Hearn concentrates on thick areas that have fertile soils, such as river bottoms, saddles and agricultural run-offs. During wet years, Hearn looks for food sources on hills, slopes and benches. During droughts, he focuses on bottoms that have retained some moisture. If Hearn finds a water source within protective cover, he knows he's found a midday hot spot.George Mayfield, owner of The Roost, a commercial whitetail-hunting lodge, has something to add to this strategy. Born and raised in a clapboard house on the far end of a short dirt road in rural Alabama, Mayfield left the farm to earn a master's degree in wildlife management. He explains, "Our harvest data shows that if you're going to be successful, you have to do more than locate cover near a quality food source. Our hunters are most successful when they take a stand in a bedding area that also blocks the wind, such as evergreens or cedar. You have to be careful, however. If enough light can't penetrate the canopy there won't be any browse underneath. You're better off hunting over a partially closed canopy of pines that has open spaces within the bedding area. The pines keep the wind out, which prevents the browse from freezing, and open areas provide places for deer to feed in the middle of the day. When deer meander around browsing, your chances of getting a shot are much higher."