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MATT: (Whispering) We got a shooter.
GRANT: It’s October 31st, and we had a treat today here at The Proving Grounds.
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GRANT: I work with several universities throughout the whitetails’ range and I accept interns from time to time. My objective with interns is two-fold; to give them applied and practical experience, in addition to the education they’re getting in the classroom, and to give back to all those that helped me in my wildlife career.
GRANT: You’re my shadow. I’ll tell you where we’re coming and going, what’s going on.
GRANT: I run my intern program a little different than a lot of guys. In addition to habitat work, and camera surveys, and reports, and math – I think my interns should do a little hunting. I think they need to know how to relate to hunters because hunters pay the bill for almost all conservation in America. And to deal with hunters you need to be a hunter. So last few days, Adam Keith, a wildlife manager for my company, and Matt Dye, my intern this fall, had been doing some hunting. I’d harvested a great buck last week, Clean 12, and I’m tagless in Missouri ‘til gun season. It was a great opportunity for those two guys to get out, do some hunting, while I catch up on some office work.
MATT: I’m Matt Dye. I’m a sophomore at Bridgewater College this fall, and I’ve worked on some tough projects before, but when Grant told me to go out and try and harvest a hit list buck, I knew this was gonna be one of the funner ones.
GRANT: The guidelines I gave Adam and Matt were really simple. They’re the same rules I follow. Any buck that’s on the hit list is available for harvest and we need to harvest some does to balance the amount of deer with the amount of food here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Halloween morning, the weather’s looking good, and I’m setting in my office, anxiously awaiting to hear about their hunt.
GRANT: The first buck on my list, right here, is Big Boom 9. Big Boom 9 lives on this boomerang ridge. Big, whopping nine pointer, thick chest, neck melts right into the legs – that’s a great sign of a four year old or older buck. Looks like he’s got short legs that’s cause his chest and body’s so big. The legs aren’t shorter, his body’s so much bigger and that’s a key factor for identifying mature bucks. Big rack, big basal circumference – all the stuff I’m looking for in a mature deer.
MATT: (Whispering) Happy Halloween. It’s Monday morning at The Proving Grounds. It’s a cold one here. We’re at 50 Acre Glade again. There’s plenty of deer in the area. We hunted deer in the evening without much luck, so this morning, they’ll come on by.
MATT: (Whispering) Eatin’ on acorns right in the road there. Oh, he’s gonna come right in.
MATT: (Whispering) Okay.
MATT: (Whispering) There’s two. Two of ‘em. Two deer. The one in the back looks big.
MATT: (Whispering) Both bucks. Both bucks….
ADAM: (Whispering) The back one’s a big one.
ADAM: (Whispering) The back one’s a shooter.
MATT: (Whispering) Back one’s a shooter?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yep.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay. Just get ready.
MATT: (Whispering) Okay. (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) Maybe. Maybe.
MATT: (Whispering) Oh, he’s a shooter. He’s a shooter.
MATT: (Whispering) Whew! Go down, go down, go down.
MATT: (Whispering) Oh, my gosh. Give that to me right there. That’s the biggest buck I’ve ever killed, right there.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
MATT: (Whispering) Are you rolling?
ADAM: (Whispering) I’ve been rolling.
MATT: (Whispering) Okay. (Inaudible) At 8 o’clock, 8:09, I shot that deer at 25 yards. He came in with another little buck (Inaudible) a year and a half. He’s a shooter, for sure. I’m thinking 10, 10 pointer.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s a nine pointer.
MATT: (Whispering) Nine pointer.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s the deer we got pictures of.
MATT: (Whispering) Whoo. That’s a good buck.
ADAM: (Whispering) Is he wide?
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah. He’s wide. As soon as he turned, I could see that neck, and I said, “Shooter.” I think I aimed good. Right? I hit him good right, right behind the, right behind the shoulder.
MATT: (Whispering) Hey. Thank you.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Thank you.
MATT: Pretty sure it’s a big nine pointer.
GRANT: Okay, and you’re at the dry pond? Is that where you said you were?
MATT: No, sir. We’re at 50 Acre Glade.
GRANT: Oh, 50 Acre Glade. That’s great.
MATT: Yes, sir. Yep.
GRANT: Well, why don’t you all just stay put, and I’ll come there, and we’ll take it up from there.
MATT: Yes, sir. Will do.
MATT: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
GRANT: I’m thrilled for you.
MATT: I’m so excited.
GRANT: I’m ready to see this rack.
MATT: I am, too.
GRANT: Put the mojo on him.
MATT: Mojo right on.
GRANT: Well, let’s go find that trail.
MATT: All right.
GRANT: All right. Arrow looks good. All the way through, stem to stern.
MATT: That’s good blood there.
MATT: Uh-oh. I see a white belly.
GRANT: Belly, all right buddy.
MATT: Wa-hoo! Look at that. That’s a big old brute there. Big old chest.
GRANT: Look at that.
MATT: Look at that. My first Missouri deer, right here. Adam and I have been hunting real hard this week. Haven’t seen a lot, knew the rut was coming on here pretty soon. Grunting this morning about 8 o’clock. This guy, another young buck, came right on in. Shot him at 25 yards, ran maybe about 100 yards and he’s down. I’m real tickled with this guy – like the dark horns. Thank you, Grant.
GRANT: There are few feelings that give me more satisfaction than hearing a success story from someone I’ve had a small role in mentoring.
GRANT: That’s gonna look good.
MATT: Adam (Inaudible).
GRANT: Whether you’re a newer hunter, or someone that’s been blessed to live through several hunting seasons, like me, I hope you take the opportunity to share a hunting experience with a new hunter this year. And just really enjoy Creation and all that goes with introducing someone else to the outdoors. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
MATT: This week, I got an assignment: go out and hunt and harvest a hit list buck.
MATT: But this week.
MATT: I’ve had some tough homework assignments this week. (Laughter)
MATT: This week’s assignment was to go out and harvest a hit list buck, and Adam came with me, and told me that was terrible. (Laughter)