This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: This is our 200th episode of GrowingDeer.tv and to celebrate Adam and I headed over to the Kentucky Proving Grounds as they have an early bow season. And while we were there, we had an encounter with a great buck we call King Crab at seven yards.
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GRANT: The owner of the Kentucky Proving Grounds and my friend, Terry Hamby, purchased a piece of cut over timber company land about three years ago. And his objective was to use modern science and wildlife management techniques to develop that property into a white-tailed deer and wild turkey paradise.
GRANT: Mr. Hamby’s goal is to have wild, free ranging deer that are allowed to express their full potential – possibly even producing a Boone and Crockett one of these days.
GRANT: Part of meeting Mr. Hamby’s objectives were harvesting enough does to balance the deer herd with the amount of food. But wasting no time on the deer management, Mr. Hamby took a doe right off the bat.
TERRY: Here’s doe number one.
GRANT: I’m more than happy to do my part in this aspect of the deer management program at the Kentucky Proving Grounds. I love fresh venison and I love hunting.
ADAM: (Whispering) You're lucky you made that shot. I don't think I’d let you live that down.
GRANT: (Whispering) I got doe fever so bad I can't stand it. Look at where our wind’s going. Right to right just shot a mature doe and you could tell they knew a little something was up. But not enough to avoid the arrow.
GRANT: Mr. Hamby’s farm is in an area in Kentucky where hunters can purchase multiple deer tags, so we settled back down to see if we’d get another opportunity.
GRANT: Adam had set this pair of Muddy stands earlier in the year and we knew it was really tight between the bedding area and the food plot, so we were cautious how we moved, letting these velvet antlers work their way through the bedding area toward the stand.
GRANT: Set ups like this are great locations to catch bucks during the early season. They often leave the bedding area right before dark and move directly to the feeding area.
GRANT: We knew from the Reconyx cameras there was a good buck using the area. We were not surprised when a few moments later we noticed a set of antlers that appeared even larger further out in the bedding area.
GRANT: As the buck slowly closed the gap, I was straining to get a look at their body because you need to estimate the age of a buck by the body and not their antlers.
GRANT: At about 30 yards, the buck finally stepped into some shorter brush, giving us a clear view of his chest and back.
GRANT: It was really interesting that both yearlings and the three year-old buck took the path of most resistance through the cover to the food plot rather than walk down the open trail right in front of our stand.
GRANT: I’m sure some folks are really wondering why I didn’t take the easy shot at that buck at about seven yards when he’s looking the other way.
GRANT: The goal of my friend and this landowner is to allow bucks to express most of their antler potential and I know that a three year-old buck has got a lot of room to grow.
GRANT: I expect to receive a few emails or Facebook comments: “Yeah, but what if a neighbor shoots that buck or he gets ran over on the road?” Or, “You don’t hunt on public land.” Yeah, that’s possible, but I know if I’d have shot it, he certainly won't grow. Because there’s one rule in all deer management that works no matter where deer are. Dead deer don’t grow. And yes, if I was hunting on public land, I’d a probably took the shot. I really think hunting should be fun and not just about the antlers.
GRANT: As the sun set, I set there in the stand, very thankful for the venison I had been provided and the opportunity to watch those bucks as they fed out in the Eagle Seed forage food plot.
GRANT: (Whispering) We got down just a little early. ‘Cause the wind was getting really swirly. We know there’s a good four year-old we call Inferno – flame like tines in here, so wanta get down before we buggered him up. Retrieve our doe and take it back to camp.
GRANT: Cool front passed over the Kentucky Proving Grounds the next day. Along with that cool front, the wind changed direction, so Adam and I switched to a stand at a smaller food plot. We had had a Hot Zone Non-Typical Fence protecting a portion of this food plot all summer and it was obvious the beans inside where the fence was, was over waist tall on me, while outside the fence, none of them were more than ankle high.
GRANT: The lead doe eventually circled our stand without busting Adam or I and all our camera gear. And it gave us great confidence with our scent control techniques. Soon after she and a smaller fawn faded out of sight, another doe approached the area.
GRANT: This opportunity unfolded quick and after the shot, I knew I had more venison for the freezer. Judging by the amount of browse pressure on those forage soybeans, Adam and I were very confident we’d have a good chance of seeing some more deer before sundown.
GRANT: Sure enough, another long nosed doe made her way toward the field. This one came from the opposite direction of the one I just shot – once again boosting our confidence in our scent control techniques.
GRANT: (Whispering) It’s right in there, wasn’t it? I’m out of tags.
ADAM: (Whispering) What?
GRANT: (Whispering) Doe tags.
GRANT: As Adam and I got down and recovered both those does after a very short blood trail, we knew we were off to a great start for the 2013 season.
GRANT: You can keep up with the entire GrowingDeer Team daily on Facebook and/or Twitter and see if we’re hunting acorns or food plots or what stage of the rut we’re encountering wherever we’re hunting.
GRANT: I hope you're blessed with a safe and enjoyable 2013 season. Wherever you are, I hope you take a little time to enjoy Creation and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Join us for the next 200 episodes of GrowingDeer.tv.