This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
ADAM: We put the final touches on one of our biggest habitat management projects this summer. It’s gonna change the way we hunt one of the biggest food plots here at The Proving Grounds. Needless to say, we can’t wait for season to begin.
ADAM: This summer the GrowingDeer crew has been hard at work renovating the Crab Apple food plot.
ADAM: There were several islands of thick brush throughout this plot. They were left there when the food plot was created because they contain several beneficial species to wildlife.
ADAM: Over time these islands grew thick with unwanted species for the wildlife. They also became great ambush points for coyotes. They were also housing those pesky groundhogs. So, once we envisioned the entire food plot without the islands, it was time for them to go.
ADAM: Well, it’s gonna be a fun day here at The Proving Grounds. If you followed us throughout the summer, you know one of our biggest projects is taking care of these little islands that are growing up in the middle of one of our food plots. Today it’s time to light ‘em up.
ADAM: Well, it’s hot out here. We’ve got a couple of piles down and we can already see the visibility increasing. It won’t be long. We’ll be moving into the Redneck blind.
ADAM: Our hard work opened up the view and drastically changed the huntability of this plot.
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GRANT: You’ve probably know as a hunter how many times you wished you had been one tree over or there’s something slightly in the way when you get to your stand. We don’t want that to happen when we set up a Redneck blind, climb up in it and wish we had been over five or ten feet because of an elevation change or tree in the way. The best way I’ve found to scout for where to place a large tower blind is use a stepladder and get the same point of view you would have out of the blind.
GRANT: I simply get a stepladder about the same height as the blind, climb up, look around with my rangefinder / binoculars, move it several times – even in areas I don't think might be good. And that allows me to find the ideal view of where to position the blind.
GRANT: Most often, I want the blind to be on the east side of wherever I think the deer are coming from. By being on the east, it allows me more days to hunt. The wind is generally gonna be out of the south, west or north unless you're on the very back side of a front where the wind might whip around and come out of the east.
GRANT: I can see the clover. I can – from right here. Because I’m, I am two feet below the top of ten feet. The floor of the blind is 15 feet.
GRANT: I really hate to make you do this, but I think you need to jog up there. Just think you're chasing down an elk. (Laughter) No, I got that part. I need you all the way in the corner.
GRANT: I’m down to shoulder level right there. That’s the ditch. All right. He went through the ditch. I can see his waist. Oh. I lost him. I can see his head.
GRANT: We’ve moved the ladder several times and I’m glad we did. The last move was just a couple of yards but it was a significant improvement from the other views. The Redneck blind will go right here.
GRANT: The thermals will come off the mountain – fairly early ‘cause that’s the north side – in the afternoon to help us push their scent that way. And in the morning, of course, we’ll be in the shade somewhat from this mountain. So, we’re, we’re kind of like that blind down there. The thermals help us.
GRANT: Sometimes you think you're seeing everything, but because of the roll of the land or change in elevation, you're really missing something. There’s a ditch between here and the far side of the field and in the other positions I would have totally missed a deer. But by moving the ladder over here, I could have took the shot at any time.
ADAM: Once the location is set, the work begins.
GRANT: So, we’re gonna come out about right here. We’re gonna…
ADAM: Right off this…
GRANT: Clay, you take charge of this project.
GRANT: And we’re gonna go right through there. You can see my truck – see a truck anyway. And we – this needs to be – think about this, Clay. You're coming in before daylight. I’m an old man. I don’t want to be tripping over pungy sticks. It needs to be a concrete pass through there.
CLAY: Straight through.
GRANT: You know. Think about it. You're carrying a camera over your shoulders; you don’t want to be turning around and ripping the mic off. Make us a clear path right through here so we’re ninjas coming into this blind.
ADAM: Everyone pitched in and started to assemble the blind. In no time, we had the blind up and towering over the plots.
MATT: Your head is still at least a foot and a half below the…
GRANT: Yeah, so we’re probably a six foot difference…
GRANT: …from where our eyes would be.
MATT: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.
ADAM: Wow. What a view. We can now cover the entire field with the Winchester and this portion of the field with a bow. The elevation change and the odd shape of the food plot were no match for a 15-footer.
ADAM: We’ll be able hunt this blind on a couple of different winds. We’ll approach from the north, walk up the trail and, due to the elevation change, we’ll be able to slip up into the blind without being detected.
ADAM: We hope this is a recipe for success for many years to come.
ADAM: Another way to prepare for the upcoming season is to take our archery practice to the next level.
ADAM: We just couldn’t take it any longer. We had to get our feet in the Summit stands. We’ve been shooting our bows all summer. We decided to take our practice today 20 foot higher. We practice blind bale almost every time we shoot. We’ve shot dots; we’ve shot 3D. Now it’s time to get even more realistic. We’ve got the bionic buck about 15 yards away. We’re gonna start practicing from a stand.
ADAM: Now that I’m shooting from an elevated position, it’s important to remember one key step for more accurate shots. When I’m shooting from the ground, I’m parallel with the ground with my form. Now that I’m in an elevated position, it’s gonna change. But instead of dropping my arm to the target, I need to use my hips as a fulcrum, bending at the waist, but keeping my arms and everything above my hips on the same plane. Bending down to the target to take the shot.
ADAM: To remain consistent anchor points, release, form and grip must remain the same. A common mistake is to drop the arm that’s holding the bow to compensate for shooting at a downward angle. To remain consistent, your hips need to serve as a fulcrum – bending over at your hips to find the target.
ADAM: This movement isolates the top half of your body – allowing you to keep the same form you’ve been practicing all summer long.
ADAM: Now this is a shot not a lot of us practice, but we probably should because it’s one of the most difficult shots out there. We moved the bionic bucks to 2.8 yards. It’s almost straight below us. But how often does a deer walk straight to our stand? So, it’s one that we need to practice.
ADAM: This is one of the things that I learned as a young bow hunter. I heard a guy tell me, “You shoot with your 40 yard pin.” But it’s 2.8 yards. I actually just use my 20 yard pin – position where I normally would. There’s not that much of a difference. We’re gonna go ahead and get used to shooting at a deer directly below the stand.
ADAM: This is one of those shots you really need to focus on where the arrow is going in and where it’s coming out. Instead of putting it on the side where you normally would, you almost need to tuck it right close to the spine. That way, you can double lung ‘em.
ADAM: It’s getting dark out here but this is actually the time of the day I like to practice during the late summer. The heat index today was 108. It’s hot in the middle of the day so we shoot in the last few minutes of daylight. Plus, it starts training our eyes for those shots late in the evening during booner light.
ADAM: Now that we’re on the ground, we’re looking at the arrows. This is my first and third shot. This is exactly where I want to be. We need to think about these shots and these angles when we’re shooting at a deer directly below the stand. These two would clip one lung and hit the bottom of the other – so a double lung, short track job.
ADAM: This other arrow is a little bit lower than I’m comfortable with. Probably one lung. We’re gonna have to give it some time, but it’s probably still gonna kill the deer.
ADAM: Practicing these shots before season can help ensure that when the shot is presented to you, you know exactly where to put the pins.
ADAM: If you want to learn more about hunting and habitat management, come to Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic. Grant, Matt and myself will be there giving seminars and question and answer segments during this three week event. Grant will be in Springfield and Memphis. Matt will be in Tampa and Baltimore. And I’ll be traveling to Denver and Nashville. If you're in the area or live close by, come say hello. We’d love to meet ya and talk deer hunting. This is a great chance to learn more about deer hunting, score some great deals or even spend a little family time at Bass Pro shops.
ADAM: If you enjoy our weekly show, be sure and check out the GrowingDeer page throughout the week. We’re constantly posting new Reconyx videos, updates from the field or the weekly blog. There’s a lot of great information here. You can check it out at the clips tab or at the blog tab at GrowingDeer.com.
ADAM: I hope you get a chance to get out this week, maybe set up a new deer blind or scout for some velvet antlers. Just remember to do it all for love of the land and the glory to God. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.
ADAM: …wildlife. They’ve also become great ambush points for predators and those pesky round – round hogs.
MATT: Round hogs?
ADAM: Those round hogs!
ADAM: Wow. What a view. (Inaudible) (Laughter)