Deer Hunting Hot Spot: Field “Neck Down”
Bob McNally 11.01.15
Field “neck downs,” or secluded “bottlenecks” surrounded by timber are natural feeding areas for whitetails because they have quick access to deep woods cover should it be needed, says noted and well-traveled hunter Will Primos of Mississippi. Such places also are the usual spots where deer enter and leave a field for feeding, so a hunter has the best chance to catch a deer in such a spot at first light (as deer leave a field) or late in the day (just as they’re moving from woods bedding areas).
When setting up tree stands for hunting such spots, first walk the field edge to learn the trails deer are using, Will advises. Also take careful note of predominant wind direction. Check to see if there are choice foods along the field edge, like persimmon or honey locust trees. Often oaks along a field edge are prime, even in years when deep-woods oaks do not yield acorns because field-edge oaks get fertilizer and other field additives farmers sow for crops.
If possible, set a tree stand so shots can be made completely across a field bottleneck, since you want to be able to bust a buck on the near side or the far side. Be mindful, too, of deer that slip along a near-side field edge, as they can be right on top of a hunter before he’s ready for a shot.