Bow Hunting: Cold Front Brings on Doe Fever (Episode 307 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

MATT: (Whispering) Coming still? Good.

MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

MATT: (Whispering) Good?

MATT: (Whispering) She’s coming in. Just let her come.

ADAM: (Whispering) What the heck?

GRANT: Oftentimes, there can be limited deer activity during the daytime in the early part of season. This is probably because they’ve already grown their winter coat, and simply, too warm when the daytime temperatures are high.

GRANT: That’s why the GrowingDeer crew constantly watches the weather and gets excited when a cold front is forecast during the early season.

GRANT: Last week we shared the results of Jerry and Aaron, Pro Staffers out in Kansas, taking advantage of a cold front pushing a mature buck to his feet during daylight hours.

JERRY: Let’s do it buddy.

GRANT: To be clear, we’re not talking about a cold front that causes a blizzard during October. We’re simply talking about a 10 percent, or more, decrease in temperatures from normal.

GRANT: As the cold front was passing The Proving Grounds, Matt Dye and I loaded up the truck and headed to a stand we call Big Oak.

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GRANT: (Whispering) We call this stand the Big Oak, and you may recall several years ago I took a buck called Clean 12 out of this exact stand. That was a morning hunt. This is an afternoon hunt. We’re basically using it like a staging area. They bed over on the north slope when it’s warm like this – warmer anyway. Large group of white oaks up the ridge about 100 yards. We’re in between, cutting ‘em off just like a staging area.

GRANT: (Whispering) She may make it over to this big tree. That’s a good nanny there.

GRANT: We hadn’t been in the stand long, when Matt noticed deer movement over his left shoulder.

GRANT: (Whispering) Come down the path to the freezer.

GRANT: As Matt and I watched the deer, it was obvious the doe was studying the area and making sure it was safe, before she approached our stand.

GRANT: (Whispering) We got just a slight crosswind. It might be enough for her to get in here.

GRANT: We’ve shared, in the past, how we typically weedeat and/or blow lines to our stand. That allows us to go in and leave less scent. That vegetation is porous and it’s likely to hold more scent than the soil, or rocks, that are in the area.

GRANT: Even with that precaution, Matt and I were somewhat amazed that this mature doe came exactly up that trail, right where we had walked minutes earlier, and showed no signs of detecting our scent.

GRANT: As the doe approached and got within my effective range and turned broadside, I pulled back the bow and prepared for the shot.

GRANT: (Whispering) I’m not taking it.

GRANT: As I was preparing for the shot, the doe took a step or two and is now facing directly at me. There’s nothing I could do but hold the bow at full draw.

GRANT: I knew better than to hold the bow so long I’d be shaking and couldn’t make the shot, so I made the tough decision and let the bow down.

GRANT: Fortunately, the doe ended up taking a few steps closer to our stand and finally turned broadside.

GRANT: (Whispering) Perfect. I mean – perfect.

GRANT: (Whispering) Stay on her.

GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. It’s good. It’s – she’s going down. No, she won’t go far. It was perfect.

GRANT: (Whispering) Watch where she runs.

GRANT: I still get doe fever, so I was a little excited after the shot, but once I calmed down, Matt and I discussed all the events that led up to putting venison in our freezer.

GRANT: (Whispering) Stunning. Our wind. Where’s your squirt bottle?

GRANT: (Whispering) We had just enough of a crosswind. Get in there about 20 yards. It’s not just getting a stand in the woods. It’s getting a stand that your approach, hunt, and exit allows you not disturb deer. So we got in here, walked right up that trail, exactly where the deer are come in. They never had a clue we’re in the world.

GRANT: I believe that all the steps we go through, treating our clothes, storing them in the ScentMaster – everything we do to limit the scent on the stand – saved that hunt.

GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. Light, bright, red blood the whole way, and of course, the arrow’s clean.

GRANT: (Whispering) There, there. Really good right here.

GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. Right here.

GRANT: We were a bit surprised, as we crossed the hill where we last saw the doe and didn’t see her piled up a few yards on the other side. With the temperatures forecast to be plenty cool, we decided to back out and pick up the trail in the morning. In Missouri, you can use a dog to recover deer, if you do three things. First, you must notify and get permission from a local conservation officer, the dog must remain on a leash, and you can’t have any weapons present.

TRACY: Sit.

MATT: Come on. Come here.

GRANT: We put Crystal on the trail and within 15 minutes she had found the deer.

MATT: Good job, Crystal. You got her, baby. Good going. Good job. Good job. Good job, girl.

GRANT: That hole doesn’t look bad at all.

MATT: No.

GRANT: The doe was approximately 50 yards past where Matt and I had stopped the night before.

GRANT: These experiences are always great reminders to me at how superior a dog or a deer’s nose is to human senses. What took us hours took Crystal 15 minutes.

GRANT: I’m always very anxious to put my hands on a deer and see exactly where the shot occurred. In my mind, out of the tree, I thought it was about a perfect shot. But now that I have it in hand and I’m able to look at it, I notice I’m maybe an inch or two behind where the shoulder would be, and that’s okay. And I was just a tad high. It looks like it’s about halfway through the deer; but remember, the spinal column is about right here. I really should have been down four inches or so.

GRANT: I’ve turned the doe around, and this is the exit wound. Again – pretty good location behind the shoulder. It could’ve been a little bit tighter, but the entrance should’ve been there, and the exit about here. The lower you are, the easier it is for blood to come out of the cavity. And when that blood stays in the cavity, it’s obviously not going out on the ground and makes trailing much tougher.

UNKNOWN: Going down that side right there.

GRANT: (Inaudible)

GRANT: Once we got inside, I noticed a few acorns and other stomach matter up by the lungs as simply an indication that the arrow was high enough it hit the esophagus.

MATT: I’ve seen it on CSI, so… (Chuckling)

ADAM: I saw it on Myth Busters.

MATT: Oh, you did? Hmm.

GRANT: Doing a little CSI stuff this morning. We put the arrow back in the entry and exit. Clearly it went through both lungs, and we’re all amazed this doe made it 250 yards down the mountain.

GRANT: Matt and I weren’t the only ones to take advantage of the passing cold front. Chase and Seth headed out earlier this week to take advantage of the same front.

GRANT: Like us, Chase and Seth had noticed a big change in deer behavior during the last couple weeks. When season first opened deer were feeding heavily in food plots. But once the acorns started falling, deer more or less abandoned food plots and are feeding in the timber.

GRANT: Knowing this, Chase and Seth headed into the timber to hunt a stand near acorns.

GRANT: They knew several deer were using acorns in that area, including a couple of nice bucks, but they weren’t gonna hesitate to tag a doe.

CHASE: (Whispering) Well, it’s October 2nd. I just hung this set today. Seth doesn’t like to sit these stands the same day. He says it’s not good, but we’re going after it anyway. We got a good stiff breeze, so I don’t think they heard me in here today.

GRANT: As the sun sank on the horizon, they heard footsteps approaching the stand.

SETH: (Whispering) No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

SETH: (Whispering) Give me just a minute.

SETH: (Whispering) I’ve got her.

SETH: (Whispering) Plenty. Plenty of view.

CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah.

SETH: (Whispering) Plenty. Plenty good.

CHASE: (Whispering) Shoot?

SETH: (Whispering) No. She’s gonna come right to you.

SETH: (Whispering) I’ve got her.

CHASE: (Whispering) Got her?

SETH: (Whispering) Yep.

GRANT: It looked like a great shot, but they decided to sneak out of the area and come back later and pick up the trail.

CHASE: Jump, (Inaudible) jump. One, two, three.

GRANT: In addition, it gave the guys some extra time to get some help with the blood trailing job. It’s always great to get kids involved in such activities. Not only does everyone have a lot of fun, but there’s a lot of lessons that can be learned.

TRACE: Yeah and it stinks, too.

SETH: That’s cause it may have come out a little far back. We don’t know.

CHASE: I think it did. Yeah. It did.

SETH: Did it?

CHASE: Yeah.

SETH: Smell like it?

CHASE: Ah-huh.

SETH: Man. It looks smoked on the…

CHASE: Hmm. Hmm.

RYLAN: There she is. There she is.

SETH: Right there she is.

RYLAN: Hmm. Hmm.

CHASE: It must’ve been more of an angle than what we thought.

TRACE: Daddy, she bigger than my doe?

TRACE: Can I take this to school for show and tell?

SETH: Uh. They might frown upon that.

RYLAN: What does that mean?

SETH: Huh. They wouldn’t like it.

CHASE: I don't know. Did you wipe blood on your face?

TRACE: Yeah.

CHASE: Did you wipe blood on your face?

CHASE: First deer of the 2015 season. It’s the first deer I’ve shot with a Havoc and it did its job. We’re only 30 yards from the treestand. We’re excited. We’re hoping this gets the ball rolling for the rest of the season.

RYLAN: You skinned it, Chase.

RYLAN: Well, my dad killed a, Octo – October 2nd.

RYLAN: And uh, he, uh. Okay. Can we redo that?

CHASE: You guys kinda hold….(Inaudible)

CHASE: Hold it center. (Inaudible)

GRANT: It looked like a great hunt for Chase and Seth, and I’m very confident they’ll be sharing more hunts with us soon.

GRANT: Even though it’s hunting season, we’re still working on some habitat improvement projects.

ADAM: One of the projects we have going on today is controlling some of our stump sprouts in our bedding areas. You can see back behind me, we have a lot of young growth, a lot of stump sprouts from oaks. They are probably over 100 years old. Those root systems are still there, so we’re gonna do things a little different than we usually do with the fire. We’re gonna come in with some herbicide. Hopefully, we can control it. Crew is just now rolling up the hill.

ADAM: Basically, the edge is right here.

UNKNOWN: (Inaudible)

ADAM: This last big oak.

GRANT: Recently, we decided to test a technique that’s commonly used in pine management in the south and apply it to the hardwood forest here in the Ozark Mountains.

ADAM: Right in one of our bedding areas today – trying to control some stump sprouts. We can see we’ve got a great example of one behind us. This was a big oak tree that got cut years ago. Of course, there was a massive root system, so there’s stump sprouts coming back.

ADAM: And we’ve been setting ‘em back for years, but we’ve never effectively killed them with an Rx fire. So the only way we can kill it is by using a herbicide.

ADAM: Unfortunately, these stump sprouts don’t provide as much forage or cover for the wildlife like this native grass or the native forbs in the area will. Therefore, we’re trying to control it, bring in more grass and forbs. Cut, we burn it, kill it off, some will sprout back. Just, yeah. Name of the game.

UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) Good learning.

ADAM: Oh yeah. Yeah.

UNKNOWN: Good learning tools.

ADAM: Don’t ever cut something, unless you plan on treating it. Make no mistake – we love burning. We burned it last year. Of course, we had great growing conditions, and once you get out there, you’ll see how thick the grass is. So another year of that. It should just rip.

GRANT: Many of these stump sprouts are 50 to 70 years old and they’ve been burned, or cut, through time, but grew back, so there’s a large feeder root system. We simply can’t burn hot enough in a safe environment to control those sprouts.

GRANT: Both, Garlon 3A and Imazapyr, are herbicides that have been tested very safe by the EPA and, literally, used on millions of acres throughout the southern pine land. In fact, many studies have shown plants that are more beneficial to wildlife responding after these herbicide treatments.

GRANT: Oftentimes, forestry herbicides are taken in and moved down to the root system as their mode of action. If you don’t get instant brown up, like you would using Roundup, or other types of herbicides. We will follow this study throughout next spring and see if the stump sprouts green up, or in fact, we got good control.

GRANT: It’s a big job to treat all the stump sprouts in an 11 acre bedding area, especially, when it’s on the steep side of a mountain. But we were able to use RTP Contracting and they knocked out that treatment in a day.

GRANT: I really like the technique used by the RTP Contracting crew. Each man carried a small backpack sprayer and only treated the stump sprouts.

ADAM: That’s one important thing we can’t overlook. Once we treat these stump sprouts with the herbicide, we’re gonna come back next fall, burn it again. Hopefully, we’ll have the stump sprouts completely under control and have a fantastic bedding area for the wildlife.

GRANT: It’s important to note that all of us are a product of our habitat, and as we improve the habitat for deer and other species, they become healthier and give us all more viewing and hunting opportunities. I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy creation this week, but most importantly, take time each day and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.

MATT: Good job, Crystal. You got her, baby. Good going. Good job. Good job. Good job, girl.

MATT: Took me for a ride. I can tell you that much.