This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: It’s been another great week here at my place with some thrilling hunts and the end of an era.
GRANT: It’s what we’re after!
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GRANT: I chose some stands this week in the hardwoods looking for deer seeking those last few acorns and trying to find a buck up from the lockdown phase, chasing a doe.
GRANT: One morning while hunting in the mature hardwoods very close to a bedding area we call the 50 Acre Glade, we did see a mature buck at a distance.
ADAM: (Whispering) Alright. See him?
GRANT: I was sitting prepared for him to cruise on our way in a normal travel pattern for that area, but a doe entered the scene.
GRANT: That doe came in the picture, ended up turning and taking that buck up over the hill. Unfortunately, that buck never came by but he gave us a little hint that the second chase phase is about to begin.
GRANT: This morning Matt and Adam got in the tree before daylight, letting that cold wind hit ‘em right on the nose. The little kill plot Matt’s hunting is called Last Lick. And it’s called that way cause there’s a Trophy Rock station there and a little small food plot that’s the last food source before they head into a large bedding area. An ideal setup for mid-morning movement.
MATT: (Whispering) It’s November 29th, we checked our Reconyx images yesterday. Got a lot of information. Deer are starting to hit the wheat. We’ve got some mature bucks down here at Last Lick. That’s where we’re hunting this morning.
ADAM: (Whispering) I think he finally got it on take 100.
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) That was terrible.
GRANT: Soon after 8:30 on their hunt, a doe and a button buck rushed into the food plot.
ADAM: (Whispering) Want her?
MATT: (Whispering) First one?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah. (Inaudible)
GRANT: As Matt was trying to get a good shot on this doe and she kept changing positions, she kept looking back into the woods.
MATT: (Whispering) Ready?
GRANT: After Matt’s drawn three times and trying to pick the perfect shot, here comes a young buck down the hill.
GRANT: That doe wanted no part of that young buck, which happens at this time of the rut. A lot of does have already been bred now. The bucks are still chasing. Matt ended up with tag soup after that encounter.
MATT: (Whispering) Dang it. I knew he was gonna push her – jumped back and forth three times. Wait, wait, wait for the perfect shot. Young buck comes in, pushes her around, they get downwind, busted out of here.
GRANT: At 9 o’clock the plan appears to be working because another group of three deer are headed towards the plot.
MATT: (Whispering) Three of em. Three of ‘em.
GRANT: Two of the deer enter the plot but the third is up in the wood line cautiously watching the field.
MATT: (Whispering) Big doe to the back.
MATT: (Whispering) No, no. Yes.
GRANT: I think there’s always anxiety right after a shot by every bow hunter, especially relatively young hunters – where the shot was on the mark or a little high or a little low.
MATT: Just shot a doe. Shot looked a little high. We’re gonna take the footage back to the house, review it on the computer frame by frame. Hopefully, we’ll have some good news there. I definitely gave her some time before I even tracked her, so.
MATT: I saw…
GRANT: I can't tell if that’s just, you know, a crinkle in the skin…
GRANT: …where she drew her leg back. When you recovered the arrow, did you try to take the trail up at all or you just got out of there?
ADAM: I mean we went 5-10 feet. I didn’t see any blood.
GRANT: Didn’t see any blood?
MATT: I saw some on the ground right by the area.
ADAM: Just, just on the, by – right by the…
GRANT: As the arrow’s approaching, that doe doesn’t drop at all and the shot’s good.
GRANT: One of the advantages of making a show is you’ve got that camera over your shoulder. A little pressure, but you get to see where the shot went.
GRANT: Looked good. A little high – looks like a double lunger but we’re gonna take up the trail and find out. Well we got the arrow and just as the video indicated, it’s red stem to stern, so…
GRANT: …we’re gonna take off the trail. One great thing about the video is you can see exactly which way the deer went. We even saw some trees at some certain bends or marks.
MATT: Look right up there.
MATT: See her laying down?
GRANT: Alright. Good job.
MATT: Thank you. Thank you. (Inaudible) Let’s go on up to her.
GRANT: Matt, great shot. Congratulations.
MATT: Thank you, sir.
GRANT: About an 80 yard uphill run which means we’re going downhill to the truck. That’s good news.
MATT: That’s a good day.
GRANT: You know, you took a great buck a couple weeks ago, took an adult doe now to help me keep the herd in balance here at The Proving Grounds. So, that’s really important for us. Also, keeping that herd number down where we have enough food to go into what’s shaping up to maybe be a tough winter.
MATT: Right. Yup.
GRANT: So, we want to keep those herd numbers in balance with the amount of food, keep that adult sex ratio happy and there’ll be more big bucks for future interns.
GRANT: You know, I’ve talked a lot about our intern program, but I think it’s critical that young men and women training to be wildlife biologists experience more than just stats and analysis and communication skills. They need to experience what the consumers – us as hunters, landowners, land managers – all need to learn from them. And if they're gonna help us with our hunting, they need to know about hunting.
MATT: We’re real excited for this coming week. We’ve got some colder temperatures moving down from the north. And hopefully, that will get the coons moving.
GRANT: Matt’s had a great year this year – taking a mature buck, taking a doe to help balance the herd and his trapping’s going well. I couldn’t be more pleased with the intern program.
MATT: Nine pounds.
ADAM: Nine pound female.
GRANT: Matt’s harvesting that doe kind of helped balance out the week because earlier this week on Tuesday, the last day of Missouri’s gun season, I got a call that I won't forget soon.
GRANT: A good friend of mine, Quenten, hunting on a property near to mine called me very excitedly and said, “Grant, I’ve just killed the largest buck in the neighborhood.”
GRANT: I know Quenten; I know he doesn’t exaggerate and I instantly thought of Giant 10.
GRANT: Giant 10 has been the biggest buck on my property for three years in a row. There may be bigger, but if there are, I don't know about ‘em.
GRANT: I live in an area with extremely poor soil. Giant 10 is an old deer. He was born back in what I call the third world days. Before a lot of fertilizer or good food plots or Eagle Seed beans, his momma made a living on sticks and rocks and for Giant 10 to express that much potential, gave me huge hope for the future of my property.
GRANT: I’m really thankful that Quenten gave me that call and that way I didn’t wonder for years what happened to Giant 10. Was he killed by a poacher or was he hit on the highway? Did predators kill him in his old age? That really closed the circle for me. But even more, measuring and weighing and learning about Giant 10 after this stark, stark droughty summer let me know that our habitat work is paying big dividends. And I’m even more excited about the future. When I got Giant 10 in hand and compared him to the sheds we’d found last year during one of our shed hunts, I knew that our habitat work had paid big dividends because we’d had a wicked drought here this summer. There was no way deer should have expressed their potential. And Giant 10 had actually added a couple of inches even in those stark conditions.
GRANT: Our younger bucks now were born in much better conditions. More years of Antler Dirt fertilizer down; more years of Eagle Seed beans; more years of prescribed fire; and no doubt, they will express even more potential than Giant 10 did.
GRANT: I hope you’ve got a Giant 10 in your neighborhood that keeps you warm when you're hunting on these cold days, keeps your dreams alive and you get to get out and enjoy Creation. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.