This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Some of the most memorable events often occur when they're least expected. This played out for Matt and I recently after we climbed into a Redneck blind overlooking the Crabapple food plot.
GRANT: (Whispering) Matt and I are in a Redneck blind in Crabapple Field. This is the same spot where Adam tagged a doe a couple weeks ago. We’ve got a strong southeast wind and deer have really been using the Eagle Seed Broadside. So, I suspect we’re gonna see some deer tonight; hopefully get some deer in range.
GRANT: That afternoon was unseasonably warm and we were hoping to fill a doe tag. The size of our dreams quickly changed as I recognized the antlers coming out the far side of the field.
GRANT: (Whispering) Look, really good deer coming out up there. That’s a good deer. Hey, that’s Handy. That’s Handy.
MATT: (Whispering) Yeah. Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) That’s Handy. That’s definitely Handy.
MATT: (Whispering) That’s a mature buck.
GRANT: (Whispering) That’s what a mature buck, as soon as I looked up, I knew that was a mature buck before I could even see him.
MATT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) …and I said, “Oh, my gosh.”
GRANT: (Whispering) Before I even saw him, I saw that chest and said, “Man, that’s a good deer.”
GRANT: (Whispering) 132. Handy’s in the house, folks. Probably 400 yards from where he found the shed. First time I’ve seen Handy in person. Unless I saw him as a button buck or something.
GRANT: To our surprise, as the afternoon progressed, a few other bucks entered the plot, including another hit lister we call Head Turner.
GRANT: (Whispering) We’re losing light quickly, but it’s been an incredible afternoon. We got Handy – our number one hit list buck – about 115 yards that way. One four year-old we call Head Turner. A couple good three year-olds down here. Think we’ve seen eight or ten does and fawns. So, incredible afternoon.
GRANT: (Whispering) Hopefully, something will close the distance soon. But if not, we’re gonna have Adam come, clear the field with the Yamaha so we’re not alerting deer to any danger associated with the stand.
GRANT: Even though neither buck came within range, we put together another piece of the Handy puzzle. And I believe we’re putting enough pieces together that we’ll be able to make a great picture soon.
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GLEN: That’s a good – that’ll be good and tender.
GRANT: Umm-hmm. That’s a good one, Pop.
GLEN: I like good and tender meat.
GRANT: As many of you know, my father was diagnosed with a form of serious cancer about a year ago. There were more than 40 masses of cancer found in his chest and abdomen.
GRANT: After many months of prayer and several bouts of chemotherapy, a recent CT scan didn’t find any sign of the cancer in my dad. My dad is cancer free. What a huge blessing. And I want to take time to personally thank all of the GrowingDeer viewers that prayed intentionally for my dad.
GRANT: Throughout that entire tough season in my dad’s life, I maintained faith that he would get healed and we would hunt again.
GRANT: It seemed fitting that on my dad’s 86th birthday, he felt able to join me on a hunt. Dad, Matt and I selected a Redneck bale blind on the edge of a food plot we call Gobbler Knob. A Reconyx camera we were using to monitor that food plot showed a pretty good pattern of deer and turkey using that plot during the afternoons.
GLEN: (Quietly) 86 years old. I love to hunt. My boy’s good enough to let me come down here and hunt with him. I really enjoy it. I love to hunt, fish. I look forward to every year. (Inaudible) I’m gonna try. Thank you for everything, son.
GRANT: (Quietly) And today is my dad’s birthday. He’s 86 today and the first time he’s really felt good about going hunting after his chemotherapy treatment. Doctor says he’s cancer free, so that’s a huge blessing. Want to thank all the GrowingDeer family for praying for my dad ‘cause here we sit at 86 years old in a blind, getting ready to get some venison and take it home.
GRANT: Of course, dad had a green light to tag anything he wanted. He had an archery deer and turkey tags in his pocket, but our main mission was to enjoy the hunt.
GRANT: Not long into the hunt, a flock of longbeards made their way down the road and entered the plot. It appeared these turkeys were gonna drift into range as they continued feeding through the plot. And dad was rock solid on the Caldwell FieldPod. If he had to hold the crossbow up all that time, I doubt anyone could make the shot. But the FieldPod was saving the day.
GRANT: Before the turkeys got in range, Matt spotted movement out the left window.
GRANT: (Whispering) That’s a six-pointer. You can certainly shoot it if you want, dad.
GRANT: (Whispering) It’s okay…
GRANT: Antlers appeared on the edge of the plot and now dad had to make a decision. Which tag was he going to try and fill?
GRANT: This buck makes his way into the plot and instantly starts feeding. But he’s out of range.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: As the buck continues feeding towards the center of the plot, I know dad’s crossbow is dialed in at 40 yards and I’m confident he can make the shot.
GRANT: After watching this buck long enough and knowing dad’s not been able to hunt for a long time, I knew his trigger finger was itching for an opportunity.
GLEN: (Whispering) 40 (Inaudible).
GRANT: Dad settled the third reticle of the Nikon crossbow scope on the buck’s vitals and let the Bloodsport fly. (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: You got him. You got him, you got him.
GRANT: Even though the buck reacted to the noise of the crossbow, I was confident in the shot placement and knew there would be a buck at the end of the trail.
GRANT: (Whispering) You made a good shot. You made a good shot.
GLEN: (Quietly) Thank you, son.
GRANT: (Quietly) You did great; that’s a great shot. That’s your first deer with a crossbow. How’d you like that?
GLEN: (Quietly) That’s – man, that’s like shooting a rifle.
GRANT: (Quietly) Bunch of big gobblers.
GLEN: (Quietly) Ah huh. I was tempted to shoot this big’un. He had a ten inch beard right there.
GRANT: (Quietly) Well, you’ve got a shotgun turkey tag, too. You can come back here with your shotgun.
GLEN: (Quietly) Oh yeah? If you can get your mother to let me come.
GRANT: (Quietly) You know she’ll let you come.
GRANT: Matt was also confident the buck didn’t make it far out of the plot. So we set back in the blind; enjoyed talking about the hunt and just reliving the moment before we slid out of the blind and took up the trail.
GLEN: (Quietly) That’s what carried me through. All them prayers and all them watching over me and everything. I knew I was meant to hunt again. I’m lucky to have a good wife that will stay with me on my hunting. Has for 67 years and it’s – that’s all a man can ask for. She wants me to try to hunt and that’s what I needed.
GRANT: (Quietly) Umm-hmm. All right. Matt and I are gonna get out of the blind and go find your buck.
GLEN: (Quietly) All right. You're ready to go look for it?
GRANT: (Quietly) Yeah. We’ll leave you here. Pretty rocky, pretty tough walking out there. And we’ll go find your buck and drag him back for you to see him. Okay?
GLEN: (Quietly) Alright.
GRANT: I don't know if you can get the full detail, but that’s like two inches or more. I’m feeling the shoulder and that baby is – that baby’s shattered.
GRANT: Oh, yeah. That’s the end of the Havoc right there, folks. Drilled through at 44 yards. Of course, blood all over here. Let’s see. But that arrow is stuck in the off shoulder. I mean, like, it’s not coming out easy. And I don’t want to unscrew the broadhead ‘cause I don’t want to get cut cleaning it.
GRANT: It’s not the buck. Aww that was cool watching the hunt. It’s that he fought through it; never gave up on those tough days. I remember one night in ICU. I didn’t, I didn’t think he’d ever come home – let alone hunt again. That was a really tough 48 hours.
GRANT: Alright. Let’s get out of here while we’ve got light.
GRANT: Wow. What another great story for the Havoc. This arrow traveled through most of the body cavity and penetrated all the way through the off shoulder.
GRANT: See this right here?
GRANT: That’s where your broadhead was sticking out the shoulder on the far side.
GLEN: You're kidding. Well, if he didn’t make it but 50 yards, I’ve seen a lot of people, uh, deer, run with a bullet in ‘em that far.
GRANT: Oh yeah. Farther than that.
GRANT: A lot of folks talk about hunter recruitment. Here’s a great example of hunter recruitment. I’m 55 and when I was six years old, my dad took me on my first deer hunt. We’ve hunted together ever since. Now, it’s time for me to take dad hunting. Who can you help hunt this year? Who can you help enjoy Creation?
GRANT: This is more than a birthday hunt with my dad. It’s a celebration of life. We share this hunt as a form of encouragement to others that may be facing a serious illness. Here’s a testimony of a man with strong faith, the prayers of his family and many friends and a strong will to survive – beating cancer.
GRANT: I want to personally thank all the GrowingDeer viewers that have reached out to us and said they're thinking about or praying for my dad. You’ve truly blessed our family.
GRANT: It’s gonna be good for you to shoot another deer with.
GRANT: Just a few days after dad was on the board, Matt was up to bat.
MATT: One evening, Daniel and I selected a new set of Summit stands hung on the east side of Tracy’s field.
MATT: (Whispering) Well, it’s October 20th. Daniel and I are in the tree tonight. Had a cold front move through yesterday. Temperatures have dropped about ten/twelve degrees since yesterday so it’s a great time for deer movement. We’re excited.
MATT: (Whispering) We’re overlooking Tracy’s Field plot. We’re in the Eagle Seed Broadside mix. Deer are really hammering the radishes. So, I’m hopeful they’ll come out tonight and feed.
MATT: Well, just like clockwork, about an hour before dark, the first deer entered the plot. This doe was head down and feeding heavily on the Broadside as she quickly made her way across the plot. (Whispering) (Inaudible)
MATT: (Whispering) You still good?
DANIEL: (Whispering) Yeah.
MATT: Due to the angle of the camera, Daniel was telling me I needed to take the shot. I ranged this doe at 46 yards and read her body language. I didn’t anticipate her to drop much, but I drew back the Prime and settled in.
MATT: The shot was true; it looked like the Havoc did its job and punched through both shoulders even at that distance.
MATT: (Whispering) I think that’s one for the freezer.
MATT: Although no other does came into range after this, we did notice a few young bucks hanging around a persimmon tree looking for the fresh fruit.
MATT: (Whispering) Doe.
MATT: Near the end of the hunt, we enjoyed the sound of clashing antlers and got to watch a great sparring match.
MATT: Well, we’re right where the doe entered the woods. We’ve already got some blood. We’re gonna take the trail; hopefully she won't be far.
MATT: Right there.
MATT: There. Come right through here.
MATT: I smell it. I can smell it here, here, here. Beautiful. Touch. Put through the shoulder. Interesting to see what the opposite side looks like here. Ready? Gosh, he’s a big one. Can you see that?
MATT: That is a Havoc story for you right there. Worked out perfect. One more for the freezer. Gets the count up to seven, eight – something like that for The Proving Grounds this year. We’ve got a lot more to go. As you can tell, there’s a lot of deer here. So, uh, let’s get her back to the shop, clean her up. That’s another one for the freezer.
MATT: The Havoc, no doubt, proved deadly on this one. (Inaudible)
GRANT: With the weatherman calling for lows in the 30s, Adam and I put on another layer and we’re ready to go to the stand.
GRANT: We had noticed heavy browse in a plot we call Big Cave. And based on the amount of feeding pressure in that area and that the night had been the coldest so far this season, we were excited to see what came and fed during the morning.
GRANT: We were still unpacking our gear when we noticed a first doe in the plot.
GRANT: We watched deer in the plot throughout the morning and even heard a few grunts off in the timber.
GRANT: These deer eventually worked their way out of the field and never came within range.
GRANT: About mid-morning, we had a surprise. Two deer approached from our downwind side and were feeding on the persimmon trees about 20 yards away.
GRANT: I didn’t waste any time and prepared to launch a Bloodsport.
GRANT: (Whispering) Thank you, Lord.
GRANT: (Whispering) About 8:30. Some persimmons right over here and not many acorns this year, so deer are really gonna feed on persimmons hard. Had a mature doe come in. Shot looked a little bit low and kind of funky, so we’re not exactly sure what happened, but we heard her run this way. We’re gonna hunt another hour or so then take up the trail.
GRANT: Well, we got down out of the tree and see scuff marks where she turned and I could see blood right here. So, we’re gonna take up the trail, see where she goes. Of course, she ran right through the thickest stuff. Adam and I could hear. It sounded like she made it maybe to the edge of the ridge. So, we’ll find out.
GRANT: A lot of blood here. I mean, just a lot of blood. No arrow.
GRANT: I did not make the perfect shot. As much as I hate to admit that. But I want to tell you – that’s a doggone bucket full of blood right there.
GRANT: This hunt is a perfect reminder of the attractiveness of fruit, and in this case – persimmons, to deer at certain times of year. Given that deer are obviously attracted to fruit, it’s easy to see the advantages of strategically planting fruit trees throughout your hunting area. Even though these were wild growing persimmon trees, it’s obvious why we’re such a fan of creating tree plots.
GRANT: Big ole nanny. Oh my gosh – yeah. Right through the heart. Look at that.
GRANT: There was another surprise at the end of this trail. Holy mackerel. Look how tough that arrow is. You see that? Look at that? Anything would – look at that.
GRANT: I knew, I knew that was gonna slap out there. Woo hoo. Baby, that, that was a knuckle buster right there. Man, that is tough. I mean, can you believe that?
GRANT: I rolled the doe over and that arrow was bent around it – like conforming to the body. I thought, “My gosh. Did that broadhead cut a crease?” And I realized it was the arrow and it didn’t even break the arrow.
GRANT: We didn’t know it or I would have captured that better. But she had fallen over and the arrow was literally bent around her. I mean, bent around her. You probably saw it slap my hand when it come out.
GRANT: And the arrow was great. I broke the nock on a rock, but the arrow was great. And I actually number all my arrows when I first get ‘em, you know, and everything. So, uh, Adam has an arrow this year he’s already killed three does with. We kinda have a little internal contest. Who can kill the most deer with the same arrow?
GRANT: I’m gonna clean this up, put a new nock in it, put it in the quiver, have it out this afternoon.
GRANT: Like my fifth grade teacher rapping you on the knuckles if you didn’t say, “Yes, ma’am.” (Laughter)
GRANT: Pro Staffer Aaron Kicklighter has been preparing for deer season all summer long. And recently, he headed into a stand hoping to reap the rewards.
GRANT: He was overlooking a field where he had planted Eagle Seed soybeans earlier this summer and more recently planted Eagle’s Broadside blend in front of his stand. Aaron was in pursuit of a buck he called Tips. But after reviewing his trail camera images from that field the night before, he realized a new 10-pointer had also moved into the area.
GRANT: There was a bedding area to his left and a chunk of big timber with acorns to his right. A perfect transition zone.
GRANT: The morning Aaron hunted, the temperatures were in the 40s and he was confident Tips or the new 10-pointer would be passing through the area.
GRANT: Overlooking this transition zone, it didn’t take him long to spot the first deer.
GRANT: It’s the new 10-pointer. And the does he’s following are headed right for Aaron’s stand.
GRANT: In addition to multi-tasking everything else, Aaron has the presence of mind to milk the footage and wait for this buck to present the perfect shot.
AARON: (Whispering) Oh, come on, come on. Yes! Yes! Oh, just smoked a big ten.
GRANT: Wow. That’s impressive, Aaron. Even under the pressure of seeing a good buck, he had everything under control to keep the buck in frame and then make a great shot. Aaron’s brother joins him and it’s time to take up the trail.
AARON: It’s been about an hour since I shot that deer. I went back and my brother’s gonna help me film recovery. Uh, I looked at the footage. I hit him in the front shoulder there – right behind it. But it went, went in good – good penetration so he should be fine. We’re gonna look for blood up here and then we’ll go from there.
AARON: Alright. Just crossed the fence and I can see my stand right there and I can see the white belly of a big ole buck right there.
AARON: Well, here’s what the, uh, prize at the end of a very short blood trail. The ole G5 Havoc did him in. I could not be happier. I came out this morning – actually looking for a deer I call Tips. I’ve been getting a lot of pictures of him on a scrape last week. This deer I got pictures of, uh, two nights ago – first time I got pictures of him. But I knew right away he goes on the hit list and, uh, I mean, could not be happier. I didn’t expect to see him this morning, but you never know. So, I got here and, uh, probably the best brow tines I’ve ever killed on a deer for sure. Them are – those are nice, so, good buck. Like I say, a week away from having a baby, so this will give me a little free time and just blessings seem to pile up on me. I don't know.
CARL: I would help you, but you said never stop filming, so I’m doing my job.
GRANT: Great job on self-filming the hunt and making the shot, Aaron. Glad to have you on the Pro Staff.
GRANT: Next week, Adam’s got a great story to tell. It’s a story about a homegrown mature Ozark buck on his family farm. Tune in ‘cause you won't want to miss this incredible hunt.
GRANT: With so many hunts going on this time of year, be sure to check out the clips page at GrowingDeer.com and stay tuned to what’s going on during the week.
GRANT: Hunting here at The Proving Grounds is truly a family tradition. I got to take my 86 year-old dad hunting. That’s one generation. I’m in the blind and my 18 year-old daughter, Raleigh, taking pictures after the hunt. Three generations of Woods enjoying the hunt.
GRANT: You know what’s more important? It’s the bond that hold us all together. And that bond is the Creator. This week, I hope you take time with your family to get outside and enjoy Creation and more importantly, be the leader and share the Creator with your family. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.