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GRANT: Before youth season opened, we wanted to take Rae and her Winchester .243 out and make sure both were tuned up for deer season.
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) for you?
GRANT: We always set up our Caldwell shooting bench and Lead Sled when we’re sighting in our rifles. There’s no need to go through a bunch of recoil. We want to make sure the gun is perfectly zeroed in and if there’s any mistakes, it’s due to the hunter. Missouri’s youth season opens in about a week and a half. Pleasant afternoon – perfect time for Rae to get a couple practice rounds in and make sure the Winchester is sighted in.
GRANT: You might recall during our Field Day we shot a bunch of deer season XP. Had a silhouette set up over 200 yards. Everyone loved it. But, we really loved the performance in the ballistic gel. That’s what we’re sighting in Rae’s rifle with today.
GRANT: We have a little history with Deer Season XP, both Raleigh and Rae tagged nice bucks using this ammo last year. No need to change this year.
RAE: Uhh. And right there. Just a little bit up. And go down. Right there.
GRANT: Right there?
GRANT: Whenever you're ready, baby.
GRANT: Follow through.
GRANT: I think that’s awesome. Let’s shoot one more, see how we’re doing.
GRANT: Take your time. When you're ready to, take the safety off.
GRANT: Good follow through.
GRANT: We’re gonna – we’re, we’re three inches high right now. We’re just gonna drop an inch. And I’m gonna go down. Okay.
GRANT: Where’d it go?
RAE: Yeah. Right there.
GRANT: That was perfect.
GRANT: Okay. We just want to shoot one more. That’s the right height you want. And you're within an inch of center.
GRANT: Right there?
GRANT: Okay. Safety off when you're ready. Follow through. Take your time.
GRANT: Looks good to me. We’re gonna leave this open for safety.
GRANT: It’s important for all hunters – no matter of their level of experience, to make sure to go to the range and do some practice before deer season. Getting Rae used to the safety and the trigger pull – even though she used the same gun last year – will make youth season much more enjoyable and more likely put venison in the Woods’ freezer.
GRANT: After Rae fired a few rounds of the Deer Season XP, we had her gun sighted in perfectly at two inches high at 100 yards. And both Rae and the gun were ready for deer season.
GRANT: For opening morning of youth season, the wind was forecast to be out of the southeast at eight miles an hour. Those are perfect conditions to hunt a plot we call Boom North. This plot is basically an elevator ridge that runs down to a much larger food plot in the bottom. And we’ve got a lot of experience during the pre-rut and rut of bucks traveling this ridge – going from low to high elevation.
GRANT: We did change one thing about this set up from last year. We had a Redneck blind on a trailer at this location last year. You may remember that Raleigh lost, or could barely see, the vitals of the buck because of the slope of the land. This year we exchanged and put a Redneck blind on a ten foot platform so we could see over the hump and we’d always have the deer in view.
GRANT: Saturday morning, Rae, Adam and Matt headed to the new Redneck blind. And the height certainly solved the slope issue, but there’s nothing they could do about the heavy fog.
RAE: (Whispering) It’s October 31st and the opening day of youth season here in Missouri. Super excited to go out and see if I can get one. We came up this morning and it was really foggy. And so, hopefully, it will go east. That way we can see a bit more.
GRANT: Even though the fog was thick, they caught movement just to the left of the blind.
GRANT: Although turkeys aren’t in season, it certainly helps build excitement for the spring.
GRANT: Not long after the turkeys left, a deer entered the plot.
GRANT: The fog was so thick they could barely see this doe.
GRANT: As the morning progressed, the fog didn’t lift and they were losing hope they’d be able to see a deer. As they were discussing packing up and going in for lunch, Matt spotted movement at the edge of the fog.
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Yeah, that’s a nice buck.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay. I can take him out.
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Matt noticed it was a good buck and Rae knew it was time to prepare for a shot.
MATT: (Whispering) He’s moving. That’s a good buck.
RAE: (Whispering) I can't find him.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s right on the back end. Move your, move to the right some just a little bit. He’s walking to the right.
GRANT: The buck is moving fast so both Rae and Adam had to hustle to be ready to get the shot.
ADAM: (Whispering) Rae, he’s got (inaudible).
RAE: (Whispering) Found him. I found him.
ADAM: (Whispering) Now, can you open it and power it up for you a little bit more.
RAE: (Whispering) Yeah. Is that a nice one?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah. It’s a lot better…
RAE: (Whispering) Okay.
ADAM: …then the other one. He’s gonna come out, too.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay. I’ll wait ‘til he gets a little bit closer.
ADAM: (Whispering) Are you ready, Rae?
RAE: (Whispering) I don't know if I can get a safe shot.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s good.
MATT: (Whispering) I got it right there.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s stopping for you.
RAE: (Whispering) Don’t, don’t do it yet.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay.
RAE: (Whispering) I’m just gonna take it off safety, first.
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah, he’s coming right towards us.
RAE: (Whispering) I need to calm down a little bit.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay, just take a couple deep breaths. You're good, you're good, Rae. You got a good shot. You got plenty of time.
RAE: (Whispering) All right. Okay. I’m gonna – okay. I’m gonna wait ‘til he stops.
ADAM: (Whispering) You want me to stop him for you?
RAE: (Whispering) No.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay. He may just keep walking, though.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay. Stop him.
ADAM: (Whispering) Ready when you are. (Shot) You got him. You got him.
RAE: (Whispering) Yeah.
MATT: (Whispering) Good shooting, Rae.
ADAM: (Whispering) Awesome, job, girl.
RAE: (Whispering) Did I get him good?
MATT: (Whispering) You hit him really well. (Inaudible) He dropped his front shoulder. He – I think he’s, I think he’s gonna be just out, out of the field.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay.
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah. Awesome. Good job.
ADAM: (Whispering) You know, I was sitting here thinking. I was, like, “Okay. She’s gonna hang on. He’s gonna hit him. Audios, Go Pros are running.” And then right when I knew the safety was off, she was getting ready to pull the trigger and I was, like, “Plug your ears! Plug your ears!” I was, like, “I can't get ‘em out, I can’t get ‘em out!” And it was like, Boom! I was, like, “How did that happen?”
GRANT: It appeared Rae made a great shot and the celebration began.
RAE: Hey, dad. I got one.
GRANT: You got a deer?
RAE: Yeah. It’s bigger than the last one, too.
GRANT: Well, tell me about it.
RAE: Um, we were just about leave, like, really thinking about it. And then Matt spotted it and so it came and walked on out and I got it.
GRANT: Rae, Adam and Matt couldn’t wait to get out of the blind and go check out the buck.
MATT: Hey, Rae.
MATT: (Inaudible) in front of you.
RAE: I do see it. I don’t …
MATT: Let’s go down there.
MATT: Go ahead.
RAE: This is exciting. Oh yes. Oh, yes, indeed. And that’s uno, dos, tres, cuatro. There’s a little one right there. I don't know if that counts. Does that count?
MATT: Well, it’s got to be an inch. That one’s really, really close.
RAE: Dang it.
MATT: Let’s see what you got here.
RAE: Ooo. He’s, he’s drooling. Quite immensely. Right there. Oh yes.
MATT: What do you think of him?
RAE: Umm-hmm. Better than last year.
MATT: Getting bigger and bigger.
MATT: You're very pleased with him. You said he was bigger than last year?
RAE: Bigger than last year.
MATT: Getting bigger and bigger each year.
RAE: Just what I want to do.
MATT: I tell you what – if he’d come out even further down the field, I don't know if we would have been able to see him.
MATT: It was so foggy…
MATT: …right there at that line.
RAE: Hmm. Hmm.
MATT: What we could see – I saw a tail flick and…
MATT: …after that, you kind of took over and…
RAE: Hmm. Hmm.
MATT: …you made a great shot on him.
RAE: Yeah. And he’s got kind of some of that dirt right there. I guess…
MATT: There’s probably some from some rubbing and…
MATT: …maybe coming down the hill.
RAE: Yup. Hmm. Hmm.
MATT: That steep little…
GRANT: That’s a great buck, Rae. I’m proud of you for practicing, knowing when to hold off and knowing when to take the shot.
MATT: Got it.
ADAM: Get it.
ADAM: Got it.
ADAM: She was shooting the Deer Season XP ammo – 95 grain bullet. You could see she hit it right here. This leg’s broken, but we want to get inside there and see just how much damage was done.
ADAM: Yeah. I see, I see the bullet now. I see the – it, it went all the way through, but – here is the entry side of the lungs. Clots – just trauma everywhere. Here’s the exit. The bullet went right through it.
ADAM: Whew. The reason why there’s such a big difference between the left lung and the right lung is that Deer Season XP ammo is designed to be for rapid expansion and you can see it did its job and we had a short blood trail.
GRANT: Late October is the time of year we ease on in to our best sets. Adam and Matt had such a place in mind during late October because almost exactly four years ago, they had a great hunt in this location.
MATT: Look at that. That’s a big ole brute there. Big ole chest. Thank you, Grant.
GRANT: What makes this stand great is it’s located in a large, contiguous block of timber. Not many pinch points in there. But at this exact location, there’s a deep ravine going down the mountain and almost all the deer go around the top of that ravine. With the west wind and when it’s cool air and the thermals are sinking, the hunter can go up the mountain and get in the stand without alerting the deer.
ADAM: (Whispering) It’s the coldest morning we’ve had yet of the fall. It’s supposed to get down about 37. So we’re in one of our better spots. A lot of deer in the area. A lot of acorns still on the ground. So, we’re hoping between that combination and we’re hunting a bottleneck – something will come by before too long.
GRANT: Just when light began to peek over the mountains, Adam and Matt heard footsteps.
MATT: (Whispering) It’s a squirrel.
ADAM: (Whispering) No, it’s a deer. It’s a deer.
ADAM: (Whispering) Yup. A spiker.
GRANT: A young buck approached their setup and took a trail right in front of their stand. As he passed, Adam decided he’d like to test a grunt call one more time.
GRANT: As he hit the call, the buck turned around and ended up at the base of their stand.
GRANT: After a short break in the action, more deer came in view. And this group of deer was moving rapidly.
ADAM: (Whispering) What the heck, man? What’s going on here, boss?
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
ADAM: (Whispering) That’s what I’m wondering.
ADAM: (Whispering) Any idea what’s going on?
MATT: (Whispering) Good?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yes.
GRANT: After digesting his misses, Adam regains his composure and delivers a strike.
ADAM: (Whispering) That’s why you shoot your bow all the time. Because we shot two nights ago and I was stacking ‘em.
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah.
ADAM: (Whispering) I’ve got two arrows left. Do ya think? I think, I think she’ll go down. I’m gonna give her plenty of time. Either way, we finally got an arrow in one.
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
ADAM: Oh my gosh.
GRANT: From the same direction, another group of deer appear. They're coming down the same trail and working their way right toward the set.
ADAM: (Whispering) I’ll shoot this back one.
ADAM: (Whispering) I guess there’s a parade that we didn’t know about this morning. It has been a show, I guess you could say, would be the best way to put it. We’ve had a just – a bunch of deer coming right through here. I don’t even know – I don’t even know what we’re up to now. But, early on, we had bunch of young bucks. I think five or six yearling bucks. And then in the last hour, it’s been does and fawns.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible) The shot looked a little back, but I’m happy with that arrow. You gotta see this, Matt.
ADAM: (Whispering) Wow.
ADAM: That looks like it was rubbed on this morning. He probably came up here and saw her and got all frustrated. Yeah. Liver. Classic liver shot right there. I knew it was a touch back.
GRANT: The blood trail to the second doe was even shorter as she only traveled about 70 yards.
ADAM: We’ve got our management goals of killing a lot of does here at The Proving Grounds, so we’re not gonna pass up any chances. Was able to connect on two does – actually missed a couple of times before that, but, that’s beside the point. We were able to get two does out of here. Hopefully, we’ll back in the tree soon – maybe get a buck.
ADAM: Of course, this is the second doe I shot. Hit her a little forward, but it was a heart shot. Here’s its heart and you can see the broadhead sliced just the very top of it. No wonder she only ran about 70 yards and blood was pumping everywhere. It would have probably bled a little more if I would have got a complete pass through. But since I lodged that off side shoulder, she wasn’t bleeding out both sides. Since we heard her crash, we knew she wasn’t far. Pretty much halfway through the heart all the way across.
ADAM: Back at the house, one of the first things I wanted to do was shoot my bow and just see if it’s still lined up. Of course, I’m not making excuses. But I just wanted to see how much it was off or if it was even off at all.
ADAM: The first couple of shots, I noticed that it was, it was definitely noticeably shooting left. And I had just shot my bow two days ago and it was all lined up perfect. Just the travel on the road, the bow laying in the back seat – we thought it was cushioned. But at some point during the trips, it was getting bumped off. That’s why it’s always important to shoot your bow – even throughout the season – because you never know when your sight may get bumped and therefore, you may start missing some deer.
GRANT: It’s important for all of us to practice throughout the season. I like to practice in the same situation as I’d be hunting. This time of year, that usually means from an elevated position, wearing a heavier jacket. If you practice in a t-shirt – like at an indoor range and go outside with a heavier jacket – that can totally change your form.
GRANT: Two more changes that can really impact where an arrow strikes the target down range is gloves and a larger hat.
GRANT: Gloves can change the fit of your release and a large warm hat can certainly change your anchor point. This isn't like buying clothes and going into a fitting room – put all your gear on and take some shots and make sure you're still dialed in.
GRANT: You’ve probably noticed we’re filming this in the rain. I’m standing out in the rain while Adam and Matt are standing under an umbrella, saying they're protecting the camera. But the reason we’re doing it in the rain is because we’re loading the trucks and heading to Kansas. We can't wait to share the results of that hunt with you.
GRANT: Whether you're staying home or going out of state to hunt this week, I hope you have a chance to enjoy Creation, and most importantly, slow down each day, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.com.