This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Missouri’s deer season is finally here. And even though it was warm, we headed out for opening day.
GRANT: Usually, during the early season, food plots and the first white oaks that are falling are the key to finding deer.
GRANT: Just two days before season, Daniel scouted a large white oak that was dropping acorns about 20 yards in front of a Redneck Blind in a plot we call Big Boom.
DANIEL: Scouting today, this white oak right behind me is already dropping acorns. There’s a lot of acorns still up in the tree that are already starting to turn and a lot of deer prints all around here. Deer have already found these acorns, so…
GRANT: Historically, this individual tree tends to drop a little earlier than most white oaks here at The Proving Grounds; we’ve had some great hunts out of this blind.
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GRANT: (Whispering) It’s September 15th, opening day of deer season in Missouri. It’s hot but we’ve got to be out opening day. We’ve got a crosswind blowing across the field. We’re in Big Boom for Big Boomerang and a white oak about 20 yards in front of the blind. This white oak traditionally always drops acorns earlier than the other trees in the area. So, it’s what we call a feed tree. Good for the first week or two of season. Then, it will be over. So, we want to take advantage of that. Hopefully, we’ll get the season off to a great start; put some venison in the freezer.
GRANT: After getting set up, it wasn’t long until a deer entered the field.
GRANT: As the young buck entered the field, it was obvious he was headed right for the white oak tree.
GRANT: Shortly, another yearling buck joined him and Clay and I sat back and enjoyed watching these bucks eat acorns.
GRANT: It’s obvious how dry it is here at The Proving Grounds because when these bucks have their head down picking up an acorn and they exhale, you can see dust clouds rolling off the ground.
GRANT: One of the young bucks had an obvious eye injury. It’d be interesting to watch this buck mature because he’s likely to form a non-typical rack.
RALEIGH: So, we’re in North Field today. We chose this field for a number of reasons. First off, it’s one of the first fields we planted this year, so it got the most amount of water and has the best amount of food right now. Second off, there’s a bunch of deer around here. Rather, that’s, um, a bunch of does and there’s a few bucks around here. Two in particular – one called Cactus Jack – kinda got some horns and a bunch of trash at the bottom. So, we’ll see if it pops out. But, no matter what – it will be a good time.
GRANT: Raleigh was happy she could return from college for the opening of Missouri’s bow season. And, of course, I was thrilled. Raleigh and I have hunted together since she was a small girl. I’ve often heard the old statement, “Take your kids hunting when they're young and you won't have to hunt for them when they're old.” It seems that statement is working out for the Woods family.
GRANT: As the light faded, Raleigh and Daniel watched a fawn enter the plot.
GRANT: As shooting light was all but gone, a big bodied deer entered the plot. It was Cactus Jack. Even though Raleigh didn’t have a shot opportunity during opening weekend, she got to see a hit list buck during her first hunt of the season and that’s a great start.
CLAY: I’m gonna put you right there.
GRANT: After hearing about all the deer we saw during opening day, Pops was ready to return to The Proving Grounds and go hunting.
GRANT: You may recall that last year, my father had 43 cancerous masses removed by chemotherapy in his chest and abdomen.
GLEN: Folks, this is the ol’ 86 year-old man again. I’m lucky to be here. I give thanks to my God, and Mayo Clinic, my beautiful wife and all the people that’s helped me through the last year. I’m doing the best I can. The boy has furnished me a place to hunt; he’s been real good to me; I don't know what’d do without him. I live and breathe hunting and fishing and Grant’s got me a good place to sit tonight. I may not see a deer; I may see one. Whatever it is, I’m thankful to have it. I love you all. Thank you now.
GRANT: Another Reconyx camera had detected a good pattern of deer using an area we call the Well House. We’ve got a Redneck ghillie blind there and it’s right off the edge of one of our interior roads. So, a short walk for Pops; deer are using the area; it seemed like the perfect setup.
GRANT: Based on all these conditions, we were confident Pops would see some deer.
CLAY: (Whispering) Three (Inaudible) yeah you can. Just wait, just wait (Inaudible) to come back…
GRANT: Unfortunately, the deer never came in range or didn’t slow down enough for Pops to be comfortable. But he was thrilled to be out and seeing some deer and you can bet, we’ll have him out hunting again soon.
CLAY: (Whispering) Wait. They just (Inaudible).
GRANT: I mentioned how dry it’s been. So, I was thrilled when we finally received a half inch of rain and the temperatures cooled down a bit.
GRANT: We had recently placed a camera on a plot we call Big Cave. This is known as a email camera or a cell camera and it sends pictures directly to Daniel and I right after they're taken.
GRANT: Based on these pictures, we knew there were several does frequenting the plot we call Big Cave.
GRANT: Last spring, we expanded this plot by about an acre to the west.
GRANT: This extension was designed as a staging area and to encourage deer to travel in a particular pattern. The guys recently hung some Summit stands right on the corner of Big Cave and this extension. And with an easterly wind, they were able to approach and hunt without alerting deer.
DANIEL: (Quietly) We’ve got a great east wind kind of blowing in our face, blowing our scent back over this ridge. And I suspect deer to work this ridge just to the north of us – work this edge down and work around into the food plot. You look out there and it’s looking a little bare. That’s because we’ve been wicked dry here at The Proving Grounds.
DANIEL: (Quietly) Finally got rain today, so we’ve had a nice, steady, easy rain throughout the afternoon. Hoping that soil moisture will really help our food plots out. But what we’re really hoping for tonight is that this rain and cooler temperatures get deer on their feet. So, we’re gonna sit tight. Got a good pattern of does coming in right here in front of us; got a Reconyx camera just ten yards down below us catching a lot of does moving through.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Well, I guess the deer are on their feet. Unfortunately, they caught us in the middle of an interview. They kinda knew something was up but they didn’t bust us. So, we’re gonna sit tight. They may circle back around. We’re gonna go ahead and get painted up and we’re gonna hunt.
GRANT: These deer didn’t snort, flag or bust out of there. So, based on Daniel’s experience, he felt there was a good chance they’d see ‘em again. Often we can get by with deer seeing us or even hearing us. But, if they smell us, the hunt’s usually over.
GRANT: It wasn’t long before Tyler spied movement again.
GRANT: Just as Daniel thought, it appeared to be the same group of deer. Unfortunately, they turned and headed the other way.
GRANT: It wasn’t long before another group of deer were using the staging area or Big Cave extension and headed right for the plot.
GRANT: These deer turned and started working away from Daniel and Tyler.
GRANT: Suddenly, they turned back towards Daniel.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) She’s at 38.
GRANT: As the deer milled around and fed, Daniel and Tyler worked together to make sure the pin and the camera were on the same deer.
DANIEL: (Whispering) (Inaudible) You coming over to the right? To my right shoulder?
DANIEL: (Whispering) The dark middle one. Okay. The one on the left.
TYLER: (Whispering) Get it.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Left one.
TYLER: (Whispering) Okay.
DANIEL: Yeah. Got a little grit in there.
GRANT: It won't hurt anything to go watch it on the thing, get some more flashlights…
DANIEL: Let’s do it.
GRANT: It’s not gonna – she’s not gonna spoil.
GRANT: It’s not gonna hurt anything.
DANIEL: Let’s do it.
GRANT: Be safer that way.
GRANT: The blood looked good but there was a tad bit of grit on the arrow. So, we decided to return to the office and review the footage on a larger monitor.
DANIEL: Just a hair, but not much.
GRANT: So, she’s quartering and the arrow’s got a pretty good angle. You may have got that back lung. One thing about it – the exit hole’s gonna be low because your arrow’s dropping so much.
GRANT: …the angle.
GRANT: We were on the edge whether this was a liver and a lung shot or a gut and a liver. So, the best option seemed to be allow the doe to lay overnight. The temperatures were gonna be cool and we felt that was the best way to ensure we recovered this doe.
GRANT: That’s a big ole hole through her.
GRANT: Early in the morning, Daniel and Tyler went back and tried to take up the trail.
DANIEL: Everything’s so wet. So humid out.
GRANT: They intensely searched but with the heavy dew or light mist during the night – pretty much washed out the sign of blood. Daniel felt the best next step was to call in the super trailer, Crystal.
GRANT: Tracy trained Crystal to blood trail and find shed antlers. And through the years we’ve learned that, oftentimes, dogs will work downwind of the trail. So, if you do see some blood and the dog’s, you know, five, ten feet or yards downwind, don’t pull it back on ‘cause you may be pulling it off the path of the scent. Remember, dogs trail by scent, not by sight.
GRANT: Wes worked Crystal and she made short work of the trail.
WES: Good girl. Good girl, Crystal.
DANIEL: Well, I think we definitely got that one lung on this side. Gosh, if that exit hole looks awesome. I think, think we were good, but nice to play it safe and let her lay ‘til morning. That way, we didn’t bump her or anything.
GRANT: Coyotes hadn’t found the deer and everyone’s happy. Time to drag her out and bring her back to the office.
GRANT: It didn’t take long until the Rack Jack was assembled and this doe was hanging, getting ready to head for the freezer.
GRANT: Once Daniel eviscerated the deer and looked inside, it was easy to see the exact path of the Deadmeat broadhead.
DANIEL: Well, we got the entry hole a little far back, but she was quartering away, so, as it went through – hit the liver on this side and came out and punched the lung on the off side. Great hole on the Deadmeat – going, punching through the liver and actually caught the back, side lung. And it sliced right through there. Big hole and the Deadmeat did its job.
GRANT: After the venison was removed and everything was cleaned up, she’s in the freezer and we can't wait to throw some fresh tenderloins on the grill.
GRANT: We’re not the only ones at GrowingDeer hunting or getting ready for season. Heath and Lindsey Martin have been keeping tabs on a cool buck in Kansas.
GRANT: This buck is hitting the Trophy Rock within range of one of the Redneck blinds. We hope to share the setup and hunt from Team Martin soon.
GRANT: Not to be outdone, the Oklahoma boys have been doing some serious scouting. They’ve got a pattern on a great hit list buck and they're waiting ‘til October 1st for the opening of their archery season.
GRANT: These guys have worked very hard on some habitat work and are looking forward to a fun season.
GRANT: We’ll keep you posted on what all the GrowingDeer Pro Staff is seeing and start sharing hunts from them soon.
GRANT: Recently, I gave a presentation on the myths and facts associated with CWD.
GRANT: CWD belongs to a group of very fatal – 100% fatal – hear me clearly – 100% fatal diseases. Nothing survives. There’s no record of any body or critter surviving this disease…
GRANT: Even though it’s huntin’ season, we’ll take a break soon to share this very important information.
GRANT: Here is some great news. My friend and world champion caller, James Harrison, is gonna join us October 1st for a Facebook Live where he is going to share his favorite deer calling techniques. Join us October 1st about 3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time to listen to James to learn. And feel free to ask him questions.
GRANT: It’s easy to see there’s a lot going on with the GrowingDeer Team. If you’d like some daily updates, check us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
GRANT: This time of year, it’s easy to get super busy with family and work and last minute habitat projects and trying to slide in some hunting. In fact, we get so busy, we forget to slow down and enjoy Creation. So, let this serve as a reminder to every day enjoy Creation and more importantly, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.