Deer Hunting: Daybreak Buck Returns (Episode 420 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

DANIEL: (Whispering) Southpaw – back (Inaudible).

GRANT: (Whispering) Where at?

DANIEL: (Whispering) Coming out at (Inaudible). Right off, right off the (Inaudible).

GRANT: (Whispering) November 28th. About 8:00 a.m. in the morning and Daniel and I are on a food plot we call North Field. And before we had time to get an interview out – before there was enough light, we spotted deer about 150 yards (Inaudible) towards the end. And one of them was Southpaw, our number one hit list buck. Great to see he survived the rifle season.

GRANT: (Whispering) He was kind of with a doe and he nudged her over to brush, come back out, started working up the edge. I thought we were gonna get a shot. Just kinda come back up in here. But he kept looking that way. I think the doe may have been over there. About 70 yards out, he ventured off into the brush. So, another piece of the story. The Southpaw – he’s a solid six and a half years old.

GRANT: (Whispering) This time of year, bucks tend to get on a food pattern. So, we’re gonna be watching these areas, hunting these food plots and I believe before long, we’ll have another encounter with Southpaw.

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GRANT: Let’s head back to Arkansas to check in with Heath and Lindsey Martin.

GRANT: Several weeks ago, Heath harvested one of their top hit list bucks. And it seemed that buck was a bit of a bully; it appeared he was keeping most of the other bucks off the farm.

HEATH: (Whispering) That is a seven or eight-year-old giant.

HEATH: Tell him ole Spindle Top Jr.’s laying dead right here beside me.

HEATH: So he, he’s been the dominant deer around here this year keeping all these bucks pushed out of these does.

GRANT: Heath predicted that after tagging Spindle Top Jr. other bucks would move back into the farm. But little did he know how quick they’d return.

GRANT: I’ve seen the same thing here at The Proving Grounds. You’ve got an area that a dominant buck is using and if you tag that buck or he dies for some reason, another mature buck will move right in that habitat.

GRANT: Heath checked his trail cameras the night before firearms season and just as Heath predicted, the day he took Spindle Top Jr. – well, that very same day – a buck they call Twin Towers had showed up and they hadn’t seen that buck or had any pictures of him in four weeks.

GRANT: Based on this M.R.I. – or most recent information – and the wind direction they needed, Heath and Lindsey head to a Redneck Blind overlooking the north field where they had pictures of Twin Towers.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) We’re just about five minutes past daylight here and Heath and I are set up on the northern end of my family’s property here in Arkansas. It’s the first day of rifle season here in Arkansas, so, um, generally, in Arkansas, these are really good days for deer movement. We always make it a point to hunt this opening weekend.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) So, we’re set up over this bean field where we’ve been getting pictures of a buck, a mature buck, that we call Twin Towers. We have pictures of three different mature bucks on the property. So, if any of ‘em step out, I’m gonna try to get a shot at ‘em. But, we’re gonna sit here in the morning, see what we see.

GRANT: They were seeing lots of critters, but Twin Tower didn’t show.

GRANT: For the next couple of sets, Heath and Lindsey enjoyed Creation; see a bunch of critters, but no hit list buck.

GRANT: After not seeing much buck movement in the north field and a change of wind direction, Lindsey moves to her favorite stand.

HEATH: (Whispering) Shoot ‘em. Hang on. Right there.

GRANT: You may recognize this location because last year Heath and Lindsey took their number one hit list buck, Pincher, from the same blind.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) Big guy. (Inaudible)

GRANT: It was a very warm afternoon and they didn’t see any movement until camera light was fading.

GRANT: Finally, a group of does appeared at the back end of the plot.

GRANT: After camera light was gone, they used their binos and saw a young buck aggressively chasing one of the does. It appeared they had a receptive doe in the area.

GRANT: Knowing there’s a hot doe in the area and that they’d had pictures of Lone Star in that plot, they decided to slip back into the same blind well before daylight the next morning.

HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

LINDSEY: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: They hadn’t been in the blind long when they saw a doe feeding in the Eagle beans. Then, several minutes later, they saw a large bodied deer step right behind the doe.

HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: It’s several minutes ‘til daylight, but Heath can make out a large rack using his binoculars.

GRANT: It’s not just any buck – it’s Twin Towers.

GRANT: So, now the stage is set. They’ve got a hit list buck and a receptive doe in front of ‘em and they just need a few more minutes for it to get a little bit lighter.

GRANT: Their hearts sank as the doe bound out of the beans into the woods with Twin Towers following her. It seemed like the hunt for Twin Towers was over, at least for the morning.

GRANT: To their surprise, a little bit later, a doe walks right out in the middle of the beans – right in front of the Redneck Blind and a little bit closer.

GRANT: Is this the same doe? Will Twin Towers be following soon?

GRANT: Sure enough, Twin Towers comes right out behind the doe.

GRANT: By now, it’s getting brighter every second and it’s almost light enough to take the shot.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) It’s a good shot if you want to take it whenever you can. You’ve got an open shot. (Inaudible)

LINDSEY: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

LINDSEY: (Whispering) I’m about to take him.

HEATH: (Whispering) Okay. Go for it.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) I was in the scope, basically just counting down the seconds until I felt comfortable taking a shot on him and we had camera live. So, um, when I took him, he was almost outside of my shooting window, which meant we were gonna have to move the gun around, which is not what we wanted to do.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) But, nonetheless, he paused and he decided this little batch of beans looked really tasty to him. And I am grateful for that. And so, we – the minute we both felt comfortable, that we had light, I took a shot at him.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) I felt like he was quartering just a little bit to. Not much. So, anyway, I feel like I put him – shot him right dead center in the shoulder. It sounded like a really good shot.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) We know he ran a little bit. We think he’s – but we think we heard him fall in this bedding area that we have right here. So. If we’ve got him down, that is our second mature buck that we have harvested this year. And for our family farm, that’s a big deal. That’s the culmination of some habitat work that we’ve been doing over the past several years. So, that’s exciting.

LINDSEY: (Whispering) I’m surprised our cell phones aren’t buzzing from the house over there.

GRANT: With a massive Deer Season XP blood trail, it didn’t take long to find Twin Towers.

LINDSEY: (Quietly) Oh my gosh. He’s right here. He’s right there. Oh, my gosh. Look at this guy. I know. Look at this mass. Look at this. Oh my gosh. Wow.

LINDSEY: So, we’re not – he probably ran – I don't know. How – yeah. I mean, we’re 40 yards from the blind. He kind of made a circle right here. If it was – had been just a little more daylight, we probably would have been able to see him fall. So, man, he gave us a really strong blood trail. That’s for sure.

LINDSEY: You know, we already told you this guy came in before daylight. He was hanging out with a doe that was clearly hot. And he hung out just long enough for me to get a shot at him of daylight. So, it was an awesome hunt. He is an awesome deer. Um. Could not be more proud this morning and excited. So.

LINDSEY: He’s a big deer; that’s for sure. I can – we can hardly even get him moved around here. So.

LINDSEY: Again, could not be, could not be more excited about it.

LINDSEY: He’s been climbing; he’s been going under a barbed wire fence. Man, he is – he’s got that backbone sticking out, too. He’s lost some weight.

GRANT: Just like Heath’s buck two weeks ago, they had sheds from Twin Towers. And that’s a cool bonus. When you’ve been hunting a buck awhile – studying his habitat and even have his sheds – and finally end up putting your tag on that deer.

LINDSEY: (Inaudible)

GRANT: With Lindsey’s dad helping out, they load the Twin Tower buck and celebrate the hunt. Congratulations, Heath and Lindsey on another well-earned and tough to hunt Arkansas mountain buck.

GRANT: Here at The Proving Grounds, it’s been all hands on deck trying to help us harvest enough does to balance our deer population with the amount of quality forage we can grow.

GRANT: During Missouri’s regular firearms season, the whole team chipped away at helping us meet our goal one tag at a time.

GRANT: We still needed to fill a few tags to meet our goal so we took advantage of the late antlerless only firearm season.

GRANT: Interns Wes Mason and Tyler McKinney headed to a new food plot we just created called Tombstone.

GRANT: Where’s my last flagging over there? This looks – this just looks so cool right here. I mean, the natural boundary. Because we’ve got nothing but tracks…

GRANT: A few months ago, we shared with you flagging out in the timber, where we were going to remove some cedars, and the steps we took to create the plot we call Tombstone.

GRANT: (Inaudible) …Cedar there. Hey, hold on, hold on. Hold on. Let me look behind you.

GRANT: When it was all said and done, Tombstone ended up being the largest food plot here at The Proving Grounds. A whopping 12 acres. That’s the largest flat area – at least what we call flat – on The Proving Grounds.

GRANT: Even though it’s been wicked dry at The Proving Grounds, like the sixth driest November in 80 years of records, the forage in Tombstone is the best quality food in a large block of timber.

WES: (Whispering) It’s a hot afternoon here in Missouri. Tyler has one tag and I have two tags to fill this afternoon in Missouri’s antlerless rifle season.

WES: (Whispering) We got out here super early hoping that this large food plot will be drawing deer in this afternoon. And Tyler and I are out here in the Redneck on a scouting mission to find out where we have deer entering the plot so we can set up for an archery sit later in the season. But, the bonus is that we get to use the rifle for this scouting mission.

WES: (Whispering) I have two tags; Tyler has one tag; so we’re hoping to drop three does this evening.

GRANT: The guys got settled in the blind but they didn’t wait long until deer entered the plot.

GRANT: Two deer entered the plot and Wes waited for a good shot.

WES: (Whispering) Alright. There she is. We’re good.

TYLER: (Whispering) I’m on it.

WES: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

TYLER: (Whispering) GoPro’s rolling. It’s on.

WES: (Whispering) She going down or no?

TYLER: She’s down. She’s down. She’s down. Atta boy. Atta boy.

WES: (Whispering) Lock and load for another. Where did it hit? Did you see?

TYLER: I don't know. But, she’s down right there.

WES: (Whispering) Yeah.

GRANT: The doe went down in the plot. Nice shooting, Wes. That was a long shot.

WES: (Whispering) Whew. That’ll get the heart pumping, baby.

WES: (Whispering) Okay. So, everything’s going according to plan so far. Um. It’s 3:45. Doe number one is down. I’m not gonna lie; I was a little nervous. It was 280 yards and this is only the second deer I’ve shot with a rifle, so, it was a little nerve racking, but doe one is down. I’ve got one more to go and then Tyler’s up.

GRANT: Not long after the first doe was down, some more deer entered the plot.

GRANT: Wes’ doe was like a magnet and we’ve seen this many times this year. And the other deer went to check her out.

WES: (Whispering) (Inaudible) …my ranger and shoot. I think she’s at 270.

TYLER: (Whispering) Now, we’re good.

WES: (Whispering) You good?

TYLER: (Whispering) Hold on. The GoPros are rolling. Everything’s good. She’s slightly quartering away.

WES: (Whispering) Yup.

TYLER: (Whispering) One on the far left.

WES: (Whispering) Far left. Here comes another one from the left. That big one running. She’s big.

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah, that’s a doe.

WES: (Whispering) I’m going after her.

TYLER: (Whispering) The one on the far right?

WES:(Whispering) Far right. Now, she’s…

TYLER: (Whispering) She’s now in the middle.

WES: (Whispering) Yup.

TYLER: (Whispering) She’s got the sunlight on her.

WES: (Whispering) Yup. She’s running.

TYLER: (Whispering) She’s coming this way.

WES: (Whispering) Yup. Good. Yeah. Keep coming, baby. Oh yeah. Let me range her. Then, she’s going down. 260.

TYLER: (Whispering) The two on the left are both big does. They're about the same size of doe.

WES: (Whispering) But, I’m doing that one.

TYLER: (Whispering) Okay.

WES: (Whispering) Safety’s off.

TYLER: (Whispering) Okay.

WES: (Whispering) You good?

TYLER: (Whispering) Yup. There’s a good deer behind her.

WES: (Whispering) Okay. I’m on her on the right.

TYLER: (Whispering) I’m on it.

WES: (Whispering) On the right?

TYLER: (Whispering) Yup. On the right.

WES: (Whispering) On the right. Here we go.

TYLER: (Whispering) (Inaudible) looking towards us.

WES: (Whispering) Yup.

TYLER: (Whispering) Go.

GRANT: Wes wisely waited for this doe to separate out so he could make a clean shot.

WES: (Whispering) She’s not going anywhere. Does started piling into the field and they all went straight to that downed doe. There were five deer. We believe there were three big does and then there were two yearlings or button bucks – it’s pretty tough to see from this distance. But, we stayed on those big does and, and dropped one at 266 yards. So, I’m tagged out for Missouri rifle and Tyler’s up to bat.

GRANT: Great job, Wes. You're tagged out and time to switch gun. Let Tyler take the Winchester and you take the camera.

TYLER: (Whispering) To the horizon. Keep filming. Put your legs closer together to raise the camera up.

GRANT: Not long after the switch, Tyler spots another deer.

GRANT: This doe came out right in front of the blind.

WES: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

TYLER: (Whispering) I know. You just watch the deer.

GRANT: Tyler quietly repositioned the FieldPod to another window.

WES: (Whispering) I don't know why you're doing that.

TYLER: (Whispering) Because I could shot it with; I could shoot it with my bow right now.

WES: (Whispering) Absolutely.

TYLER: (Whispering) It’s at 47 yards.

WES: (Whispering) And they're gonna walk right to us.

TYLER: (Whispering) Ready? Ready? Wait ‘til that front leg steps forward. What in the heck? What’s it looking at?

TYLER: (Whispering) Can you go to the left one?

WES: (Whispering) Yeah.

TYLER: (Whispering) You on the left one?

WES: (Whispering) Yes.

TYLER: (Whispering) Right now?

WES: (Whispering) Yeah, it’s pretty good.

TYLER: (Whispering) Ready?

WES: (Whispering) Ready.

TYLER: (Whispering) Deer down.

WES: (Whispering) Dude, that was a complete money shot.

TYLER: (Whispering) I don’t, I don’t…

WES: (Whispering) Look at the other doe; it went right to it. We need to buy more tags.

TYLER: (Whispering) I don’t have another tag.

TYLER: We achieved our goal tonight of tagging out here in Missouri. Wes and I did. Um. So, now we’re on to the second part of our goal tonight here at Tombstone. And we’re back to scouting. So, we’re gonna see where the other deer come out so we can move some Summits in here for late archery season.

GRANT: Well done, Wes and Tyler. Three more does towards our goal of reducing the herd a bit so we can produce enough quality forage and all deer can express their potential.

GRANT: Not only are we doing some deer herd management, but we’re also working to reduce the number of predators.

GRANT: We’ve shared in the past that we trap every year here at The Proving Grounds.

GRANT: Each year we remove about 50 raccoons, possums and coyotes from The Proving Grounds. And we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of turkeys that we can chase.

GRANT: Each fall our interns get to learn several field skills including trapping.

GRANT: A lot of these skills simply aren’t taught at most of the universities these days.

GRANT: A few days ago, Daniel taught Tyler how to locate a good trap site and to set a Duke cage trap.

DANIEL: This location – just like deer hunting – we’ve got, you know, travel corridor; we’ve got a lot of roads coming together; we’ve got several food plots out in front of us, back behind us. So, a lot of edge where predators like to travel those edges looking for food. We’ve got a creek. Thermals are going to be coming down the mountain and sucking down the creek just like they do when you're deer hunting.

DANIEL: So, when we’re setting our trap locations, we want to be on the uphill side so the thermals are blowing the scent of the bait across the road and down the creek.

DANIEL: The first thing is you kind of make the bed of the trap. So, I usually take the trap and scoot it all the way back and I’ll get – I’m okay with that backing there. But, you know, I don’t want to set this trap back in the woods here. I want it right here as a visual attractant. I’m fine with it being out in the open. I’ve got a good backing. And then I’m gonna check – and I don’t want any wobble in that.

DANIEL: Because if it’s got any wobble to it, they’ll back out and, um, leave the trap unsprung. So, it’s really key that we get this trap level and stable. I want to make sure there’s no rocks sticking up through those holes.

TYLER: Okay.

DANIEL: Or sticks. Anything that’s gonna cause that pan not to drop.

DANIEL: There’s a lot of different things you can use for bait, but one of our favorites that we’ve found is buy a cheap, meaty, oily, smelly cat food and a can of mackerel.

DANIEL: Alright. So, Tyler, we’re just gonna take a handful of cat food. I’ll put some in there. I’m not putting a lot. We’re not trying to feed this raccoon for a week. We just want to get him in the trap.

DANIEL: So, we just need a little scent in there. And then I’ll take that other half of cat food and I’ll just sprinkle it right across the road. Just like that. And I’ll take some and I’ll go that way in case he’s combing across that road there.

DANIEL: And then, I’ll just go ahead and throw some back that way. I’m not doing a lot. I just want ‘em – if they're coming through – I want ‘em to hit that scent, that smell, stop and then, hopefully, get that really loud smell from the mackerel and bring ‘em right in.

DANIEL: So, I’ll do it up here, so if I drop any, it’s right there out in front. A little smell. I’ll dribble a little in there. And we’ll just set the can down. That way, it can last throughout rain, snow, whatever. That food is not wet; that scent stays in there and just keeps it covered.

GRANT: After a little instruction, it was time for Tyler to actually set the trap.

DANIEL: So, like this, this is gonna get in the way of, you know, the door shutting, so I’m breaking all this – getting clear of that door. Still – dig it a little more. Get a little deeper in there. Make sure it’s level and not tilted up and down.

DANIEL: Alright. Take a handful. We’ll go that way – right across the road. There you go.

GRANT: Tyler set several traps that day so we were all excited the next morning to run our trap line.

DANIEL: First, first raccoon. It’s a big one.

DANIEL: Well, out running the trap line this morning; checking Tyler’s work. Looks like he did a great job. We’ve got our first predator of the 2017 trapping season.

DANIEL: Tyler has enjoyed hunting season during the fall here, hunting deer. But what we’re really working for today is spring turkey season. Removing a nest predator, hoping that this spring, more poults can enter our turkey population.

DANIEL: Well, we’re gonna take care of this raccoon; Tyler’s gonna rebait and hopefully, he has his next predator soon.

GRANT: Since then, Tyler has caught several more raccoons and is well on his way to becoming an efficient trapper.

GRANT: Tyler had never set traps before. And we like to start new trappers with the Duke cage trap. You're not gonna mash your fingers. It’s super easy to set and has a high rate of success.

DANIEL: Beautiful pelt, Tyler. Tail’s kinda blondish a little bit; a little lighter in color.

DANIEL: Where we at?

TYLER: 14.

DANIEL: 14?

TYLER: Yeah.

DANIEL: Good start to the year.

GRANT: We’ll be sharing additional tips and techniques with Tyler and we’ll share those with you also during the upcoming weeks.

GRANT: It’s always fun to introduce other folks to new things out in Creation. But most importantly, we want to take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to us.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.