This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: This week we get aggressive. Adam and Matt thread the needle to hunt a stand where we’ve seen a lot of activity. And you’ll be surprised what they bring home.
ADAM: Wow! This night just gets better and better. Oh, my goodness.
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GRANT: Archery season’s been open a bit over a month here in Missouri and we’ve been hunting when the conditions are favorable, working to fill some tags and meet our management objectives. We’ve noticed a lot of activity this early in our food plots and one of the primary reasons is the lack of acorns here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Earlier this season, Adam and Matt hunted from a Redneck Blind at a food plot we call Boom North and right at dark they spotted a hit list buck we call Gumby.
GRANT: Gumby never made it in range of the Redneck Blind – so, we snuck in a few days later and put a Summit Vine Ladder about halfway down the plot.
GRANT: Even though we haven’t seen Gumby from this new set, we have seen a lot of deer.
GRANT: Unfortunately, most of the deer activities been concentrated in the eastern end of the plot – out of range of even the new Summit stand.
GRANT: Recently the wind was forecast to be out of the southeast at 6 miles an hour – the perfect wind to slide down to the very eastern end of the plot. This was kind of a gamble because we’re right on the edge of being busted for having the perfect stand location. We knew it was gonna be close and that’s what we call threading the needle.
ADAM: Matt and I had a great feeling about this set up and we knew it was just a matter of time before the deer started entering the plot.
ADAM: (Whispering) It’s October the 14th, Matt Dye and I are set up at North Boom food plot tonight. Been seeing a lot of deer in this area, including the hit list buck we call Gumby. It is October 14th so we’re starting to see some scrapes and rubs. Cold front moved through yesterday – cooler temperatures, even some rain last night, so, we’re hoping the deer will be on their feet before dark. Got the Messenger grunt call handy – so, in case a buck does step out, I can hopefully grunt him into range.
ADAM: (Whispering) Early Bird.
ADAM: As a bit of a surprise, the first deer to enter the field, was this nice three and half year old buck we call Early Bird. And he strolled by at just 15 yards, feeding heavily on the Broadside. This was the same buck Daniel and I had a great encounter with just a few weeks ago in Crabapple food plot.
ADAM: (Whispering) What is it that I always, in October for me…
MATT: (Whispering) Three year old.
ADAM: (Whispering) …always. I always, some of our best three year olds, I always have encounters with. That’s a buck we’ve appropriately named Early Bird because he came into a food plot pretty early in the evening. And once again, he’s proving his name worthy, so.
ADAM: We really enjoyed watching this buck and we can’t wait to see what he turns into next year.
ADAM: (Whispering) Doe, right there.
ADAM: Like clockwork, this doe entered the food plot and quickly closed the distance.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Man. (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) Man, look at him.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Get it baby.
ADAM: (Whispering) Try to go in real tight on him.
ADAM: (Whispering) Are you sure he’s three? If I could just, man he’s a beauty. The Ozark boy in me wants to shoot him.
ADAM: (Whispering) She’s 25. She’s gonna come this way, she has to.
ADAM: (Whispering) Good?
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah.
ADAM: Knowing a lot of deer have been feeding in this food plot in the afternoons, I quickly nocked another Bloodsport and settled back down.
ADAM: (Whispering) That three year old, Early Bird, makes it real tempting for a boy who grew up in the Ozark Mountains. That’s uh, that’s a pretty good buck. It took a lot of years for me, for me to see a buck that nice, so, still seeing him takes me back. Kinda makes me appreciate all the hard work.
ADAM: (Whispering) Good three year old, but when you’re in the business of trying to grow mature deer, letting them express their potential, you gotta pass ‘em up at that age. Even though he’s a dandy buck, he’ll be even better next year so. There he goes; he’s just easing out of the field now. Trying to figure out why that doe ran out of here. We’ve got a lot of does we need to take off The Proving Grounds this year. The population has grown a lot and to keep it in check, we gotta shoot does, so. We’re doing our part out here tonight.
ADAM: A few minutes later, a couple more deer entered the plot. The biggest doe seemed to be a bit on edge but after feeding a little while in the food plot, seemed to calm down.
ADAM: She fed within 30 yards and offered a clean broadside shot.
ADAM: (Whispering) She’s (Inaudible) now.
ADAM: (Whispering) Ready?
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah.
ADAM: Wow! I didn’t expect that. That doe ducked my arrow after I settled my 30 yard pin right on her white belly line.
ADAM: Things happen and there was still plenty of daylight left, so we re-grouped, settled back down and waited for another opportunity.
ADAM: Once I shook off the miss, I looked up and here came some more deer into the plot.
MATT: (Whispering) That’s the same doe.
ADAM: Seeing the direction these deer were headed, I decided to grab the Messenger and see if I couldn’t turn ‘em around.
ADAM: Their reaction was pretty clear as this doe group responded to the call and quickly closed the gap.
ADAM: How cool is this? The lead doe has decided to investigate the source of the grunt and she’s bringing her posse with her.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) What?
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) In the forbs.
ADAM: (Whispering) You ready?
ADAM: (Whispering) Oh yeah.
ADAM: (Whispering) Whew! That Messenger. Dude.
MATT: (Whispering) Bring ‘em in.
ADAM: (Whispering) So, that was pretty, uh, amazing to me.
MATT: (Whispering) Pretty clear.
ADAM: (Whispering) Pretty clear. So, we just had three does and one fawn cut that gap over there headed to the northeast. I thought they were headed down to Crabapple food plot so I grabbed the Messenger. I’m like, “What the heck, I‘ll just use it.” And I grunted once – I was planning on grunting one or two or three times. Hit it one time and here she comes stomping around that corner looking. I threw that grunt – boom. She came right around the corner and was looking and then that other one was like, “Now you go left and I’ll go right.” She – she’ll…
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible) We’ve, we’ve heard the phrase or the sounds to stop a deer – the “meep” “murp”. All those fun sounds we love to make. But when deer are just naturally skittish already, and it’s a little bit calmer this evening, you don’t need to hardly make any noise at all – like a (tongue clicking) – something like that, just once. If they don’t hear it that time you go a little louder. But be prepared, you may have to get a little louder, then maybe have to throw out the “meep”. But that deer right there – the first (tongue clicking) and she stopped. She definitely heard it. But, we have caused ourself to have a lot of work tonight.
MATT: (Whispering) Ah, that’s right – they both went down the hill. (Laughter)
ADAM: (Whispering) They both – they both went downhill and both went a long ways from the road.
ADAM: Deer of all shapes and sizes, not just bucks, respond to appropriate grunts. This is why we carry the Messenger grunt call and use it throughout the entire season.
ADAM: They are laying within two foot of each other.
ADAM: They were gonna be easy track jobs because the Havoc had done its job once again. The only trouble was gonna be getting these does out cuz we had a steep drag ahead of us. The pain of the uphill drag was short lived because I had stumbled upon something that we’d been looking for.
ADAM: This night just got a lot better.
ADAM: Yeah, this night just got a lot better. I’ve got a surprise for you. Look at that.
ADAM: That’s Handy.
MATT: That’s absolutely Handy.
ADAM: Oh, take my – doe took my breath away dragging but that’s breathtaking right there. Look at that. I get my (Inaudible) out of this.
MATT: How many times have we looked and looked and looked for Handy’s sheds?
ADAM: Oh, man, a lot. Isn’t that a stud?
MATT: There’s no mistaking that one.
MATT: And you know, we talk about him being here late season.
ADAM: We did. We sure did.
MATT: That’s incredible.
ADAM: This night just gets better and better. Oh, my goodness. Thank you, Lord. This has just been a wonderful day here. Finding a shed like that, most people dream about it. I actually got to do it just now while dragging out a doe – unbelievable. Look at that thing.
ADAM: It was long overdue, but we had found Handy’s shed from last year. This is just one more piece of the puzzle. His recent daylight movement and finding his shed from last year all go together to hopefully complete the Handy jigsaw puzzle.
ADAM: My gosh, that is why we get up in the morning right there.
ADAM: With one more doe left to drag, we hustled because we couldn’t wait to share the surprise.
ADAM: Yeah, no.
GRANT: Well, Congratulations!
ADAM: Yeah, thanks!
GRANT: This is quite the trophy.
GRANT: In addition to that, nice shot.
ADAM: Yeah, I mean – two does in a night’s awesome but finding Handy’s shed is…
GRANT: Well, I gotta tell ya, my heart sank a little bit cuz you said that. I said th- I told Tracy, “Those rascals done killed Handy.” I, I have to be honest, my heart sank a little bit. Well, that’s awesome, congratulations! (Laughter)
ADAM: Appreciate it.
GRANT: Yeah. I feel a lot better, to tell you the truth. (Laughter)
ADAM: What an incredible hunt – this one will go down as one of the best mid-October hunts we’ve had here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: You may recall the great weekend Doc, Graham, Norman, and Dustin had – our Pro Staff in eastern Kentucky last year.
NORMAN: Definite (Inaudible) man.
DOC: Yeah he is.
GRANT: I met these guys three years ago when they asked my assistance in helping develop a habitat management plan. The property had a fair population of whitetails when we first got there. But after implementing most of our plan, they’ve got a lot of deer and the property’s more huntable now.
GRANT: During their scouting this summer, they identified a hit list buck they named Blade Eight. They had this buck patterned on going through a portion of the property they called a funnel and Doc was set on tagging Blade Eight.
GRANT: The tail end of the cold front was October 1st and that’s the day the rain stopped and they moved in.
DOC: (Whispering) I’m hoping that we’ll see some does but we also have two bucks that are frequent this area. One we call Blade Eight. But he loved traveling through this little section right here. So, we’ll, uh, see what happens tonight. We got a perfect wind -south, southwest and uh – temperatures are starting to drop; we just had a big rain come through here – unexpected rain.
NORMAN: (Whispering) We saw deer on the way in.
DOC: (Whispering) Yeah, we saw deer in – on the way in so we are uh, hopeful and, uh, we had a kill this morning uh, so we’re excited about another one.
GRANT: During the first part of the hunt, a few does crossed through the funnel.
GRANT: Unfortunately, the cameraman and hunter couldn’t get coordinated on the does and they had to let ‘em pass.
GRANT: Just before dark, antlers appeared in the funnel and it was Blade Eight.
GRANT: Doc didn’t waste any time letting a Bloodsport fly.
DOC: (Whispering) Smoked him – right in the lungs.
DOC: (Whispering) Man, that was good! It was a good one, baby!
DOC: (Whispering) I’m so happy!
DOC: (Whispering) Oh, thank you Lord, thank you Lord.
NORMAN: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Yeah, baby.
DOC: (Whispering) Oh, yes.
NORMAN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Heavy rain can be real problems for a blood trail and camera gear. So, they guys had to head back to camp and take up the trail the next morning.
DOC: We saw the deer run in, in this direction. There’s a large creek at the bottom that we cross everyday comin’, coming to our farm. And whenever we have a hit on a deer that we can’t find, you almost always will find ‘em down there at the creek level – survival. You know they’re trying to survive as long as they can, so.
DOC: I don’t see anything.
NORMAN: Harder to see.
DOC: Oh man, there he is!
DOC: Woo-hoo! Thank you, Jesus! Woo-hoo! Woo! (Inaudible)
NORMAN: Anything get to him overnight?
DOC: No, nothing got to him.
DOC: We brought Blade, uh, back to where we shot him and you can see this field is beautiful. We got Eagle Seed Broadside – uh, he was eating right before I shot him so, it was awesome. Great hunt. Thank you Norman for being my camera guy – guess I’m camera guy (Laughter) for the rest of the year so. I was just – thank the Lord, that the, thank the Lord that I found him uh, with no blood. Uh, it rained like crazy last night and it was just uh, it was just uh by His Presence that we found him.
GRANT: We always enjoy watching these guys hunt – true friends enjoying Creation. Thanks guys for being part of the GrowingDeer Team.
GRANT: About a week later, Graham was itching to send a Bloodsport down range. Adam had joined the guys for this hunt and during a cool morning, Adam and Graham climbed the stand in the timber.
GRANT: The first deer by the stand was a nice buck. In a few years, this will be a great hit list buck but, for now, Graham gave him a pass.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Cool temperatures this morning. We’re hoping to have deer moving around on their feet. We do have a nice, mature eight point on a Reconyx camera that’s been running through here and eating on a little bit of Eagle Seed Monster Wheat. So, we hope to get a uh, get a shot at him or I’d be fine taking a tag of a mature doe too. So, haven’t gotten a deer yet this year with the Prime bow so, we’re looking to hopefully make something happen this morning. We’ll see what happens.
GRANT: The morning has started off slow with only a few deer detected in the area. But about nine am, they caught movement.
GRANT: This doe is headed straight for the stand.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Yes! I think she rolled right there. Yeah, baby. Nice! Woo!
GRAHAM: (Whispering) She came up out of nowhere. We were listening to a squirrel; I thought a squirrel was right behind me but gosh. All of a sudden I look in front of you and there’s deer.
GRANT: The shot looked great and Graham is on the board.
GRAHAM: Looks like she came in right through here. I see blood right there. Oh yeah, here’s some good, good blood right here.
GRAHAM: Oh yeah, white belly right out in the road.
GRAHAM: Adam and I had a great time in the tree stand this morning; as you can see we got a nice, mature doe in front of us. Uh, she came walking in right under the stand – had a chance to get a good shot. She didn’t go too far and, uh, glad to put some meat in the freezer.
GRANT: The eastern Kentucky boys are off to a great start and we can’t wait to see how the rest of their season turns out. It’s obvious that good habitat management is paying big dividends in eastern Kentucky.
GRANT: There’s a cold front scheduled to pass The Proving Grounds later this week and we’re all excited to get outside and do some more hunting. But you know what? I hope everyone takes time each day to get outside and enjoy Creation and, more importantly, slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.
ADAM: Kick, save and a beauty.