John and Chris Eberhart’s book, Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails, is an excellent book on hunting mature bucks in pressured areas. Though specifically aimed at hunting mature bucks in pressured areas, all hunters hunting all kinds of deer in pressured and non-pressured areas alike will find helpful information in this book.
The Eberhart’s are very serious when it comes to hunting whitetails. As Chris explains in the introduction, “For my father, John Eberhart, and me, hunting is an almost necessary part of living.” Their history of harvesting mature books is proof of their commitment, and that their methods work. This book explains how they scout, prepare trees and shooting lanes, what it’s like to hunt from an ambush saddle, calling, rattling, using decoys and much more.
When I read hunting books, I often like to put myself in the position of someone who is reading about hunting for the first time, and I ask myself, “Does this make sense? Would a first-time hunter understand this information?” If the answer is yes, then usually it’s a good book. Hunting is not complicated, though we often make it complicated. The Eberhart’s teach that being a successful hunter is hard work, but they clearly explain how to go about it.
What’s great about this book, as with all the Eberhart’s books, is that they give very specific details on what they do. They don’t just say, “clean out some shooting lanes so you’re ready when the big one comes.” No, they explain in detail how your shooting lanes need to be cleaned. How in some cases you want more and larger shooting lanes than you do in others (check out the chapter on Scouting and Preparation).
In contrast to their book, Precision Bowhunting (which is also an excellent book), they go into a little more detail in some areas in this book, such as using scents and decoys, and recovering bow-shot deer.
Perhaps one of the greatest nuggets in the Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails is how the Eberhart’s explain what a “rut staging area” is, in contrast to the more widely known “staging area.” Finding a rut staging area could be your greatest find, but you need to know what to look for, and then how to hunt one of these areas.
“Hunters often have difficulty recognizing staging areas, but they are unmistakable if you know what to look for.” The Eberhart’s explain just how to go about it.
As mentioned above, though hunters in high-pressured areas will especially find this book useful, even those hunters in non-pressured areas, such as private land or some of the states out in the west or mid-west, will glean much from this book. Those hunter’s in non-pressured areas will only have more success if they apply these tactics to their hunting locations.
Reading this book is a great step in the learning process of how to hunt. As the Eberhart’s conclude their book, “Always be on the lookout for ways to adjust to make yourself a better hunter. But also be aware that there are no shortcuts to success. Nothing described in this book is a shortcut.” Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails
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