Category: Deer Hunting

Hunting Strategies: Seth Tags E.T. – Episode #371

By GrowingDeer,

 Watch Seth’s hunt for an epic deer, E.T, in GrowingDeer episode 371.

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Pro-Staffer Seth Harker has been chasing a buck with out of this world brow tines. Seth called the buck E.T., extra terrestrial, because he'd never seen a buck near his place with such long brow tines. He hunted E.T. all season and kept shifting strategies. Finally, during the late season E.T. was back. Watch this epic hunt to see Seth's strategy!

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 Shot placement on a nice buck Grant tagged.Short Clip:

See the hunting partner that never lets us down in this short clip!

 

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 Checking the trap line

New Weekly Blog:

If you are trapping to help balance predator numbers read the blog at this link! Over the years we have found several tricks that can help you become more efficient with your time.

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 A shed buck munches on a turnip.Tip of the Week:

Look closely before filling antlerless tags as many bucks are shedding early this year throughout the whitetail's range.

Putting The Odds In Your Favor – Episode #370

By GrowingDeer,

Check out late season hunting tips in GrowingDeer episode 370.

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Many hunters are like us and still have a few tags to fill. During the late season deer, especially mature does, can be very alert. Check out these tips for being successful during late season hunts!

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A mature buck during daylight.Short Clip:

What happens when you shoot a doe early during a hunt? Does that scare the bucks away? Watch this video to see what happens during one of our recent hunts.

 

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Early shed buck

New Weekly Blog:

Headed to the woods during the next few weeks? Remember that some bucks may have already shed their antlers. In this blog Daniel shares when and why early shedding occurs.

 

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A mature buck at a scrape.Tip of the Week:

Even though most does are bred by Christmas throughout the whitetails' range bucks still frequent scrapes. Placing trail cameras on scrapes during the late season can be an excellent way to locate mature bucks.

Deer Hunting: Your Best Management Tool

By GrowingDeer,

Mid December can be a rough stretch for many hunters. Throughout much of the whitetails’ range the peak of rut has ended and things seem slow in the woods. This can be a frustrating time for those who haven’t tagged a buck. During this time of the year I often think about the saying “don’t pass a buck on the first day that you’d shoot the last day”.

Recently, I went through our Reconyx images and realized that we have a greater number of three year old bucks than mature bucks. With Missouri’s upcoming muzzleloader season and several weeks remaining in archery season, it is very likely that we will have multiple encounters with three year old bucks.  As season draws to an end with an unfilled buck tag left, letting these great looking deer walk can be hard.

Passing this deer at three years old allowed him to express more potential.

Passing this deer at three years old allowed him to express more potential.

At The Proving Grounds, part of our management objective is to harvest bucks four years of age or older. At the beginning of each season we develop a “hit list” of all the four year or older bucks captured on trail cameras. The list of mature bucks will be the only bucks we will harvest if given the opportunity. However, it never fails, throughout the season a three year old buck will walk by. This can be very tempting, especially toward the end of season, but we keep our finger off the trigger. We hold out to the very end, even if it means we are left with an unfilled tag.

Several seasons ago, we passed two incredible three year old bucks. It was difficult not to shoot but we stuck to our goal. This year we were blessed to harvest both previously passed bucks. Once we laid our hands on them, it was worth the wait. One of the bucks, Gumby, had developed two drop tines, one measuring eight inches! The other buck, Handy, had 19 points and grossed 173”! Even though there were two unfilled tags several years ago, it was worth it in the end.

If you’re down this season because you haven’t tagged a buck, keep whatever goals you had at the beginning of the season. If you wouldn’t have shot a deer on the first day, think twice about shooting it the last day just to fill a tag. If a young buck has made it this long through season, there is a chance he may still survive. Letting young bucks walk can lead to great future hunts.

Enjoying Creation,

Daniel

Don’t Miss This Video! Buck Hunting And A 260” Surprise – Episode #368

By GrowingDeer,

Huge buck and a woman hunter with a big buck

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Watch as the GrowingDeer Pro-Staff hunts the rut – bucks chasing does! See Lindsey tag a mature buck on the family farm. It's one of their top hit list bucks that's a real stud for that part of Arkansas! We've got the details of the hunt plus the story on that gnarly buck you see in the trail camera image above. That's right – 260″ of wild, free-ranging antlers!

Stay tuned for some solid tips and “how to” on trapping nest predators.

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The final moments during the hunt for Handy.Short Clip:

Watch this short clip of the final moments of the hunt for Handy. Pay close attention to see if you can spot the vapor trail of the Winchester Deer Season XP as it closes the distance!

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Deer in a food plot during the late season

New Weekly Blog:

Does deer season always seems to drift away much faster than it arrives for you? If you were unable to fill a tag by the end of the rut, it can be easy to get discouraged. Don’t give up! Read the weekly blog for a strategy on how to stay focused and fill your tags!

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Coyotes running through The Proving Grounds.Tip of the Week:

Deer tags filled? Time to think about trapping fawn nabbers and turkey nest robbers!

  Category: Deer Hunting, Eblast Archives
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Never Too Old for Buck Fever! – Episode #367

By GrowingDeer,

Watch Pops Woods tag a buck in GrowingDeer episode 367.

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Pops shows us what buck fever looks like at 86 years old. Plus, the GrowingDeer Team uses Winchester rifles to work toward their deer management goal. See the Deer Season XP ammo in action!

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Adam and Matt use the Viking Tilt-N-Go.Short Clip:

Hard work made easier! Watch how we prefer hauling out big bodied bucks!

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Two opossums and a raccoon caught with a Duke cage trap.

New Weekly Blog:

Do you enjoy spring mornings full of gobbles? If so, now is the time to improve your turkey hunting.

 

 

 

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Weighing a raccoon caught during trapping season.Tip of the Week:

Trapping this season? Then run the roads! It's okay to trap during deer season as most predators travel along roads. Placing traps along easily traversed roads will not cause much disturbance to your hunting.

Hunting Handy: The Final Chapter​ – Episode #366​

By GrowingDeer,

Watch the hunt for Handy in GrowingDeer episode 366.

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This week is all about the number one buck on our 2016 Hit List: Handy. We have a lot of history with this buck, from passing him as a 3.5 year old to this last hunt! Watch to see the route taken to write the final chapter for Handy.

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A mature buck under a Tink's Scrape BombShort Clip:

Want to see what we see? Check out the latest Reconyx videos. November at The Proving Grounds!

 

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A mature buck staying close to thick cover

New Weekly Blog:

Are you prepared? The post-rut is just around the corner. Plan your next hunt appropriately.

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A buck feeding mid-day in an Eagle Seed food plot.Tip of the Week:

A hard frost can delay feeding patterns. Don't be afraid to sit till mid-day.

Bucks on the Board – Episode #365

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode 365 to see three hunts and three buck tags get filled.

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Three hunts, three bucks: every hunt can present new challenges. From an archery spot and stalk to a rifle hunt from a Redneck Blind, watch the unique hunting strategies and action unfold here as three buck tags are filled.

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A buck at a TrophyRock Four65 stationShort Clip:

This is what November is all about. Check out this buck's behavior!

 

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Grant Woods with hit list buck Tall 8

New Weekly Blog:

Do you consider how deer will use the wind before selecting a stand? This information may encourage you to start!

 

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A buck at a TrophyRock Four65 stationTip of the Week:

Temperatures are dropping! Be sure to practice with your bow and the additional layers.

5 Reasons You Should Film Your Hunt

By GrowingDeer,

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a video worth? For many hardcore hunters, the videos of their hunts are priceless yet many hunters still don’t film their hunts. There are a wide variety of reasons people don’t want to film their hunt. Some are afraid of the amount of work filming a hunt can be. Others don’t want to invest in the proper equipment. Some are afraid of learning how to use camera gear. If this sounds like you, now is the time to step outside your box and start filming.  I recently interviewed Dr. Grant Woods from GrowingDeer about why every deer hunter should film their hunt. Below are five reasons Dr. Woods believes all hunters should pick up a camera and start filming.

SHARING THE STORY – RELIVING THE MEMORY

Aaron's buck harvested while self-filming

Whether you film the first buck you ever killed or film your child’s first successful hunt, there is something special about being able to watch the footage and relive the experience all over again. “We recently filmed my dad killing a buck on his 86th birthday. It was a special hunt because he turned 86 and he had just finished a long bout of chemotherapy. The first time he had hunted in a long time was his birthday and it was very special for my entire family. The fact that we will be able to go back and watch it repeatedly makes it more memorable. We were hunting in a bale blind and several turkeys showed up. Then a young buck came in and dad made a great shot on the buck with a crossbow. It was a great experience,” Woods explained. Over time, we often forget the details of special hunts like this. When you film a hunt, you can relive it repeatedly so you won’t forget any of the details.

EDUCATION – UNDERSTANDING DEER

self filming a deer hunt

When you spend a lot of time behind the camera filming deer, sooner or later you are going to see and learn things about deer that you didn’t know before. For instance, Missouri is having a horrible drought this year. Woods sometimes wonders what types of food the deer like to eat when it is hot and dry. By filming deer feeding, Woods is able to determine what the deer like best. “We recently filmed deer feeding in one of our food plots and it was a food plot with a mix in it so there were a variety of things the deer could be eating,” Woods said. “But when we zoomed in, we noticed they were really going after the radishes. In fact, they are almost all gone. Anytime you can learn something like that, it might help you choose where you are going to hunt next time you go out.”

COMRADERY

Many hunters bring a cameraman into the woods with them when they are hunting. This can be a disadvantage because there is twice the movement and twice the human odor, but Woods believes the benefits outweigh the negatives. “When you have a friend with you filming, you can have fun chatting and discussing the hunt which helps pass the time,” Woods mentioned. “It also gives you an extra set of eyes and ears. We all use our smart phones when we are hunting which is a huge distraction. When I have a cameraman with me, we take turns watching for deer while the other person checks emails and looks at their phone.”

SHOT PLACEMENT & REVIEW

placement of an arrow shot while deer hunting

Probably one of the biggest benefits of filming a hunt is you can review shot placement after taking a shot. “The human eye can trick us,” Woods said. “Depending on the angle of the shot or what an arrow does in the air, the actual shot placement can differ greatly from where we think we hit a deer. Being able to go back and watch the shot after the fact allows us to determine if we want to go look for a deer right away or let it be for a little while or overnight. We have had many deer jump the string this year and being able to go back and see that our shot was made properly but the deer jumped is nice to have the ability to review so I am not so hard on myself thinking I made a huge mistake. All in all, being able to see where our shot placement was is a huge help when it is time to recover a deer.”

EVIDENCE OF THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Woods believes another great benefit to filming a hunt is proof that one got away and that you passed on a deer. Before people started filming hunts, if they passed on a young buck, all of their friends would say, ‘Yeah right.’ Now when a hunter passes on a buck, he can show his friends and talk about it and everyone will believe him. Not long ago, the same hunter probably would have shot the buck but having proof that he passed it up is as good as shooting it. Being able to film your encounters and show friends the buck that got away and the buck they passed on is huge. It is a great benefit of filming a hunt.

If after reading this you are convinced you should be filming your hunt, head over to Fourth Arrow Camera Arms. Check out their camera arms and their blog on getting started filming your hunt without breaking the bank.

About the Author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer, marketing consultant and motivational speaker. He works with a variety of companies including Fourth Arrow Camera Arms. Learn more about him at http://www.tracybreen.com.

Homegrown Whitetails – Episode #363

By GrowingDeer,

Watch two successful deer hunts in GrowingDeer episode 363!

New Video

Reaping the rewards for planning, work and patience! Watch this week as Adam puts his tag on a fantastic family farm buck. Then see Pops Woods hunting again – this time he lets the Winchester bark!

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Aaron answers the phone while filming his buck kill interview.Short Clip:

Do you take a phone to the stand with you? After watching this, you may!

 

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Southpaw is a 5.5 year old buck

New Weekly Blog:

Bucks are on the move! Make sure your stand is on the mark!

 

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 Adam uses a Messenger grunt call while in a stand.Tip of the Week:

Time to work the Messenger! Get vocal and replicate a chase!

Let the Chasing Begin!

By GrowingDeer,

Sweet November is here! For many deer hunters this means vacation time and long sits in a Summit stand. During the early portion of November bucks tend to be on their feet and searching for receptive does. Even though bucks are traveling, proper stand placement is key! Many stands hung at The Proving Grounds are ONLY hunted during this time of the year.

Southpaw is a 5.5 year old buck

Southpaw is locked down on a doe. The chase phase is here!

When the pre-rut activity is hot, bucks put many miles on their feet. As a hunter it’s important to place yourself along heavily travelled corridors. It is common to hunt stands where does have been frequenting, like food plots or acorn flats. This can result in success, but this pattern can change quickly. Does will alter their patterns as a result of constant pestering from bucks. Since those patterns are subject to change, we focus on pinch points along travel corridors.

One of our favorite stands during this time of the year sits mid slope on a mountain we call 50 Acre. A ravine cuts up the slope from the creek bottom to a bench in the slope. The ravine and bench pinch nearly all the deer movement into a small 20 yard wide swath. Any deer traveling this half of the mountain is likely to walk past the stand within bow range. With bucks on their feet and nudging does these are the type of setups you will find us hunting. In different habitat types, similar areas may include converging creeks, fence rows, edges of bedding cover, or creek crossings.

Now is the time to get in the woods. Find travel corridors that concentrate deer and wait them out! You may just find a buck with his nose down and tail up heading your direction. Hunt hard and stay safe.

Enjoy Creation,

Matt Dye