The Hunter’s Canon: Top Books for Hunting Whitetail

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From the earliest tales of the mountain men to current books that detail even the most niche aspects of our sport, hunting has always spawned a vast and rich literary tradition. Over the course of five weeks, we’ll highlight our favorite books and onX Blog posts on Western Big Game, Upland, Whitetail, Turkey, and Waterfowl hunting. As seasons wind down, you’ll have a long reading list to keep you busy through the winter months.

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According to Deer and Deer Hunting, there are more than 11 million whitetail deer hunters in the US. It should come as no surprise, then, that this pursuit has spawned an immense library of written works that encompass everything from classic hunting tales to how-to books and more. While the books and onX Blog posts below may serve as a starting point for your whitetail reading list, we encourage you to look further afield as well—there are simply more excellent books on this subject than one list can cover.

Hunter's Canon Whitetail Books Header

Giant Whitetails: A Lifetime of Lessons by Mark and Terry Drury

This book stands somewhere between a collection of hunting stories and a how-to guide for pursuing big bucks. Through the lens of 10 individual whitetail hunts, the Drury brothers touch on the skills a whitetail hunter must possess to achieve consistent success. And if you know anything about Mark and Terry Drury, you know they’re worth listening to.

Whitetail Access: How to Hunt Top Whitetail States Cheaply and Effectively by Chris Eberhart

If you’re planning a DIY, out-of-state whitetail hunt, this is the book for you. With tips on obtaining landowner permission, traveling on a budget, hunting strategies, and more, this is a great starting point. You’ll also enjoy the author’s stories about his own hunts. 

Quality Food Plots by QDMA

A critical component of hunting whitetails on private land is providing the habitat and food that will keep deer on the property. This comprehensive food plot guide covers equipment, soil types, fertilizer, and many more topics that will enable you to plant the sort of plots that will attract a healthy deer population year after year.

Mapping Trophy Bucks by Brad Herndon

While this book was written too long ago to cover advancements in mapping technology like onX Hunt, the foundational knowledge about how deer use the terrain is immensely beneficial. Combining that knowledge with the Hunt App will put you in a position to understand how mature deer move on the landscape and plan your hunts to find them.

The Deer Hunter’s Book: Classic Hunting Stories by Lamar Underwood

Once your deer seasons close and your rifles are oiled and put up for the winter, this compendium of stories from hunting greats will get you through the cold months. While not whitetail-specific, hunters around the country will enjoy what is surely the best assemblage of deer hunting stories there is.

Hunter's Canon Whitetail - Blogs

The Hunting Public: E-Scouting Whitetails

In this year’s installment of E-Scouting Whitetails with The Hunting Public, the guys cover everything from finding new areas of public land and determining access to identifying and scouting bedding areas. As your thoughts begin to turn toward 2021 hunting seasons, start your preparations with this masterclass on scouting from home.

How to Hunt Appalachian Mountain Bucks

Simply put, hunting mature whitetails in the big woods of the East is a tough proposition. In this video series, East Meets West Hunt’s Beau Martonik breaks down his strategy and shows you how to combine e-scouting in onX Hunt with boots-on-the-ground recon to find more success in the big woods. 

Chronic Wasting Disease: What You Need to Know This Season

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes abnormal behavior, loss of body condition, and eventual death in members of the deer family. As it continues to spread across the country, catch up on the latest news and learn what you can do to help stop the spread.

Get more hunting book recommendations, including turkey hunting books, from our experts.

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Christian Fichtel

Raised in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, Christian Fichtel now resides in rural Montana. He is a father, writer, hunter, and fly fisherman.