This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: I'm always in a bad mood when deer season closes in Missouri, but this year, Adam and I beat the post hunting season blues by packing our bags and heading to south Texas.
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GRANT: Typically, when we're packing for a hunt, we're putting our gear in my pickup with the camper shell protecting it. But this time, we had to pack a little differently as we're being picked up in a private plane and taken to south Texas.
GRANT: The weather was great for flying and I really enjoyed seeing all the changes in habitat between here in the Ozark Mountains and the brush country of south Texas.
GRANT: South Texas is tough country. It seems like every plant has stickers or thorns on it and every animal wants to bite or sting you.
GRANT: Even with that, we were super excited, so we quickly unpacked our gear and headed for a stand for the first afternoon's hunt.
GRANT: (Whispering) We're a guest down in south Texas. They have extended deer seasons and it's also hog season, of course, year round. Cause some corn out in front of us, every animal in south Texas comes to corn, looking forward to putting some bacon on the ground tonight.
GRANT: Supplemental feeding is a way of life in south Texas and probably 90 plus percent of the ranches have a supplemental feeding program for wildlife.
GRANT: The south Texas brush country is so thick that all the feeders and blinds are placed along roads or old oil well pads, or any opening, so there's visibility and you can get there without leaving a blood trail due to the thorns.
GRANT: Almost every feeder is surrounded by a sturdy low fence and the purpose of that fence is to keep out all the feral hogs and javelina, or collared peccary, from consuming the supplemental feed that's meant for deer, turkey, and quail.
GRANT: The ranch we were hunting on is only about 10 miles as the crow flies from the Mexican border. It's very hot and often very dry. So typical corn, soybean, turnip food plots aren't gonna work in that habitat.
GRANT: I've worked in south Texas for years and familiar with this, but every time I return, it's a little tough to digest the drastic cultural changes in how they hunt, versus how most people hunt throughout the whitetails’ range.
GRANT: Just before dark, a very mature buck appeared. I could tell he was mature, not only by his body shape, but his tarsal glands were stained very far down his leg.
GRANT: We were in hurry to get to our first stand that afternoon and I was really focused on trying to kill a wild hog. So I didn't take time to clearly understand the ranch’s goals and objectives for buck harvest. And even as large as this buck was, I opted to give him a pass in hopes we'd get invited back again next year.
GRANT: That night at supper, we took time to understand the ranch’s goals and objectives for buck harvest, and we're excited to head back to that same blind the next morning.
GRANT: Right at the crack of daylight, sure enough, we saw that same buck heading back in front of the blind.
GRANT: I'm not used to hunting over a feeder, but it was awesome seeing all the critters.
GRANT: My adrenaline was really pumping and I wanted to take the shot, but it seemed like something was always in the way or the animal wasn't positioned appropriately for a clean shot.
GRANT: About that same time, we heard some hogs grunting not too far from the blind. It became obvious very quickly that the deer did not want to be where the hogs were and the deer left the area while the hogs circled the opening.
GRANT: It was another exciting hunt with lots of observations, but it seemed like it passed quickly and the truck came to pick us up and take us in for lunch.
GRANT: As we were headed back to lunch, we spotted a group of javelina out in a small opening.
GRANT: We were able to slip within about 50 yards of part of the herd of javelina and it looked like they were gonna feed right toward us.
GRANT: (Whispering) I'm on it. Are you on it?
GRANT: Javelinas have tusks and very sharp teeth, so we wanted to give it a second before we went rushing in.
GRANT: Just enjoyed a great spot and stalk here in south Texas. We'd finished deer hunting this morning and riding on the high rack back to camp, saw some javelina up ahead. Adam and I got off; stomped through the Texas brush country; got ahead of ‘em; ended up with a nice javelina.
GRANT: That afternoon, we headed back to the same blind hoping the third time would be the charm.
ADAM: (Whispering) That's that young buck from…
GRANT: (Whispering) Yes, yeah. Yeah. Good, good, good.
GRANT: Once we saw some bucks, we were very concerned about their behavior, as they seemed super alert and moving very cautiously through the brush.
GRANT: (Whispering) That's the little one right there…
ADAM: (Whispering) To the right, yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) There's a big one right there in front. I see the (Inaudible)
GRANT: It was the big eight headed for the blind.
GRANT: As he was finally close enough and I thought he was gonna offer a shot, he threw his head up and trotted out of range.
GRANT: Once again, we heard some hogs and it became obvious they had driven the deer out of range.
GRANT: Even though we failed to use our buck tag again, we had a great supper and awesome fellowship with our friends in south Texas.
GRANT: Our host was determined to show us a good time, so the next morning we changed plans and went to a totally different blind.
GRANT: As we were still getting settled in and getting our cameras all fired up and ready for the day, I noticed a mature buck in front of our blind.
GRANT: It appeared to be one of the bucks they'd showed us trail camera pictures of, and he was certainly on their hit list.
GRANT: We anxiously awaited for it to get a little more light and then finally, for the deer to offer a broadside shot.
GRANT: There were several moments when the deer simply didn't offer a broadside shot. But once he did, I was ready on the release.
GRANT: The front of a mature buck shoulder blade is very thick and definitely where you don't want to hit. I simply missed my mark. Fortunately, the Prime shoots so hard and the Striker broadhead is so sharp, it's been tested one of the sharpest on the market, that it penetrated all the way through that shoulder, buried in the spine, and planted a buck right on the spot. Follow up shot, just to make sure the buck wasn't suffering, then I couldn't wait to get my hands on there and inspect those antlers. Mature bucks are so rare. A lot of characteristics of this deer let us know he was five years old. First, the ranch manager had several pictures of him, so we knew he was in this area. But big old Roman nose, big chest, clearly a dominant deer, kept the other deer away. Nothing like taking out a five and a half year old buck.
GRANT: Al came and picked us up and we loaded up the buck on the high rack truck and headed back to camp so we could share our story with all our friends.
UNKNOWN: We asked the Lord and, uh, He, He honored, He honored our prayer.
GRANT: Honored the prayer, blessed us with a great experience.
GRANT: Adam and I really enjoyed this trip to south Texas. I always enjoy seeing new habitat and visiting with deer managers and learning little tips and techniques of how they manage their deer herd. Adam and I have already got this week marked out for next year and plan on returning to the south Texas again. I hope you have a chance to do some travel hunting during 2014, but wherever you are, slow down and be quiet, and enjoy Creation, and most importantly, take some time and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.