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GLEN: Okay. It’s up to you. Nice eight point.
GRANT: Yeah, he’s an eight point.
GLEN: Here comes the master. Right there.
GRANT: Oh, that is a good one.
GRANT: Oh, there’s a good buck, dad.
GRANT: That’s a real good one. Hold on a second, now. Don’t shoot. Take your time. That’s a (Fades out)
GRANT: This week at The Proving Grounds, we had a cold front, a snowstorm, and I got to hunt with my dad.
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GRANT: My father, Glen Woods, is 83 years old and still loves to hunt. We’ve hunted together every deer season for several decades now. Six years old, when I was in first grade, he took me on a muzzleloader hunt down at Caney Mountain, which is a public use area in Missouri. Do you remember that, dad?
GLEN: Yeah. Yeah. Slept in a tent.
GRANT: Slept in a tent and I waved a ram rod and muzzleloader at birds all day and played I was shooting them. We didn’t have a chance of seeing a deer, but dad stayed with me and has been my best friend through my whole life. So, here we are…
GRANT: Missouri has an additional season that occurs about the last ten days of the year, typically called the muzzleloader season or the alternate weapon season. It’s one of my favorite seasons in Missouri because by that time, a lot of hunters are out of the woods; it’s usually cold and a lot of the acorns have disappeared – they’ve been consumed or they’ve already rotted, which forces deer to go to food plots or other food sources that are more easily patterned than acorns.
GRANT: The weather forecast called for a strong north wind with scattered snow showers. Perfect conditions for hunting a food plot we call Crabapple Field.
GRANT: Crabapple was planted with Eagle Seed forage soybeans this summer, but due to the drought conditions, they didn’t make a full crop. So, about August, we over-planted those standing beans with Eagle’s Broadside mix which includes wheat and brassicas and radishes to provide a bunch of different greens during the late season.
GRANT: When dad and I first got to the blind, the wind was really whipping and it was extremely cold. So, I took an old blanket I had in my truck and threw it over dad to help keep him warm while I got all the camera gear set up and got the muzzleloader ready to hunt.
GRANT: We’re gonna keep the windows shut ‘cause the wind is blowing. It’s snowing. Keep dad all covered up here. Oooo, look at the dust on that thing. Got his orange on underneath our blanket here. You warm enough?
GLEN: I’m perfectly warm.
GRANT: Okay. I bet we see a deer pretty soon.
GLEN: You're a wonderful son and I know you do it for me.
GRANT: Nah. It’s a great Christmas gift to be able to hunt with you here.
GLEN: It’s better for me to be able to go hunting with you. It’s wonderful, son.
GRANT: We’ve got a, about a 200 yard maximum shot, so we’re good to cover anything we see. Dad’s got a green ticket – shoot anything he wants, so we’re just gonna see what comes out and see what he wants to shoot.
GRANT: That’s a yearling buck and a doe. You called it just right. I knew they’d come. It’s cold out there.
GRANT: As more deer entered the field, it became obvious. They were barely getting in the field and they put their head down and were concentrating on eating, which I felt was a great sign that they needed calories that bad and being this is the largest food plot on our property, I assumed more deer would come to the field seeking those groceries.
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah, be careful.
GRANT: In just a little bit, I noticed a larger buck enter the field and I instantly focused the camera on that and got tunnel vision on that buck.
GRANT: Oh, there’s a big buck, dad. Big buck just come out. See him down there? Right in front of the gravel pile?
GLEN: Yeah. (Inaudible).
GRANT: Oh yeah. You like that deer?
GRANT: Yeah. He’s gonna – I don't know why he walked away. Let me look at him.
GRANT: Dad mentioned he thought that deer was only two years old and I certainly wasn’t gonna force him to take that deer when I heard him say, “Out steps the master.”
GLEN: Here comes the master. Right there.
GRANT: Where? I don’t see him, dad.
GLEN: (Inaudible) Huge buck.
GRANT: Oh, that is a good…shh, shh, shh, shh. When I returned to my chair, I brought the camera around and focused on the largest buck in the field. A five and a half year old we’ve studied for quite some time.
GRANT: (Whispering) That’s a real good one. Hold on a second now. Don’t shoot. Take your time. That’s a good one, dad. Not yet, but when he turns sideways – can you find him? Have you found him, dad?
GLEN: (Whispering) Well, he walked back…
GRANT: (Whispering) No. He’s right there.
GRANT: The bucks were moving slightly back and forth a little bit. One would have their head down feeding while the other took a step or two and I got the camera on razor sharp focus and gave dad the go ahead.
GRANT: (Whispering) Okay, just wait. I can see him real good dad, but you wait until you get him right on his shoulder. Okay. Okay. Just wait. He’s not going anywhere.
GLEN: (Whispering) Alright. Now, which one is it?
GRANT: (Whispering) Just wait ‘til he starts broadside. See him there. Now.
GRANT: Dad you – you shot the wrong one, dad. You're okay.
GLEN: Did I shoot the wrong one?
GRANT: Yeah, but you're okay.
GRANT: You can hear my shock in the conversation my father and I had as the bigger buck left the field.
GLEN: Right in the shoulder.
GRANT: Right in the shoulder. You dropped him.
GRANT: I admit to you I had very mixed emotions. A buck that’s on our Hit List and I’ve put a lot of time in studying, left the field when he had a perfect opportunity. On the other hand, my dad was as excited as any hunter that had just tagged a nice buck. And instantly, I realized it’s way more about the hunt and the fellowship with my dad than any set of antlers and we both started celebrating a very, very enjoyable hunt.
GRANT: I called Adam and Brian and they helped us take pictures and celebrate the joy of a successful hunt with my family.
GLEN: I sure am proud you let me hunt down there, son.
GRANT: You are welcome any time dad. That’s a great buck and it was a cold afternoon. You earned that deer.
GLEN: As much as I shook, I had the shake over on him.
GRANT: You made a great shot.
GLEN: Yeah. Figured I got him, so…you never know.
GRANT: You got him.
GRANT: The hunt with my father and the excitement he had was a great reminder to me to never let my intensity of a deer manager take away of the joy of hunting. I’ve still got a buck tag in my pocket and I look forward to the next couple weeks of chasing that buck that gave us the slip.
GLEN: That sure was a nice hunt. Now I’m gonna get back in the truck before I freeze.
GRANT: Alright, dad. I love you very much.
GLEN: I love you, too.
GRANT: I’m proud of you. Hold on a second.
GLEN: Which one of them trucks? That (inaudible).
GLEN: Alright. Thank you, gentlemen.
GRANT: Right in the middle of late season deer hunting, it’s also important to work on that predator/prey balance. I love these Duke cage traps because they're easy to open the door and make active or shut the door if you're gonna be gone hunting somewhere else or maybe taking a break for a holiday. Cage traps are great to catch raccoons, possums, skunks and even the occasional bobcat. Fur prices are up this year and certainly, predator numbers are up throughout most of the whitetails’ range.
GRANT: We have another raccoon right here in the Duke dog proof trap. This is a great style trap where you can set where it’s unlevel like this or around a barn or a house where you don’t want a dog getting in ‘em. Hence, the name dog proof. I’ll take care of this raccoon and we’ll show you how it’s set up.
GRANT: Caught another raccoon three or four days ago in this same trap at this location. Picking locations to set your traps is just as important as picking a location for putting your deer stand. This is a great trap location for raccoons because we have two major travel corridors. Gravel road and raccoons love to travel roads at night. You see the scat on ‘em. And of course, the creek. Coons work up and down these creeks looking for crayfish or just using them as a travel location from one area to another.
GRANT: Dog proof traps are built primarily for raccoons, although you will catch an opossum, an occasional skunk and maybe even a gray fox in these traps. They're designed with a strong spring on the side that just squeezes in when you're setting it and when the raccoon reaches in there to bring the food out, the spring comes off and holds him right by the paw so there’s very minimal stress to the animal.
GRANT: Once the animal is dispatched and removed from the trap, I simply reset the trap, fill it full of dog food, put a can on top of it to keep squirrels, rats or crows out of it and also from the rain for messing up your bait and it’s ready to go for another catch.
GRANT: I hope you have a chance to get out and do some trapping or hunting this week and enjoy Creation, but more importantly, take some time and be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GLEN: Alright. It’s hard to smile froze. You men’s gotta have patience to put up with an old man like me.
GRANT: You're doing great.