This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Are you good?
GRANT: A few weeks ago, a brutal cold front moved across the whitetails’ range. Here at The Proving Grounds, the temperatures were in the single digits with a night or two dropping below zero.
GRANT: With the colder temperatures, Daniel and Clay decided to take a morning off deer hunting and head to Clay’s hunting spot, which is about 30 miles north of The Proving Grounds, and try calling up a coyote.
GRANT: The sun was already rising when they walked across the field and got ready for their first set.
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CLAY: Well, that’s a wrap for set number one. Daniel and I are gonna move up about 300 yards out to another big open pasture. Hopefully, we’ll be able to call some in over there.
GRANT: After trying several calling sequences and not seeing anything, they decided to relocate about 300 yards away in another field.
CLAY: We moved over about 300 yards from where we were this morning. Didn’t see any over there so we picked up, moved back over here – where I’ve seen a lot of coyotes. We’re gonna sit back and start calling. Hopefully something comes in pretty quick.
GRANT: After settling in and letting things quiet down a bit, cranked up the call.
GRANT: They were between calling sequences when Daniel spotted movement about 30 yards away.
GRANT: The coyote appeared just to their right, and headed straight towards the call.
CLAY: (Whispering) Are you good?
CLAY: (Whispering) Are you good?
DANIEL: (Whispering) Yeah.
CLAY: (Whispering) I did not mean to yell at him. Well, Dan and I were sittin’ here talking and thought man, we thought one should have come out by now but – I sat here, we started listening – started hearing somethin’ come up, just right, right behind us. And, uh, wasn’t too long and I looked over – here comes a coyote, I mean he stepped out; he stepped out at 25 yards probably. He came right out and then I yelled at him and he about ran off but. I meant to just go “woo” – just kind of bark at him but, it’s, it came…
DANIEL: It’s so cold out, you’re throat hurts.
CLAY: I know. I know.
CLAY: I hadn’t talked that loud and – I tried to just “twk” at the beginning and then, he didn’t hear that.
GRANT: Great shot, Clay. The Winchester barked and the coyote couldn’t take that bite.
CLAY: Nice male coyote. He got a really, kind of a red tone on his bottom side but then on the, on the top, he’s got a lot of black on him, which you don’t see a whole lot of – usually they’re more of a grey. Boy. I mean that just hammered him. He, he dropped and there’s a reason. There is a massive, massive exit hole on this guy. That’s one less fawn-eating coyote out there. I mean they are thick out here. Just about every night, you can just hear ‘em. Right before dark they just fire up and, uh, I know there’s gotta be a lot more.
GRANT: Studies have shown that trapping is the best way to balance predator and prey populations, especially coyotes. But Clay doesn’t live near the property and rarely has time, with his busy work and school schedule, to check traps on a regular basis. So, he tries to slide down there a few times a year and do a little predator hunting. In reality, each coyote removed may save a few fawns and poults. The boys were one up on coyotes but they were soon to even the score.
GRANT: That afternoon Daniel and Clay headed back to The Proving Grounds because one of our Reconyx cameras had shown a great pattern of deer feeding not far from one of our Summit sets.
GRANT: Raleigh had taken pictures of deer in House Point that morning. The same field the Reconyx had picked up the pattern in. And we assumed those deer went right over south facing slope; bedded throughout the day; and given the cold temperatures, would funnel right back in there in the afternoon to feed.
GRANT: With the great patterns showing up on Reconyx camera, Raleigh’s observation that morning, and a favorable wind, I didn’t have to twist Daniel and Clay’s arm to hunt House Point that afternoon.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Well, it is January 7th and it is crunch time in Missouri. We’ve got a few more days before season ends, the 15th, so Clay and I climbed back into the stand hoping to punch a tag and get one more deer closer to our management goal.
GRANT: As the sun was setting, Daniel and Clay noticed deer coming over the mountain – headed toward the stand.
GRANT: It was a group of does and fawns and they were moving fast.
DANIEL: (Whispering) That is a doe, right?
GRANT: By late season, deer had been hunted hard for several months here at The Proving Grounds and Daniel knew the deer were very skittish. So he opted to aim at the very bottom third of the deer in the kill zone, assuming the doe was gonna respond to the shot.
DANIEL: (Whispering) You’re on the front one.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Holy cow.
GRANT: It was no surprise the doe responded to the sound of the shot. But, it was a surprise the doe actually turned into the sound of the noise, or turned into the arrow, causing the arrow to strike or exit a little further back then he’d wished and Daniel was afraid it might be a difficult trail to follow.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Well, a doe just came in 30 yards; they were moving pretty fast; they were gonna get up the hill past limbs so, um, I stopped her and took a shot at 30. And it looked like she, she dropped and spun pretty fast so we’re gonna review the footage and see what, where I hit her. But, I saw the arrow sticking out of her still, uh, when she ran off. Unfortunately, she ran off a steep hill. So, we got ready and sure enough, they kinda did exactly what we figured they’d do – coming off that south facing slope right into the food plot. So, we still got, I don’t know, 45 minutes left of daylight. We’re gonna sit tight, review the footage and hope something else comes in.
DANIEL: Well, looking at the bloodring, got pretty good blood. Havoc deployed. Look at the veins, I see a little grit and it kinda has a little smell to it – but not too much. I think the, the entry was, was good. I would bet that she worked it out on the backside and took the gut out on the veins.
DANIEL: Well, we’re at last blood if you will and we found a leaf that has a drop of blood and it seems like there is a little piece of fat and we’re thinking that the exit actually is plugging up the wound and we’re not finding a lot of blood. So, rather than walking around in the dark, looking for drops of blood and, and disturbing the blood trail, we’re just gonna pack up, head to the house, and we’ll come back tomorrow morning and pick up the trail.
GRANT: Daniel and I returned the next morning to take up the trail but this time we had a little help. In Missouri, the law requires that you contact a conservation agent and get permission to use a dog to trail a deer. And that’s exactly what we did.
GRANT: She’s on it folks. I mean she is pulling hard. Like a ski job.
GRANT: Crystal made quick work of finding the doe. In fact, it was like skiing down the mountain. Unfortunately, something had found the deer before Crystal.
GRANT: Coyotes had beat us to the doe.
DANIEL: This doe only made it about 100 yards down off the food plot in the timber. And I’m always amazed at how well a dog’s sense of smell is. The coyotes obviously found her before we did and Crystal led us right to her.
DANIEL: As we were working down the hill, even this morning, I couldn’t ever find any blood. And it’s obvious that the exit hole got clogged up with fat and maybe some gut and that’s why we never found a blood trail last night.
GRANT: I’m always amazed at how fast coyotes can find and devour a dead deer. But what worries me more, is how efficient they are at finding and killing fawns. In fact, research has shown that coyotes can kill the majority of fawns in a given year.
GRANT: Studies have also shown that by reducing the number of predators, including coyotes, just before and during fawning and poult season, can result in a huge increase in fawn and poult survival. In fact, a study by the University of Georgia showed more than 100% increase in fawn survival due to removing coyotes during fawning season.
GRANT: Unfortunately, trapping season ends January 31st in Missouri. We’d be much more effective if we could trap through fawning season and help balance the predator and prey population at that critical time of year.
GRANT: Since our trapping season ends well before fawning and nesting season in Missouri, we need to be as efficient as we can. That’s why I’ve had my friend and professional trapper, Clint Cary, from Tactical Trapping Services, assist us each year. Clint’s an extremely skilled trapper and I’m glad he’s back to work his magic once again.
GRANT: You probably heard it said that trapping is all about location, location, location. And one way we find locations is pay attention to where we’re seeing coyotes with our Reconyx cameras.
CLINT: Okay. We’ve picked out this location because we’ve got a road coming in here; we’ve got a road out in front of me; so we’ve got basically a “Y” right here at this location. Coyotes are running these roads; they’ve seen ‘em on cameras so we’re gonna put probably a couple of sets right here at this location.
GRANT: A huge aspect of being a great trapper is being efficient. And Clint has found rather than just spreading traps throughout a property, it’s much better to look for sign. When you find a good set up, put multiple traps in that area.
CLINT: Okay. We’re in Missouri so we picked out our Duke #4, because in Missouri you can use a larger jaw spread trap. So, this trap right here is a Duke #4 offset – it’s got four springs – it’ll be a little bit faster with the four coil. If you’re in a state with smaller jaw spread restrictions, Duke has come out with now a Duke #2, which is basically identical to this trap – it’s just got a smaller jaw spread to meet those state restrictions.
GRANT: For years, both Clint and I have used Duke traps and we’ve been very pleased with their performance.
CLINT: Gonna put in a flat set right here on this side and, of course, when you come to this place, you can put your shovel up – you don’t need it.
CLINT: And now then to tighten this up to where it don’t have any rock to it. I’m just simply gonna beat this trap bed in against the trap jaws. I’m actually shoving rocks in up under some places. Once you get this trap bedded, there’s a thousand endless possibilities of what you can do.
CLINT: I picked this spot out just ’cause there’s tree limbs everywhere along the side of this road so, having these there to block the coyote from the back side, um, it’s not gonna spook him off at all ‘cause it looks natural. And all I’m gonna do is drive a bone in the ground right here. It’s got some eye appeal. Dirt holes are great; I use ‘em; I like ‘em. But as soon as it rains and your hole fills up with water, then you’re odor is gone, you’re out of business then. So, flat sets will last a lot longer through the rain – that’s why I like flat sets.
CLINT: Now we have to protect that pan from anything getting under it so, when the coyote steps on it, the pan can go down and fire. I like using aluminum window screen. I cut out a rectangle. Then I cut out a notch right here for the dog of the trap. And then I just go to forming it and bending it by hand until it fits over the pan.
CLINT: I’m gonna drive my half-inch rebar in the ground. I’m just gonna make me a little punch hole right here with it. This is our Coyote Creator and I take out just a spoonful. I’m gonna drop it in one hole. Okay. This is our Indulge. You could use the same one; I like to change it up. And we’re just gonna drop a spoonful down in this hole.
CLINT: This is a gland lure – just gonna grab a stick and dip it down in there. And I’m gonna stick that up in the bone right in there. This is our call lure – it’s got a very loud odor. Um, what I’m going to do is just get a good gob on this stick and I’m gonna throw it right out there at this intersection of this road – right in the road. And that’s what I was talking about an odor out there to get his attention and stop him.
CLINT: Um, this is the Coyote Chum – and coyotes actually like to eat this. So, what I’m going to do is just scatter it, just a couple tablespoons. And I’m gonna put some here in front of our set as well. So, all we’re doing now just making a trail for him to follow and come over to our set.
CLINT: So, we’re trying to build intrigue and slow him down out there in the road. And once we slow him down, we’ve got his attention, over here is where we seal the deal. And everything we’re doing out here is just to bring him to where you want him at.
GRANT: Once this set is complete, Clint moves down the road about 30 yards and makes another set.
CLINT: Okay. All we did right here was we moved down about 30 feet from the last set we made. Like I said, we’re gonna gang set this so that there’s not traps spread out everywhere to check. We’ll set this area up heavy then we’ll go to another spot that we’ve seen lots of sign and we’ll set it up heavy.
CLINT: I catch more doubles with ‘em spread out that much. Coyotes seem more comfortable approaching other coyotes in a trap at that distance and hanging out kinda of at around 30 feet. Um, a little more is fine, you know, I’ve seen ‘em caught at a lot less. I’ve caught ‘em at less but, that just seems to be a good average, is around 30 feet away. The coyotes seem to hang in that area a lot. Now we’re going back with a bait; I’m gonna tuck it up under this one.
GRANT: It can be relatively easy to attract a coyote to the general area of your set. But, getting the coyote to step on a small inch or two pan – well that’s another story. And Clint uses several different smells arranged around the trap to make sure the coyotes do a lot of footwork and increase the odds of stepping on the pan.
GRANT: I’m excited to see what these sets produce during the next couple days. And I’m even more excited to see how Clint’s new invention works.
CLINT: Okay. So here at The Proving Grounds, and in other rocky areas that I trap, I spend a lot of energy – we spend a lot of time trying to get our traps in the ground. So we come up with this, what I’m calling, Automatic Trapping System. The idea is that we put this in the ground, stake it down. It’s sitting there waiting so that when we’re ready to put our trap in, instead of having to chop through this rock again – we come up, snap the trap in it and it’s sitting there ready. It’s bedded. We just cover it up then. So, it’s going to speed us up – it’s gonna conserve a lot of our energy and just make our trapping more efficient. I use it for rocky ground and in places where I always put the trap in the same spot year after year.
GRANT: What a great idea, Clint. Clint designed the Automatic Trapping System for landowners and managers like me. We like to trap, but we’re not professionals – or maybe, just got tired of digging in the rocks here at The Proving Grounds. It’s tough to bed in these conditions. But, either way, it’s a great system. You can make the trap bedded perfectly; catch a coyote, put it back in place without re-digging a bed; or take the trap out, come back next year, put it right in place. It’s a great way to have a good trap set and save a lot of time.
CLINT: Alright. We’ve got our Automatic Trapping System in place here. Hopefully we’ll catch a coyote in the next couple of weeks. If not, season will be over. We’re gonna pull up our trap, our Automatic Trapping System will stay in the ground and be ready for next year.
GRANT: We’ll keep you posted on the trapping success here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: The temperatures have been up and down the thermometer – from freezing cold to not too bad today. But no matter what the temperatures are, it’s always good to get outside and enjoy Creation. And more importantly, take time every day, slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.