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.
This is what November is all about. Check out this buck's behavior!
New Weekly Blog:
Do you consider how deer will use the wind before selecting a stand? This information may encourage you to start!
Tip of the Week:
Temperatures are dropping! Be sure to practice with your bow and the additional layers.
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
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
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.”
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
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.
Do you take a phone to the stand with you? After watching this, you may!
New Weekly Blog:
Bucks are on the move! Make sure your stand is on the mark!
Tip of the Week:
Time to work the Messenger! Get vocal and replicate a chase!
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.
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.
Determination can often lead to success. Watch as this truth unfolds for an 86 year old deer hunter. Plus, a mature Ozark buck comes within Prime range. A few does bite the dirt in the process, don't miss the whitetail hunting action!
How do you stop a walking deer? Click here to find out why you may want to start soft!
New Weekly Blog: Tough Hunting Conditions
Forecast calling for warm temperatures? Here are a few tips to fill your freezer even during warm spells.
Tip of the Week:
It's the pre-rut! Time to start hunting stands in pinch points. Deer will be on their feet.
The GrowingDeer Team has kept a close eye on our favorite hit list buck, Handy, throughout the summer. We watched him regularly frequent a food plot on the northern part of The Proving Grounds. As most hunters who have ever watched whitetails throughout the year know, the changing of summer to fall usually brings changes to deer patterns. The same is true for Handy and his summer pattern.
Our last pictures of Handy in velvet came in early September with his running partner Southpaw. After seeing Southpaw had already shed velvet we knew the pattern was soon to change. After those images we went two weeks without a single Reconyx image of Southpaw or Handy. Finally, we found these two bucks in a least expected food plot! North Field is a short distance from where we had captured Reconyx images of these two bucks all summer.
The great news about our MRI (Most Recent Information) is the location of our Redneck trailer blind. We had positioned the Redneck blind in North field a few weeks ago to help us harvest does. We often talk about not hunting mornings during the early season due to the arrangement of our road system to food plots. Fortunately, North Field is one of the few plots we can intercept deer going from feeding back to bedding during the morning hours. It looks like a morning hunt is in store!
Stay tuned to upcoming episodes and blogs as we’re in pursuit of Handy!
For Love of the Land and the Glory to God!
Watch this video to see how we battle the challenges and adventures of early season hunting. From Colorado elk hunting to the opening weekend of Missouri archery season – see the hunts unfold here! Plus, learn about an experimental technique used to improve soil health.
Ever lost a blood trail? Watch here to learn the techniques we use to blood trail game.
New Weekly Blog: When is the best time to tag does?
Click here to learn when antlerless deer should be harvested.
Tip of the Week:
It's time to start monitoring utilization cages! This information may guide you to a hunting hot spot.
Deer hunters aren't the only ones getting ready for fall! Watch to see how whitetails are preparing for the cooler temperatures. Plus, realistic archery practice makes perfect – make sure you are on target this season with these practice tips!
See the strategy we will be using to intercept deer on their way to a major feeding food plot!
New Weekly Blog: How to Respond to Consistent Deer Movement
Ever wonder the best way to capitalize on deer movement? Learn the techniques we use here!
Tip of the Week:
Make venison ready for the freezer: remove the connective tissue for better tasting meat.
Early season hunting strategies can differ across the whitetails range. Here at The Proving Grounds we get boots on the ground to look for sign and the early season attractants. See how we use two different methods of scouting to be in the game as season opens. Watch to get your season started with success!
Are you looking to find that last minute hunting hot spot? Learn the top 10 factors we consider when placing stand locations.
New Weekly Blog: How To Gain MRI
Deer adapt to conditions throughout the season. See how we capture MRI or Most Recent Information to stay successful throughout the fall.
Tip of the Week:
Keep your eye out for fresh deer sign. Scrapes are beginning to open up!
I’ve got to keep it brief today! The sound of sprinkles are chiming off the tin roof. The Proving Grounds hasn’t experienced rain in weeks. This rain isn’t going to end the drought, but we are hopeful it will refresh our planted food plots as well as give life to seed we plan to broadcast.
In final preparations before season opens we are adjusting our trail cameras to provide us with the Most Recent Information (MRI) throughout the entire season. This means placing our Reconyx cameras on scrapes or monitoring food plots using the time lapse feature.
The time lapse feature on trail cameras is an extremely valuable tool to deer hunters. When cameras are placed properly overlooking a field on the time lapse feature they replace the need for humans to scout. The trail camera gathers more information about when deer are coming and going, feeding, as well as entering and exiting the field in a week’s time than a personal scouting trip into the field. Not to mention they are scent free.
We place trail cameras high in trees and set them to take photos on five, ten, or fifteen minute intervals for the first few hours of daylight and then again during the last few hours of daylight. This provides us the information we need to hunt successfully. Our hunting strategy discourages hunting directly over food plots, but these trail cameras show us which trails deer are using as they enter the plot. With this data we can select the stand that will intercept those deer as they make their way to the food plot. Hunting deer in transition allows the food plot to remain a safe feeding destination, ensuring deer keep returning.
We’ve used this strategy for years and much of our success is based around gaining MRI and adapting quickly to changes just as deer commonly do. Prior to season, set your trail cameras to cover large food plots using the time lapse feature. Scout scent free all the way through the season, gaining valuable MRI day by day.
Rain is coming in, so the seed must get sown!
Enjoying Creation together,