By Mark Kenyon

“We refuse to separate the land from the deer and the deer from the land, we simply can’t. To do so would be to tell only half the story. You need to understand ground to understand deer, and if you don’t understand deer you will never understand the hunting part of the equation.”  

– Neil & Craig Dougherty

If you own land or have the ability to manage some amount of land for whitetails, your deer hunting strategy must be a two-part process. First, how can you manage or improve this land to be as optimal as possible for deer? And second, once that’s done, how do you hunt that property for deer? There are numerous books today in the hunting world that can help you with either of these problems. Plenty of books discuss how to improve habitat for deer and plenty of books discuss how to hunt deer. But until recently, to my knowledge, there wasn’t a top notch book that discussed both.

With “Whitetails: From Ground To Gun”, Neil & Craig Dougherty have finally brought this two-part comprehensive look at whitetails to life. And for that reason, I’d highly recommend this book to any avid whitetail hunter, whether you own land or not.

What To Expect

Neil & Craig Dougherty’s first book, “Grow Em Right” is without a doubt one of my favorite books on habitat management for whitetails. Everything from food plots, to timber stand management, to access roads and everything in between is covered. That said, when I saw that “Ground To Gun” was going to include more land management related content, I assumed it would be a recap of what was covered in “Grow Em Right”, but I ended up finding that there was much more to this book than what I assumed.

Brian Murphy, CEO of the QDMA, explained perfectly in his foreword to the book by saying ” make no mistake about it, this book is not simply an updated version of their previous one, it is a monumental leap into a new area of whitetail knowledge – how to think like a deer, not like a deer hunter. Whitetails: From Ground To Gun” provides detailed insight into what makes a great hunting property and how to consistently harvest mature bucks. As a veteran property manager and hunting property expert, Neil covers whitetail behavior in-depth; including how mature bucks used wind, topography, and other features to avoid hunters. He also reveals how to manipulate habitat and hunting set-ups to put the odds in your favor….It’s often said that wildlife management is as much art as it is science. Craig and Neil Dougherty blend both beautifully in Whitetails: From Ground To Gun and provide a clear road map to QDM success.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This book, while offering sound habitat management information – is most definitely not just a rehash of “Grow Em Right”. While some of the same topics are mentioned, Grow Em Right is a much more comprehensive look at the habitat tactics, while “Ground To Gun” is a more high level look at big picture habitat concepts and then the skills needed to reap what you’ve sown. For example, in Part One topics covered include what the basic ingredients are for a great deer property,  how to evaluate a property for purchase, how to identify and improve missing links in a property, and then how deer relate to different habitat and property features.

The greatest differentiator from Grow Em Right though is the second part of this book, in which Neil & Craig examine the intricacies of hunting mature bucks on a managed property or anywhere for that matter. If you can grow and hold big bucks, but you can’t effectively hunt them – what’s the point? And that’s exactly why this book is so valuable. In Part Two of “Whitetails: From Ground To Gun”  you can expect to learn about how to understand mature buck personalities, advanced trail camera strategies, how to track the rut and hunt it properly through all phases, how to master the wind for whitetails, the seven habits of highly effective deer hunters and much more.

In short, it’s an information packed book, that’s enjoyable to read and sure to help you become a better whitetail manager and hunter.

Final Thoughts

I’ve owned a copy of Whitetails: From Ground To Gun since last fall, and it has since earned a top spot on my whitetail book shelf – within easy arm reach of my computer. Why? Because I find myself coming back to the book time after time, revisiting the many important concepts that overflow from these pages.

If you’re looking to take your whitetail game to the next level, “Whitetails: From Ground To Gun” should definitely be on your reading list.

How To Get The Book & Free Bonus

That said, if you’re interested in giving this book a read – this is the week to do it! Starting today, “Whitetails: From Ground To Gun” will be available for only $9.99 on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. In fact, I was actually able to help Neil & Craig with this, and convert their original print book into digital format, as I know that many of you want the flexibility and convenience of owning a copy of this book on your iPad, Android or other device.

(On that note, with this book now in Kindle format, no matter what kind of device you have – Apple, Android, etc – you’ll be able to quickly download and read this book whenever and wherever you’d like. If you don’t use a Kindle device, you’ll just need to download the Kindle app on your phone/tablet in order to view.)

On top of that, as a bonus, if you buy a copy this week (5/19 – 5/25), you’ll get a copy of  Craig & Neil’s new condensed eBook “Build a Better Property, Quick Tips and Tactics from NorthCountry Whitetails” for FREE.

Just click the link below to buy the Whitetails: From Ground To Gun eBook, and then send your receipt to You’ll then be sent  the FREE bonus eBook!

Buy the “Whitetails: From Ground To Gun” eBook