt very active terrain and am not new to terrain features. This book was helpful and did introduce me to some new ideas, and confirmed many things I have learned already. It has a lot of hunting stories that don't necessarily help understand terrain features.
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