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GRANT: Acorns really started to fall last week, here at The Proving Grounds, and when the area you hunt is primarily covered with timber, it can be really tough to pattern deer when acorns are everywhere. They simply don’t have to move very far to find something to eat. So when you get a pattern on a trail camera of deer coming to a food plot, you better jump on that opportunity.
GRANT: Smoking one tonight. May have a little different definition than normal. We did a prescribed fire, just off the edge of this food plot yesterday. Wind’s blowing from that burnt area to us. We smell smoky, but I’m gambling deer are still coming out to eat on the food plot. Got a pattern on a Reconyx camera of a bunch of does feeding this plot. Just give ‘em a little time, see who steps out.
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GRANT: Late in the afternoon, we heard footsteps letting us know that deer were approaching the food plot. During past years, deer had primarily entered this food plot in the southwest corner, but once we saw these deer, it was obvious they were headed right for our stand. Apparently, the prescribed fire had altered the habitat just enough to push them around much closer to our stand.
GRANT: (Whispering) Watch this one. You on him? GoPro’s on and everything? Good. Get my draw. I’m gonna take it. Perfect. Perfect. I see the hole.
GRANT: Hey, Daniel. Grant and Adam. Venison on the ground. Bring the work truck. Come when you can.
GRANT: Blood, blood.
GRANT: Well a short trail to some more venison. And a pretty short ways to the road so this has been a great evening. Big doe. Don’t want to drag her too far uphill. Perfect shot placement. I aim low – this is exit. I aim low, in case they drop, so the entrance would be a little higher on the other side. You know, when you get low, you get a great blood trail, cause you see it’s pouring out, now. It’s – it’s not caught up in the body cavity, so I love that shot placement. It’d be two or three inches higher on the other side. Right here is the entrance. So you can see, on the – whew, that’s a massive hole. My gosh. That hole is the full two and a half inches of the Havoc, if not more. Clearly, through a rib, just sliced a rib.
GRANT: You don’t do that that quick without that knife.
GRANT: We processed the deer that night, as our alarms are already set early to get in the truck and roll up to central Illinois the next day.
UNKNOWN: We’ll do this table right here, this table, and this table.
UNKNOWN: And at this time, it’s an honor to introduce Dr. Grant Woods.
GRANT: The best food source is the best quality in a deer’s range that – and hunters forget the “that” – you don’t associate with danger. The deer doesn’t associate with danger. Because they have memory. They don’t want to die. They pattern you. Confirmed. You’ve always heard that. Confirmed. Not you patterning them. I was raised on a farm. Man, we were poor. One day, I’d dropped a watermelon – not on purpose – and dad was mad at me. That was, you know, 75 cents out of our budget, right there. I just busted it right there. But it was red ripe, and you could smell that thing all day long. Man, we sold every watermelon we had. Next week, I dropped another one. Boom. An – and that’s the truth. Yeah.
GRANT: The biggest, meanest, worst attitude doe will have the best fawning area. Literally. There are a good fawning area, so you know where the winds right, and the coyotes aren’t gonna eat their fawns, all that stuff. And the secondary doe gets a little further out. And the young doe, she drops a fawn in your yard. So during the rut, the thing you’re trying to pattern is this. Not food, cover, water. And that’s not predictable. If you’ve been married, you know this. We don’t know, because we can’t go, “What do you think, buddy? Is she just wandering, or did she come looking just for you?” We can’t ask deer questions. Good science is really limited in the deer world. You know, now, I get to play with deer every day. I’ve been doing this for, you know, I’ve been incorporated 24 years. I’ve been doing it all through school. I’ve just, I’ve lived this incredible life, and I think everyone’s built to do something. You could be the best whatever you are, so you have credibility, so you can share the Gospel. I believe that with my whole heart. Thanks so much for allowing me to come up tonight. We really appreciate the opportunity to share. I hope some of the stuff works. Adam and I are gonna hang around just a little bit ….(Clapping)
GRANT: After the seminar, we drove on up to central Wisconsin where we met Jere, Jim, and Eric.
GRANT: Their property is nothing at all like The Proving Grounds. It’s very flat with a nice river going through it, and a lot of swampy areas. You almost feel like you’re stepping on sponges on some of their property. These guys had owned their property for several years, and was a little bit surprised that they hadn’t seen more improvement in deer herd quality, and the huntability of the property.
UNKNOWN: …Not much you can do here, you know, because one: we’ve got so much water.
GRANT: Hmm. Hmm.
GRANT: We met with them in their cabin, and kind of let the snow pass over. Yeah – snow this time of year. Did a lot of studying of their map work and their past records. They’d done a great job of collecting soil samples, and collecting observation and harvest data for several years.
GRANT: Even undesirable species, like some of that elm get browsed on. That’s not a good sign. Deer – if they’re eating elm, they are not expressing their potential.
GRANT: What became obvious, throughout the tour, was a lack of quality food on their property. Where most of the trees were tall and big stems on the bottom, there simply wasn’t much for deer to eat, except when acorns fall.
GRANT: Deer here you’re not killing, and we want to have more deer here to kill. We don’t want to do both of those things.
GRANT: It was easy to see that it’d be very difficult to pattern a deer on this property. No reason for deer to feed or bed here versus in the next 40 acres. But I think with the design of some strategically placed food plots that not only provide food throughout the year, but create openings that bucks will go around, or go to, can provide a lot more food and travel corridors, in the middle of a hardwood forest.
GRANT: Biggest thing, the biggest suggestion, the biggest positive improvement we’re gonna be able to make. So, let’s get a couple of openings centrally located in this property.
GRANT: I’m very confident that if these guys implement our plan, they will have better hunting and better quality deer.
GRANT: I really enjoy helping folks improve their property. This trip had an added highlight. As we were driving home, we got a text from Adam Brooke saying he’d just started his 2014 season.
GRANT: Like The Proving Grounds, the area Adam hunts is primarily covered with timber and acorns are falling. It can be really tough to pattern a deer in those conditions.
ADAM BROOKE: (Whispering) It’s October the 4th, and I’m – I’m self-filming tonight, so I’ve had to pack all the gear in myself. I’m sitting on the side of a ridge. It’s got several big white oak acorns dropping all over the place. And so, uh, we got that first high pressure, really the first kind of cold front of the season. And we’re hoping that triggers deer – it – it gets deer up on their feet tonight. We’re gonna try to shoot a big doe. We got doe tags. I’d like to put one in the freezer. We’re gonna settle in, get quiet, and uh, see what happens this afternoon.
ADAM BROOKE: We did two things, tonight. One, we want to kill a doe to fill the freezer. And two, I wanted to see what the new Havocs from G5 was gonna do, and absolutely knocked a, uh, uh, a just a massive hole in the shoulder of this big old doe, but, so we’re gonna drag her out of here, get her sk – get her gutted, and skinned, and and take care of it tonight, and uh, and, uh, have a little bit of meat for the freezer.
GRANT: All in all, it’s a great hunt for Adam. He’s on the board for 2014.
GRANT: Whether you’re out working on a habitat project, or you’re in that tree stand by yourself, it’s important to remember that you’re never truly alone, and that’s why I always remind us to slow down, and take time, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: And so, dad (inaudible). Okay. Shoot. And I killed a big buck running out of the field, and I, you know, man, I was, my dad, you know, “Is he getting too old? And I’m, you know, what’s going on? I just crushed. And he goes, “I got him, son,” and now, I’m really crushed. I’m thinking, “He’s got dementia, all at once.” And I don’t know what to say to him, and I don’t wanta – I mean, my – really, my dad is my best friend. You know, he was the best man in my wedding, and all the stuff you know. “Are you sure, dad?” “Oh yeah, man. Right shoulder, son.” “I’m gonna go check, dad.” Because, cause I’m not lying. I’m just thinking, “I got to get out here and come up with something to say.” So I walk down, field’s got a little roll to it. Nothing level in the Ozarks. And sure enough, got to about 70 yards where I can see where this little – there’s a dead deer. He just shot the wrong one. It come down with the scope; settled on the antlers; looked good to him. And I’m not gonna embarrass him. Come back. “Dad, you made a perfect shot.” Called Adam and said, “Don’t say a word. Just come help me load this deer and film the closing.” You know what? It should be fun, first. Keep hunting fun. (Inaudible). Next slide.