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GRANT: October 12th. We’ve been down at Foxworthy Farms and we saw The Thang right at dark.
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GRANT: A while back, Glenn Garner and the guys at Foxworthy Outdoors invited Adam and I down for a hunt. I’ve known Glenn for a long time; know he’s an outstanding deer manager, so we jumped at the chance to go down to Georgia and hunt amongst the tall pines and see the deer Glenn’s been growing. With that in mind, I packed several arrows wanting to help with the doe harvest and maybe get a chance at one of those big southern bucks.
GRANT: You can imagine the fun of messing around with Jeff Foxworthy and his buddies while you're in a hunting camp.
GRANT: 33. Do I trust the guy with the rangefinder? That’s the question.
JEFF: Well, that’s it. That is the question. (Laughing)
GRANT: If you aim at the top of its back, you’ll be fine. You know you're not gonna overshoot it.
NED: So, if I raise it up to…Okay. Let’s try that. (Phone rings). That might be…yeah. We’re shooting bows. (Laughing)
JEFF: I mean it was a good; it was nothing to hunt all weekend and not see a deer.
GRANT: Oh, absolutely, or yes, yes, I’ve, I, fortunately, I’m not a real sentimental person, so I don't know why I did it, but I’ve kept almost all my old tags and I’ve got many that aren’t punched.
JEFF: I hunted three years before I saw a deer.
GRANT: Between practicing our bows and just telling stories and enjoying fellowship, it was a great time, but my real mission here was to get out in the trees and do some hunting.
GRANT: When you're a guest at a property and you really don’t know all going on, you're always curious whether you're getting garholed or putting in a good spot, but the first morning, Adam and I were put on the edge of a white oak ridge right next to a bedding area and we can see a scrape from the stand, a couple of rubs and we knew we were being treated like great guests and not put in the garhole.
GRANT: (Whispering) Just to the left of that real light tree and up the hill 40 yards. Coming this way. How old? Nice cool morning with a young buck passing through. I called it three, maybe two years old. Great potential. Out of range. No temptation.
GRANT: One afternoon, they suggested we go to a stand that had a new green field right in front of us and standing corn off to our left. Early on we saw some fawns come out into the field and we knew there’d be some does around somewhere.
GRANT: We were in a huge Georgia pine so big, I think it took two straps to hang the treestand on the tree, with a big limb for cover going right out in center. Adam was on one side with the camera and I was on the other side of this limb and sometimes, deer would get in the middle and neither one of us could see the deer. When a doe finally came in range, that’s exactly what happened. Adam and I were both jostling for position, trying to get the camera and the bow on the deer at the same time. As daylight is fading, I’m stretched out almost to the end of my tether. Adam takes the camera off the camera arm and is up on tippy toes, literally on the stand, trying to get the doe in the frame. (Whispering) You on her?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yup. (Laughing)
GRANT: She’s down.
GRANT: (Whispering) Can we have an easy hunt once this year? Draw. Let down. Draw. Let down. Draw. Let down. Whew. Doe down and we on the board at Foxworthy’s.
GRANT: This year I’ve started using Nockturnal nocks ‘cause I really was envious of my buddies who can tell exactly where their arrow went without replaying the footage on a camera. Even though Adam was forced to be filming through a few pine needles, you can tell the arrow hit its mark with the aid of that Nockturnal nock.
GRANT: Well, I’m here at Foxworthy Farms. Jeff, thanks for allowing me to hunt tonight.
JEFF: Aw, man. You're more than welcome. Thanks for helping me uh, control some of my doe population. As you know, we gotta thin some of ‘em out here. And I appreciate it. Especially, she was a stomper and a blower.
GRANT: Stomper and a blower. Jeff’s talked about that before. Challenging hunt. But you know, it’s really important to balance that adult sex ratio and reduce the herd density so there’s enough food for all the deer to express their potential.
JEFF: Yeah, we want as many deer as this land can possibly hold and, and for ‘em all to be healthy, but in order to keep ‘em at that maximum capacity, you do, do have to thin ‘em out. So.
JEFF: Thank you for your help.
GRANT: Hey, it’s fun being a deer manager.
JEFF: (Laughing) It is, indeed.
GRANT: Later in the week they put us on a field that was a lush clover stand with chicory mixed in and the secret recipe of having Sawtooth Oaks lining the field. As we watch deer come out into the field, they would eat on the forage for sure, but they would all make it around to the Sawtooth trees and it was interesting to watch deer stick their head down in lush forage trying to find the last few acorns. That’s how attractive Sawtooth acorns can be.
GRANT: They had told us of some very large bucks in the area and sure enough, right at dark, a buck they called The Thang came into the field. He was easy to identify by some sticker points, so we knew exactly which buck it was. But it was dark and he never made it within about 80 yards of our stand. Even though he never presented a shot, it was super to see the quality of deer that are growing here at Foxworthy Farms.
GRANT: We were in another giant pine and the wind was calm or slightly swirling. What’s interesting is throughout the evening, we had deer in front of us, deer come out to our right and deer come out right to our left. We had deer in all directions. Some deer came from straight behind us. We literally had deer 360 degrees across where we walked in several times and not one deer busted our scent.
GRANT: We saw what I’m assuming to be a yearling, two year-old, and three year-old buck come out about 80 yards away and spend a lot of time feeding in the field and working its scrape below one of the Sawtooth Oaks. Just about dark, Adam told me there was two does and a fawn coming from behind us. They were so alert, he was scared to turn the camera around and try to get any footage. The lead doe and fawn finally made it in the field, but I could see another doe standing about perpendicular with us, kind of looking around. So I was scared to draw on the lead doe. As the final doe finally made it into the plot, I could tell by her body posture and just the way she was moving that she was on full alert. Finally, she got her head down just a little bit and I thought it’d be okay to take the shot. As the arrow’s off, I see that nock going right for the doe and over her back as her belly almost hits the ground. The doe was unscathed; my pride was hurt and it was just another lesson that when deer are on full alert, it’s best to pass or let them calm down, rather than try the shot.
GRANT: Adam and I were kind of curious why we saw almost 20 deer in that field. Way more than we’d seen in any other hunt here at Foxworthy Farms. And that’s when they “let the cat out of the bag” so to speak. That plot was one of their research plots where they’d put a product called Deer Trac over the whole plot. And Deer Trac works with the soil to make forage more attractive in a specific area.
GRANT: Sun’s coming up. It’s early in the morning. I’ve done busted into Glenn’s private stash of Deer Trac. We’re gonna role west, do a little research of our own at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Whoever and wherever you get to hunt this week, take a moment and slow down and think about Creation and the Creator that made it all. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.