This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: It’s Thanksgiving week and the GrowingDeer Team has much to be thankful about. We’ve already enjoyed many successful hunts. But even more importantly, we’re just proud to have the freedom to be able to go hunting and protect our families. That’s all part of living in the USA where our forefathers followed God’s plan and designed a Constitution unlike any other on the planet. This week I hope you and your family are living in a safe, secure place and I hope you take time to give thanks to God.
GRANT: Last week the GrowingDeer Team headed to north central Kansas to hunt with our good friend, Richard Lee. Back in the summer, Adam went out to Kansas and hung some Summit stands and we were excited to check out those sets.
ADAM: Holy cow. You're gonna love this.
GRANT: This property is very typical of north central Kansas. The land is relatively flat and large ag fields dominate the landscape. When the crops are harvested, the deer are pretty much limited to river corridors and timber as cover.
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GRANT: During the first morning of our hunt, the wind was forecast to be out of the south. And this was perfect for one of the sets Adam had put in a large wooded peninsula sticking out in the middle of an ag field.
GRANT: While we were getting situated, we spotted deer moving toward our stands.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: I had a Kansas buck and a doe tag and the farmer had requested we harvest some does to help with the amount of crop damage he was experiencing. However, the first doe in caught me a bit off guard and rather than rush the shot, I decided to give her a pass.
GRANT: (Whispering) It’s November 6, so it’s prime time. We’ll be hunting pretty aggressively – throwing out some blind grunts and seeing if we can't stir up a little action.
GRANT: Not long into our hunt, Adam heard some grunts in the large ag field right behind our set, so we started getting ready with high expectations.
GRANT: A good buck charged in chasing a couple of does and he happened to stop right behind a tree. Neither Adam or I had time to estimate his age before he stopped.
GRANT: (Whispering) Are you filming?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) I’m calling three.
ADAM: (Whispering) Yep. He’s three, I think.
GRANT: (Whispering) Boy, I don't know. He’s awfully big chested.
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) I can take him, I think.
ADAM: (Whispering) That’s totally up to you. (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) Boy, he’s awfully swollen.
GRANT: (Whispering) No stain on his tarsals. So, apparently, no stain. I’m calling him three.
GRANT: (Whispering) The rut in Kansas. I don't think any of those deer knew we were in the world. It’s just – does weren’t quite ready. They don’t want to be pestered by that buck. I made the choice. He was three. He had a good chest and a big neck – but Kansas deer are big. You’ll notice when you watch the video, there was no stain at all. I think if he was a more mature deer, there would have been some stain, so the first morning of the hunt, I’m glad to give him a pass, hoping we’ll see another more mature deer soon.
GRANT: I could have rushed a shot, but Adam and I decided this buck was three years old. This is a great example of why it’s so important to use body characteristics and not size to estimate a buck’s age. Deer in this part of Kansas have unlimited access to soybeans all summer and spilled grain throughout most of the winter. Their body sizes are much larger than, say, deer here at The Proving Grounds, where the land is primarily covered by timber. Adam and I had a great morning in the stand and we were also excited to see if Richard had seen any deer.
GRANT: Richard and Matt had selected a stand location that was in a narrow bottleneck of timber at the edge of a large ag field.
RICHARD: (Whispering) The wind is coming right at us right now. We got a little thicket back in here. I’m gonna try to rattle. I think it’s just perfect ‘cause they can't get behind us and smell us. Perfect.
GRANT: After Richard did a short rattling sequence, they started to see deer.
GRANT: Richard and Matt were seeing portions of deer through the brush. But when they came in full view, Richard grabbed his bow because he saw a good buck.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) I think so.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Richard draws right as the buck steps behind a tree. And after awhile, he’s forced to let the draw down.
RICHARD: (Whispering) Do you see him?
GRANT: As the buck moves away, fortunately, he moves in a direction that gives Richard a shot.
RICHARD: (Whispering) I’m, I’m good.
MATT: (Whispering) You’re good, you’re good. He’s gone; he’s gone.
GRANT: In all the excitement, the shot falls short and the buck goes on, apparently not having any idea what happened.
GRANT: Later in the morning, after another rattling sequence, again, Matt and Richard spot antlers coming through the timber. This buck comes on a string to the sound of the rattling antlers, but as he approached quickly, Richard and Matt make a call that the buck is only two and half years old, despite the buck having a great set of antlers.
GRANT: That was a great buck and I sure hope we have some more encounters with him during future hunts.
GRANT: Richard’s hunt continued with seeing more deer. Later in the morning another buck and doe move in and this buck actually makes a scrape and a rub not far from their stand.
RICHARD: (Whispering) There you go. That’s what it’s all about.
GRANT: During the third morning of the hunt, Richard and Matt return to the same stand ‘cause the weather conditions are similar to when they saw all the deer. They saw multiple bucks that morning chasing does and later in the morning one of the does actually offered Richard a shot.
GRANT: This time Richard’s shot was true.
RICHARD: Looks good. I think we got some lung. It’s getting better right here. (Whispering) Oh yeah. Maybe that – it laid down. That looks good. Yeah. Looks like lung for sure. Here it goes this way. Here’s some more here. Here. There it is right there. All right. Yes. Man. Whew! Yeah.
RICHARD: And the next thing you know, we look down and there’s a really nice shooter. Well, I had a chance at it and I missed it. So that started the day. So, it turned a little better. It was the first time I’ve ever shot a deer with a cameraman. But I’m real happy what’s going on. It seems like the rut’s picking up. We’re seeing more mature deer. We’re gonna move over closer to a food source. It’s an afternoon hunt. So we can get into where we need to be. It’s a small little pinch area. I’m excited about that.
GRANT: Congratulations Richard on taking a doe and helping a landowner meet his deer management objectives.
GRANT: Each of us had a lot of bucks in range. All the bucks I saw happened to be immature, but I still had a very enjoyable hunt. Adam and Matt remained in Kansas and had some awesome encounters.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Last week the rut was full on throughout much of the Midwest and we’re having lots of great reports from our Pro Staff.
GRANT: One of the recent stories from the Coy brothers – Isaac and Zack. November 10th they were hunting just west of Kirksville, Missouri. The rut was going strong and they headed to a stand named Split Ridge. It’s named after a large, gnarly buck they were chasing last year.
GRANT: This season it seems a large buck named Casey is using this same area.
GRANT: The buck was named Casey after Zack’s girlfriend, Casey, who missed this buck last year.
CASEY: (Whispering) Dang it.
GRANT: Just after they get in the stand, they spot a nice, young, eight pointer.
ZACK: (Whispering) Well, it’s November the 10th. It’s about 8:30 in the morning. We’ve seen – I don't know – five or six does. We had one little, eight point buck skirt the edge of the creek. He was moving pretty good. We took yesterday off. We just, we just haven’t been seeing any real movement at all. So, we’re gonna sit all day today. We’ve got a big storm system coming in tomorrow, Wednesday, the 11th, supposed to bring some straight line winds and quite a bit of rain. So, that’s probably gonna keep us out of the woods. And then after, after tomorrow – will be Wednesday – um, we just have Thursday, Friday before rifle season starts. So, that’s kind of our last little go at it here at our farm in Missouri.
ZACK: (Whispering) It’s a perfect day, perfect day for bow hunting. Nice calm winds out of the south. It’s about 40 degrees.
GRANT: After doing a little grunting, a big buck appears near their stand.
ISAAC: (Whispering) Got a shooter, Zack. (Inaudible) No, he’s not; no, he’s not.
GRANT: He appears to be looking for the source of the grunts Zack made. This buck lets out his own grunt and keeps on walking.
GRANT: Zack and Isaac have to do some quick thinking. They’ve never seen this buck before. They have to try and age him quickly and decide what to do.
ISAAC: (Whispering) Do you want to shoot him?
ZACK: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: Zack decides he’d be happy to tag this buck. So, he uses his grunt call once again to see if he can turn him around.
ISAAC: (Whispering) Louder, louder, louder. Louder.
GRANT: I still get a chuckle when I hear guys talk about the snort/wheeze call. Early during my career, very few hunters or biologists even knew the term snort/wheeze. And that’s because most bucks harvested throughout the whitetails’ range were a year and a half old. There were very few bucks older than a year and a half and almost no hunters had ever heard the snort/wheeze in the wild. It’s a good thing Zack knew to use that call, because after a short delay, the buck turned around and headed back towards their stand.
ISAAC: (Whispering) He’s coming; he’s coming back; he’s coming back; he’s coming back.
ZACK: (Whispering) Are you sure?
ISAAC: (Whispering) He’s coming back. He’s coming. He’s coming like straight out. You see him?
ZAKC: (Whispering) Are you sure?
ZACK: (Whispering) High fives. Yes. Dude. You. Oh, my gosh. Same shooting lane.
GRANT: The shot wasn’t perfect, but it did the job and the buck expired quickly.
ZACK: (Whispering) I took a (inaudible) with him. He walked by us. We got time to look at him. We decided we were gonna take him, but he already got out of our shooting lane. We grunted aggressively at him again and gave him one of those snort/wheeze with our mouth. And we finally got him done. October/November the 10th. November the 10th.
ZACK: We’ve never seen this deer before on any of our trail cameras on our farm here. The Havoc did its job. I hit the spot but it was just a tad bit high. Awesome ending to a perfect morning in the deer woods.
GRANT: Like us, the Coy brothers love fresh venison. So, they bust out their LEM processing equipment and make quick work of that deer.
ZACK: Well, here I am the day after. I shot this nice buck yesterday. We cut it up last night with our Outdoor Edge knives and today we’re gonna grind the majority of the deer up into deer burger with our LEM game processor. Really easy to use, just chunk your meat up into nice one inch squares and you’ve got a nice plunger here to push it all down in.
GRANT: That was a great buck and an exciting hunt. The opportunity to call and watch a buck respond to the calls – making a quick shot/don’t shoot decision. That’s what drives all of us to go out hunting during the rut.
GRANT: The next day back in Southern Missouri, Chase White has another story to tell.
GRANT: We know from experience how difficult it is to self-film a hunt. That can be even more complicated during the rut when things tend to happen quickly. But Chase knew it was prime time and his hunting partner, Seth, couldn’t join him, so he opted to self-film a hunt.
CHASE: (Quietly) November 11th. It’s the morning. I’m self-filming. Seth had to work. It’s getting down to the wire. Two days left ‘til gun season. We’ve got a storm rolling in. Supposed to be 70 degrees today. Storm is supposed to get here by one. Hopefully, this morning, they move. It’s about five hours before, so hopefully, the deer are on their feet.
CHASE: (Quietly) We’re sitting in the same set we tried in the evening set. The deer were bedded in here, so we’re trying it in the morning. Hopefully, they’ll come in here and lay back down. Hopefully, there’s a good buck with ‘em.
GRANT: As we’ve seen time and time again this fall, a grunt call can be a very valuable tool to a deer hunter.
GRANT: Not long after calling, Chase hears footsteps and they're closing the distance fast.
GRANT: Because he’s self-filming, Chase has got to pick one of the shooting lanes and just hope that’s the one the buck stops in.
GRANT: Chase picked the right lane and it looks like the shot was good.
CHASE: (Whispering) Yes. I just took one. Looked like I drilled him. I’m gonna watch back the footage and see. But, I think we got a buck down. Holy cow.
CHASE: (Whispering) Well, I just reviewed the footage and crawled out of the stand. I hit him good behind the shoulder, but I think he was quartering to me a little bit. I’m gonna sneak out of here; give him a few hours and then come back. Got a storm rolling in, so, I don’t want to give him too long and have it rain and lose blood trail but, he shouldn’t be too far.
CHASE: (Whispering) The footage wasn’t great. I was a little bit out, but it’s rut. Probably shouldn’t have been self-filming, but Seth had to work this morning. Hopefully, when he takes a lunch, we can get him to come do a recovery here and we’ll retrieve this deer. Stay tuned.
GRANT: Chase calls his filming partner, Seth – who I know now wishes he’d have taken off work and been in a tree with Chase – and they both take up the trail.
CHASE: Yeah. (Inaudible) back again. Hair on it. See?
SETH: Oh, he ran up this way?
CHASE: Yeah. And it’s good blood.
SETH: Good blood?
CHASE: Yeah. (Inaudible) Good blood.
SETH: Nice deer.
CHASE: Yes, sir. It is my buck. I’m thrilled with this buck. I haven’t killed one since 2013 with my bow. It’s been a long drought. I don't know what else to say except the Havoc done its job again. That’s just two deer with the Havoc and no problem following the blood trail. Walking trail.
CHASE: Crunched up acorns. Alfalfa and acorns.
GRANT: Congratulations, Chase. You did a great job self-filming during the rut.
GRANT: I imagine. But let’s put our Lead Sled up here so we can see.
GRANT: Fire in the hole.
GRANT: We’re on paper.
GRANT: Oil in the barrel will drag the bullet down. Make it go slower. Get blowed out the first shot, second shot. That one’s two inches high, quarter inch to the right – just exactly. We’re gonna see how she groups before we do any movement here. Cause we’re close to start with. Well, we’re right there in the awesome group.
GRANT: Missouri’s rifle season opens in a few days. I wanted to make sure both my Winchester .308s were sighted in. I enjoy trying different models and different calibers of guns but we’ve got so many people we’re taking hunting, I want everyone to be comfortable with the guns. So, I’ve got two Winchester model 70s, .308s – everything’s set up exactly the same – got ‘em sighted in the same. So no matter which gun you're using on a particular day, you're good to go.
GRANT: Just sign it right there.
GRANT: Dad, this is Kyle back here. Kyle’s from South Carolina. When to Clemson where I went.
GLEN: Oh. You (inaudible) forever.
GRANT: Missouri’s firearm season opens Saturday, November 14th. My father, who almost always joins me, has been going through chemo treatments for about two months. But he was feeling pretty strong that day and I was blessed that he joined me Saturday afternoon for a hunt.
GRANT: For this hunt, I selected a Redneck blind that’s at the very south end of the Crab Apple food plot. This blind is setting right on the ground and really easy for dad to get in.
GRANT: One of the side effects of the chemo treatment for dad is that he’s constantly feeling cold. But I brought a big, orange sleeping bag to the blind; wrapped him up and made sure he was gonna stay warm.
GLEN: I’m too far. How much that bullet fall between here and that brush and the back of the green yard?
GRANT: None dad. None. Don’t hold over it. Point it right where you want to hit it.
GLEN: Okay. I can do that. 85 year old buzzard – still hunting deer. Appreciate every hunt my boy and I’s gonna have. I’m gonna hunt ‘til the day I die. I need every bit of the help I can get. I been fighting cancer, but I’m about to whip it. I hope I am. I appreciate everything my son does for me. And I’m gonna stay with him. Thank you for everything, son.
GLEN: I’ll shoot anything that you tell me to shoot.
GRANT: But if a great big one comes out over here, you probably won't be able to shoot it, so I’ll shoot it. I’m teasing you, dad.
GRANT: Not long into the hunt, Adam spotted a coyote at the far edge of the food plot. We’re constantly working to balance the predator and prey populations here at The Proving Grounds and Pops was more than happy to help.
GLEN: I’ve got him. You want me to kill him?
GRANT: (Whispering) It’s up to you. If you want to. Hold on, hold on, hold, hold on, hold on. Let’s (Inaudible).
GLEN: He just come down here and lets you pet him. (Shot) I scooped him. I think I got him a little low, but he ain't going anywhere. I appreciate it. Thank you, son, for letting me shoot him.
GRANT: Thank you.
GLEN: Now, you want to put another bullet in this thing in case something else comes out?
GRANT: Later, a yearling buck entered the left side of the field. This is just another example that deer don’t often relate gunshots to danger. Dad looked at the yearling buck and instantly decided to give it a pass. Now, dad’s got a green light to shoot any buck here at the Proving Grounds but he honors my goals of allowing bucks to express most of their antler potential and work toward balancing the adult sex ratio.
GRANT: Just at last light, Adam spotted some does entering the food plot to the left. They're in some very tall Eagle Seed forage soybeans. Finally, some of the deer fed through the beans and got into an area where we had drilled the Broadside blend. Once they entered this area of the field, I was confident dad could make the shot.
GRANT: Knowing how quick my dad is on the trigger, Adam wisely stayed wide ‘cause we weren’t sure which doe he was going to shoot.
GLEN: (Whispering) Well, I’ve been waiting all evening; finally got a good shot. I, I believe I got him good. We’ll see in a little bit. We’ll see how I done. Thank you, son, for putting me on him.
GRANT: (Whispering) Thank you, dad.
GRANT: That’s about center shoulder. No doubt about that. Big mature, nanny. The whole is right there. Dead center shoulder. No wonder she only made it 70 yards – give or take. Pretty short drag to the truck; fresh venison for the freezer.
GRANT: Dad’s shot was true and the doe didn’t make it out of the food plot. It was a short trail job, obviously, but a memory that will last a lifetime.
GRANT: Right here. There we go. Goodness, gracious. That’s a fawn killing machine. I should say it was a fawn killing machine. So, trapping season actually starts here in a couple of days. But coyote season is already open, so we’re one up for the year.
ADAM: This is the right side. This is the entry. Of course, she was slightly quartering away. You can see pretty massive hole here. A lot of damage. But where we’re most impressed is the exit. So here we are. Just spun the doe around. Of course, here’s a massive exit hole. Like I said earlier, it was slightly quartering away. So, it didn’t fully connect on both shoulders. She only ran about 60 yards, but there’s just massive entry and exit. Of course, that bullet’s designed for rapid expansion – made specifically for white tail deer. Huge holes; short blood trails.
GRANT: Recently, we celebrated GrowingDeer’s sixth anniversary. Six years of making a new episode every week. And we’re honored to be able to share with you the techniques and information to help you be a better manager and deer hunter.
GRANT: I hope you have the opportunity to spend some time in Creation this week. But, most importantly, I hope you take time to be quiet and listen each day to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.