I’m an admitted book reading fanatic and the addiction is especially noticeable when it comes to whitetail hunting related reading. I’ve read more deer hunting books than I can remember, but a handful do stand out. And of those worth recalling, a select few come to mind as must read recommendations for my fellow whitetail fanatics. With just a few months left until another deer hunting season rolls around, now is the time to dive deep into some harcdore whitetail hunting literature and if you’re looking for some ideas – I’ve got a few. Here are, in my opinion, the six books every whitetail hunter should read!
Precision Bowhunting – John & Chris Eberhart: More than any other whitetail related resource, Precision Bowhunting impacted my hunting strategies and style in profound and long lasting ways. The Eberhart’s have developed a year round plan for understanding and hunting mature whitetails in highly pressured states and have the record book entries to prove their success. Within this book, they detail this 365 days a year schedule and the stategies needed to consistently take mature bucks in the toughest hunting conditions. No matter where you hunt – if you can only find time to read one book, this should be it.
Giant Whitetails: A Lifetime of Lessons – Mark & Terry Drury with Mike Hanback: There may not be any other two hunters in America who are as experienced and successful in hunting and managing big whitetails than the Drury Brothers and lucky for us a few years back they decided to share their strategies with us on paper. I like this book so much for several reasons. First, and most obviously, great tips and ideas for tagging big bucks are featured in detail throughout the book. But that kind of goes without saying. What stands out for me though is the fact that the Drury’s use real hunting experiences and stories to illustrate each lesson or strategy. It makes for an engaging and fun read, that is easy to digest and chock full of learnings.
Grow Em Right – Neil & Craig Dougherty: If you’re looking to improve the habitat for whitetails in your area, this should be the first book you pick up. There are some great books on food plots, and great books on other types of management – but not one other book does such a good job of including everything you need to do for a holistic habitat management/improvement plan for whitetails. The Dougherty’s discuss advanced food plot strategies, do it yourself timber management plans, ideas for creating better bedding cover and much much more. This is the type of book that becomes an “instruction manual” of sorts and it’s a book I’ll be looking back to for many years.
Whitetail Access – Chris Eberhart: An Eberhart again pops up on my must read list and for good reason. In Whitetail Access, Chris Eberhart takes a different approach to a whitetail hunting book than he and his father did with Precision Bowhunting and thier other more instructional based books. Instead, Whitetail Access is the tale of a year in which Chris lives a dream that many of us have – hunting for 4 straight months. He does it on a shoe string budget and all on permission granted land or public properties. The story of this incredible season is enough to warrant the purchase of this book, but the strategies and details shared throughout the narrative make this book a tremendous resource as well. Detailed diagrams of hunting locations and lessons learned from each hunt make this a book that I’ve read twice over – just to make sure I picked up each last tidbit of info I could. (Read my full review here)
Mapping Trophy Bucks – Brad Herndon: Here’s another book that you’ll be able to turn to for many seasons. Mapping Trophy Bucks is the most thorough analysis of how deer use terrain and how hunter’s can learn from that and develop strategies for intercepting them. Various terrain features are discussed, and thorough diagrams and true stories are used to illustrate and drive home the lessons learned. Understanding how deer move from point A to point B is a huge part of hunting success and Brad has put together the best resource there is to date on this crucial topic!
Quality Food Plots – Quality Deer Management Association: If you’re a whitetail hunter that is involved in or wants to be involved in planting food plots – this is THE must have book on this topic. No other literary resource better covers the how, when, why and what of food plots. Detailed planting instructions, food plot forage profiles, and advanced plotting strategies are just a few of the many important topics covered. I’ve found myself turning back to this book year after year, and every time I find the answers I’m looking for. If I were you, I wouldn’t touch a bag of seed until I’d read Quality Food Plots from cover to cover. (Read my full review here)
Now I know there are many other great whitetail books out there, so let us know what others you think should be on this list in the comment section!