This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Before we get into talking about whitetails as usual, I want to take time to talk about Christmas gifts. This year, we’ve been blessed with great gifts. Great contributions from our Prostaff. Huge increases in viewership and most importantly, the health and happiness of all of our family. But the most important gift of all is knowing that we have a relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. The greatest gift to mankind – the gift from God of his son, Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, take time, get some quiet time and develop that relationship. It will absolutely be the best gift you could possibly give your family. From all of us at GrowingDeer.tv – Merry Christmas.
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GRANT: Big week for the GrowingDeer team as the largest buck ever tagged by a GrowingDeer team member went down last week during the recent snowfalls.
GRANT: As the phrase goes, “When you're hot, you're hot.” And that’s the perfect phrase to describe Seth and Aaron, one of our Prostaff teams.
GRANT: Back in September, Aaron and Seth filmed an awesome hunt. In fact, it was so incredible, most hunters would call it a hunt of a lifetime.
GRANT: As many hardcore hunters would do, Seth and Aaron weren’t satisfied with that. They were determined to turn this into a season of a lifetime.
GRANT: During opening day of Missouri’s rifle season, Aaron took a great buck they had named Katie’s Nine.
GRANT: As soon as Aaron had tagged Katie’s Nine and the celebration was over, Seth’s entire hunting focus was on a large buck they had named Stickers.
GRANT: Bucks of this caliber are rare anywhere. But they're especially rare here in the Ozark mountains where our habitat is mostly fescue pasture and hardwood trees. In areas such as the Ozark mountains, bucks like Stickers become legendary and all the hunters in the area focus on that deer.
SETH: We have lost our mind. We have gone loco. Um, we’ve resorted to watering one of our bean fields because it is important, or we think it is, that we have grain up in this part of this farm. We’re going to show you how to water your food plots when Mother Nature isn't.
SETH: I’m only half throttle. There she goes.
GRANT: The drought was just as intense at Seth and Aaron’s lease as it was here at The Proving Grounds this summer, but not to let that deter ‘em, Seth and Aaron set up an irrigation system to make sure those Eagle Seed beans expressed their full potential and produced plenty of grain for the late season. They had planted a field of Eagle Seed soybeans and fenced half of it off using electric fence, just like we do here at The Proving Grounds and leaving a gate in it so they could open the gate or take down part of the fence come the late season.
SETH: (Whispering) It is September 15th. It’s like a holiday here in Missouri. It’s our favorite time of year. There is a really good buck coming in here. We hunted him last year. The saga continues.
SETH: (Whispering) Alright. It’s the opener of the Missouri gun season and if you can't tell, the wind’s blowing about 25 mile an hour, with gusts.
SETH: (Whispering) Alright. It’s the second day of Missouri gun season. There’s a really big deer on this farm we’re hunting. We’ve known him for three years. Got lots of history.
SETH: (Whispering) Hunting a big boomer buck we call Stickers. Got lots of history with him. Hopefully, he makes his appearance tonight.
SETH: (Whispering) Day Number 4. Missouri rifle season. Aaron and I are still chasing a big deer we call Stickers. Just a big boomer buck. You just don’t grow them like this in our neck of the woods.
SETH: (Whispering) We have hunted every day of the gun season but one. We’ve let some good deer walk. We’re after one deer in particular. They're making the transition from the rut to the food plots. We’ve got a stance.
GRANT: As we rolled into December, over six inches of snow fell here at The Proving Grounds and Seth’s lease. During this time, Seth and Aaron are hunting a lot of afternoons and they passed up a lot of great bucks knowing they had the buck of a lifetime using their lease.
SETH: (Whispering) Oh yeah. That is a big buck. That’s Crab Claw.
GRANT: This is exactly what Seth was looking for, knowing that heavy snowfall covered up most of the food sources and deer would certainly be concentrated on that food plot.
GRANT: During the afternoon of December 10th, a south wind was forecast and that’s exactly what they needed to approach and hunt the food plot where they’d taken the fence down.
SETH: (Whispering) Alright. It’s December 10th. We’re hunting a food plot that we set aside in the spring. We watered it; we fenced it; we babied it; we opened the gate; we’ve got the buck we’ve been hunting all year. He came through it the other night, so he knows they're here. It’s getting a little bit warmer. We’ve got a nice 10, 15 mile an hour south wind. The deer should be up on their feet. Big change. Sun’s out. Just beautiful night. So, we’re gonna enjoy it nonetheless. Hopefully, a buck we call Stickers that we’ve been hunting hard makes an appearance.
SETH: (Whispering) Man, he’s a toad. (Inaudible)
GRANT: There’s not many bucks carrying antlers of that size in the Ozarks. And they knew instantly, it was the buck they called Stickers.
SETH: (Whispering) He’s at fifty right there.
GRANT: As the light started to fade, Seth knew it was now or never for a buck he’d chased for years.
SETH: (Whispering) Don’t move. I just thumped him, baby. Did I hit him good?
AARON: (Whispering) Smoked him!
SETH: (Whispering) Are you sure?
AARON: (Whispering) I’m positive.
SETH: (Whispering) Oh my gosh. Are you sure not shoulder?
AARON: (Whispering) No.
SETH: (Whispering) Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I’m speechless. I’m speechless. Are you sure he’s smoked?
AARON: (Whispering) Oh, I guarantee it!
SETH: Dang, I’d like to see him pumping a little more blood than that. Here’s a little more. He stumbled right here, didn’t he? Man, I love tracking ‘em in the snow. I’ll tell you that. Is he right there? Oh my gosh.
AARON: Oh, my gosh.
SETH: Holy smokes. I cannot believe this. Holy mackerel.
AARON: Look at the brows on that deer. Good job, man.
UNKNOWN: Did he have a knot like this on the other side?
SETH: I don’t remember it. No, I, I don't know.
UNKNOWN: Oh, my gosh.
SETH: What a toad. I don’t know what to say.
UNKNOWN: That one’s been in a lot of hunts right there.
SETH: Oh yeah.
UNKNOWN: We want to tuck these hocks underneath and do at it?
UNKNOWN: Nine and a half.
SETH: Well, this closes the chapter on a buck we’ve chased for two years now. We’ve known him for three. He was an 8 point three years ago. Just had these magnum eye guards, that’s how we always, always knew him. He was a mainframe 10 last year, blew up into this this year. Mainframe 12. For whatever reason, he’s busted his main beam. I only hunted him when the wind was right and uh, we put a lot of time into him. Snow fell in southern Missouri early and it just generally doesn’t happen. That was one of the key ingredients.
UNKNOWN: What is those?
UNKNOWN: Are they mechanical?
SETH: Oh yeah. And I’m telling you. Dude, that son of a buck blew through now.
UNKNOWN: What have they got – a chisel point on ‘em?
UNKNOWN: That’ll put a hole in them.
SETH: Dude, look at the deer back here. That’s a giant.
AARON: Think of how big a deer you can rattle in with those.
SETH: It don’t work. I drug his last one out – he can drag mine out. Oh, I forgot.
AARON: You didn’t even drag it out, I drove my truck all the way to it. He should back his 2013 right up to the deer like I did.
GRANT: What an unbelievable buck. And what an incredible hunt for Seth and Aaron. You know, these guys are the great American hunters. They're plumbers by day – work hard to feed their family. They work together and get along so well. They hunt together on their lease – pass up young bucks all year long – applying just standard deer management principals and look at the rewards they’ve achieved.
GRANT: I hope you have a chance to get outside during the Christmas season and do a little hunting, but most importantly, slow down at some quiet time and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
SETH: (Whispering) Alright. It’s the opener of the Missouri gun season. What’s wrong with that?