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GRANT: The late season is a great time to learn about your deer herd and have some great hunting opportunities.
ADAM: While going through some of the Reconyx cards recently, we noticed a great pattern of deer at Prickly Pear food plot. This is a small hidey hole food plot that we created this spring using nothing but hand tools and ATV equipment.
ADAM: This is a small food plot in the center of a hardwood ridge that we broadcasted some Eagle Seed Broadside in in early September and it took off. This plot grew rapidly and looked incredible throughout the fall, but as we got into December, the deer had consumed most of the greens and there was nothing left but bulbs.
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ADAM: And with the start of a new year, we had some super cold temperatures move in and with those carbohydrates in the bulbs, the deer were starting to hammer ‘em.
ADAM: With anticipation that this might happen, we took a Redneck bale blind and moved it on this plot about a month ago.
ADAM: (Whispering) January 5th. Cold spell here at The Proving Grounds. Temperature is in the 20’s and they're gonna be getting down into single digits over the next couple of days. So, deer are gonna have to feed. We’re set up on a Eagle Seed Broadside hidey hole food plot. They’ve eaten most of the grains and they’ve moved on to eating the bulbs. We’ve got a Reconyx camera set up on the other side of the plot. We’ve had a lot of action here. A couple of nice bucks in the area. Hopefully, one of ‘em shows up tonight.
ADAM: We hadn’t been in the blind very long at all when we heard leaves crunching down the hill. It happened to be a button buck and he was headed straight to the Broadside.
ADAM: Soon after, another young doe joined him. We sit comfortably in the bale blind watching it all unfold. While they were feeding they just kept looking back in the woods, so we knew more deer were coming.
ADAM: I caught movement in the road and saw two big does coming into the opening.
ADAM: (Whispering) Easy. (Inaudible)
ADAM: Although, there’s been a couple of hit list bucks in the area, we still have a management goal to reach so we weren’t hesitating to take the shot.
ADAM: I watched this doe feed out in front of the blind and I got the okay from Daniel.
ADAM: (Whispering) You got it? You got her? Oh. I just heard (inaudible). You can see our setup. Just tucked in the bale blind right up against these cedars. Probably, I don’t know, a month and a half ago. It didn’t take the deer long at all to adapt to it. Start using the food plot. We had deer right here at six yards. First deer on the field came right by us. Didn’t even hardly even look at us. So, it’s awesome.
ADAM: (Whispering) You can see this was great looking. Brassicas were about – the greens were about to knee height, and, they just hammered it. You can see where there’s turnips frozen in the ground and they’ve still eaten them. There’s chunks of turnips laying out here. It’s incredible.
ADAM: (Whispering) That is a bloody arrow. I even lost the nock. She’s just done a number on this arrow. Look at the difference. You see her? See her? Whew.
ADAM: (Quietly) Just a beautiful doe. Beautiful night! It has been foggy, rainy, nasty – for it seems like a month. And I’m not exaggerating at all, we’ve only had a few days of sun and today was one of them. And it was beautiful. We certainly didn’t take that for granted. That’s for sure.
ADAM: (Quietly) My hands are freezing. I know yours are. You're not wearing any gloves. Let’s get her drug up the hill and get out of here. What do you say?
GRANT: Adam and Daniel had a great hunt. And even better, kept focused on the overall deer management plans for The Proving Grounds.
ADAM: We’ve had a lot of great hunts this year at Tracy’s Field Redneck Blind. So with the cold temperatures and the standing soybeans, we couldn’t wait to climb back in the blind.
ADAM: (Whispering) January the 7th. This afternoon, it’s super cold. We’ve been checking our Reconyx cameras. We’ve got a buck that’s nine or ten years old by the name of Two Face. He’s been active in the area, but mostly at night. With these cold temperatures – this is the coldest day of the year – coldest day of the – of the season so far – for us. So, hopefully, with those cold temperatures, it will bring him out and he’ll have to feed during daylight hours and he’ll feed within range.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) Tonight could be show time for the old man, Two Face. Boy, I would just – even if we see him. I’ve seen him every year during – during a hunt. At some point, I’ve seen him. Haven’t this year, he’s been crazy, though. He’s getting senile. He doesn’t know where home is. He just runs everywhere. Hopefully, tonight, though, I’ll get to lay eyes on him. He’s nine or 10 – he’s – at least. I would just like to – I mean I would like to harvest him, but I would like to – whenever he expires and parts ways – I would like to see his teeth just to see what they look like.
DANIEL: (Whispering) If he has any.
ADAM: (Whispering) If he has any. Yeah. He just gums everything.
ADAM: Just before dark, I glanced out the window and caught antlers stepping into the field.
ADAM: (Whispering) No, it’s that young buck he’s running with, though. It was the young buck he was with last night.
ADAM: (Whispering) There’s another buck. That’s Two Face. That is Two Face!
DANIEL: (Whispering) Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah.
ADAM: (Whispering) There you are, you old legend you. They're going the wrong way. Man, that’s a beautiful buck. I love him. Oh, man. Man, just, just come down this way, please. Just looking like an old man, don’t he? Like – compare him to that other buck.
ADAM: As he starts walking in the other direction, we sat in the blind happy just to lay our eyes on such an awesome buck.
GRANT: On the trap line again here at The Proving Grounds and critter number 19 so far this year. Another great location. We’ve got where a road crosses a creek, so just think like why McDonald’s puts their location at those intersections – it’s where a lot of traffic is. And the same is true for placing traps. It’s 19 nest predators we’ve removed this year with a couple weeks of trapping season left to go. Nineteen critters roaming the hills and hollers of The Proving Grounds, looking for turkey nests. There’s no way of knowing if any, or how many, turkey nests we’ve saved, but our turkey population has steadily been increasing due to good habitat work and working to balance the predator/prey populations.
GRANT: I often use pelletized fish feed because it’s inexpensive and it has a strong odor that smells like a food source raccoons would like to eat. Doesn’t take a lot. Remember, they're hunting by the nose and once they're in the trap, you don’t have to feed ‘em all night long.
GRANT: Table scraps are good to use also. Remember, raccoons will eat anything. They're opportunists. I had just a little bit of some fish left over from supper the other night. Perfect attractant for the raccoon.
GRANT: Met some guys recently and they’ve concocted a real smelly substance designed to track bears for bear baiting. Gonna put it in the can also. “Cause that strong odor is necessary on these really cold days. Remember, cold days/cold temperatures don’t carry scent as well as warm days. But this stuff here is putting out a lot of scent and I imagine it will go downstream as the cold air settles at night and attract coons from pretty far downstream back to the trap.
GRANT: Just up the creek, a quarter mile or so, and we have another nest predator in a Duke cage trap. Opossums are also very skilled nest predators. We’re glad to remove a few more off the property.
GRANT: It’s easy to understand how a couple of these Duke cage traps can make a difference in balancing the predator and prey population on your property.
GRANT: Trapping season stays open ‘til the end of January here in Missouri. So, keep watching as we share additional tips and techniques on how to balance the predator population on your Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Whether you're hunting, trapping or just taking a walk outside, be sure to take time and enjoy Creation, but make it a priority daily to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
ADAM: With temperatures getting that low, we couldn’t wait to go out – ugh. Although, we can't be sure, we think – no. I messed up on the – Two Faces are surv – Two Faces are surv – oh my gosh.
ADAM: (Whispering) January 5th. We’re set up on a hidey hole food plot. Eagle Seed Broadside out there. A lot of deer in the area. Here we go. How was that?
DANIEL: (Whispering) Perfect.
ADAM: (Whispering) Nailed it. (Laughter)