First Bucks! Deer Hunting With The Kids (Episode 318 Transcript)

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GRANT: I clearly remember the first deer I ever saw. I was six years old and checking my rabbit traps on the farm where I was raised in Southern Missouri. Even that poached deer caused so much excitement with me – I couldn’t wait to tell my dad. We skinned it out and hung the hide on our barn wall.

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yes. Yes. I got him.

GRANT: Imagine the excitement of a kid on his first hunt or actually going out and trying to see a deer.

GANDEE: Hello?

MADDOX: Hey, mommy.

GANDEE: Hi.

MADDOX: I shot a buck.

GANDEE: What?

MADDOX: Yup. And it was a dad buck.

GANDEE: Wow. I’m proud of you, buddy.

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GRANT: Seth Harker’s been taking his son, Trace, hunting for several years but it wasn’t until last year that Trace got to carry a gun.

TRACE: (Whispering) Did I get him?

SETH: (Whispering) Looked like you nailed him. Look like it.

TRACE: It’s a doe.

SETH: Is it the doe?

GRANT: Trace’s hunting career is already off to a great start.

SETH: You like it?

TRACE: Yeah.

GRANT: Last year he took a deer and a turkey.

TRACE: Yes!

SETH: You got him buddy! Yes! Yes! First turkey. Yes.

GRANT: This year Trace had told his dad he wanted to tag a buck. So the opening day of youth season, Seth made sure Trace had a chance to hunt. Seth packed up the gear and headed into a food plot where Seth had had success in past years.

GRANT: Seth was still getting ready when the first deer entered the field. They watched this deer for a few minutes but Trace was set on tagging a buck. After watching this doe for a little while, a spike stepped out of the woods.

GRANT: Trace looks this buck over and is trying to make up his mind whether to take the shot or not.

SETH: (Whispering) Look at him chasing those does. See him?

TRACE: (Whispering) Yeah.

SETH: (Whispering) If you want to shoot him, you can.

GRANT: The buck walks out of the plot and Trace is a little upset with himself that he opted not to take the shot.

TRACE: (Whispering) My heart’s beating real fast.

GRANT: While they sat watching the plot, Trace is really hoping for another opportunity at a buck.

GRANT: Trace didn’t have to wait too long as that spike re-enters the field and is working his way into Trace’s effective range.

SETH: (Whispering) Is he what you want?

TRACE: (Whispering) Yeah.

SETH: (Whispering) If you're happy with him. He’s wanting to come right over here and eat acorns. Just leave the squirrel alone.

SETH: (Whispering) Okay. He’s broadside. Let me know when you're gonna shoot. When he stops here.

SETH: (Whispering) Dumped him.

TRACE: (Whispering) Yay.

SETH: (Whispering) You dumped him. Dumped him like a ton of bricks.

TRACE: (Whispering) My first buck.

SETH: (Whispering) Huh?

TRACE: (Whispering) My first buck.

SETH: (Whispering) Your first buck. Really. We got to make sure your gun’s on safety.

TRACE: (Whispering) (Inaudible) He was (Inaudible)

SETH: (Whispering) Yeah. Big ole fat thing.

TRACE: (Whispering) Man, this is awesome. He’s heavy.

SETH: He is heavy, isn't he?

TRACE: Yes.

SETH: First buck, buddy.

TRACE: You gotta skull mount him.

SETH: I gotta skull mount him?

TRACE: Yeah. You have to.

GRANT: What a great hunt for this father/son. Congratulations, Trace, on your first buck.

GRANT: As the fall progressed, Seth took a nice buck during Missouri’s rifle season, but now it’s time for both Trace and Seth to do some doe management.

GRANT: They were running a bit late that afternoon, but Seth knew a field they could get into quickly and several does had been using that area.

GRANT: Trace must be a deer magnet, because as soon as they got set up, deer started entering the field.

SETH: (Whispering) He sees us.

GRANT: As they watched these deer at the other end of the field, Seth tried to get Trace to take the first shot. It was a bit of a poke and Trace decided to let his dad go first.

SETH: (Quietly) Trace and I both came. We’ll let that car go by. Trace and I both came. We both got doe tags – we’re meaning to do doe management. We got set up. Does just started coming out in the field, so these are – bottoms were loaded last night when they came through. So, I’m gonna rewind the footage. That was a 257 yard shot. Um, I used second reticle on the Nikon scope. I’m gonna review the footage. It looked like I got her. I’m not sure, but nonetheless, we’ve still got a lot of hunting time left. We’re gonna see.

GRANT: Seth had no problem making a shot with Trace’s Winchester 243 and that gave Trace all the confidence he needed to take a shot when a doe gave him the opportunity.

SETH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) That is a really big doe coming in.

TRACE: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

SETH: (Whispering) Not now. She’s got that other deer behind her. She’s ready to be shot. You see the other deer behind her, though?

TRACE: (Whispering) Yeah.

SETH: (Whispering) You cannot shoot.

SETH: Boom.

GRANT: Trace also makes a great shot and they both know the tracking jobs are gonna be easy.

SETH: We shot two – we doubled up on two mature does with the Winchester 243 at 250 yards.

TRACE: How (Inaudible) was mine?

SETH: 236 or somewhere in there. They were both 250, second reticle.

GRANT: What an enjoyable season for Trace and Seth. Youth hunts are some of the most enjoyable hunts any of us can experience.

GRANT: Pro Staff member, Graham Gandee from Kentucky, also took his son, Maddox, during Kentucky’s youth season. But like most good guides, he wanted to make sure Maddox had plenty of practice before they went deer hunting.

GRAHAM: Get it in the scope. Okay?

MADDOX: Okay. Got it.

GRAHAM: You got it?

MADDOX: Yes.

GRAHAM: You want me to check it? Make sure you're – raise it slow when you got her…

MADDOX: Okay. Got it.

GRAHAM: Okay. Take your time. Nice shot, buddy. Right on the bullseye.

GRANT: That’s a lot of gun for Maddox, but he was unphased.

MADDOX: Hit it.

GRAHAM: Yup. You hit it.

GRANT: As Graham and Maddox are hunting opening morning of Kentucky’s youth season, they're overlooking a food plot that had Eagle Seed soybeans over seeded with the Broadside blend.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) He’s coming.

GRANT: As the morning progressed, a six-pointer came into the field. However, Maddox was not able to take the shot because the buck was usually facing the wrong way…

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yeah. But his butt is showing.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Yeah.

MADDOX: (Whispering) What?

GRANT: …or Maddox had a little trouble finding the buck in the scope.

MADDOX: (Whispering) (Inaudible) He was there for a second and now it’s gone.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Right there, Maddox.

MADDOX: (Whispering) I can't see him.

GRANT: Despite not tagging that buck during the morning hunt, Maddox was excited to climb into a Redneck blind that afternoon.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Well, we just got set up for the evening hunt – first day of youth season here in Kentucky. Um, we worked really hard this afternoon. Got a Redneck Blind put up, didn’t we? Maddox was a big help. Uh, we couldn’t have got it done today if, if he wasn’t there to help us. So, nice job on that, buddy. Very nice evening out of that fleet here. Be coming out and eating some of these, uh, Eagle Seed beans, so let’s see what happens. Ready, bud? Yep? Okay.

GRANT: You can see that Maddox is pretty camera shy, but trust me, that’s about to change.

GRANT: After about 45 minutes, the first deer enters the plot of tall Eagle Seed beans.

MADDOX: (Whispering) (Inaudible) shoot that? Can I get to shoot it?

GRAHAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: The two bucks tussle a bit and Maddox decides he wants the larger buck.

MADDOX: (Whispering) What? (Inaudible) …shoot.

GRANT: Maddox was eager to take the shot, but Graham wisely slowed him down and took time to put ear protection on Maddox.

GRANT: If you're like me, you probably didn’t wear hearing protection when you were young. It’s nobody’s fault. We just didn’t know any better. But I’m thankful we now know better and can protect the hearing of young hunters.

MADDOX: (Whispering) Ready?

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Wait. Squeeze the trigger real slow.

MADDOX: (Whispering) Okay.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Right behind the shoulder.

MADDOX: (Whispering) Ready? Daddy, Ready?

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Take your time. Line it up good. You hit it. You hit it.

MADDOX: (Whispering) I think I made him fall. Did I shoot him?

GRAHAM: (Whispering) You hit him.

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yes!

GRAHAM: (Inaudible)

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yes! Yes! Got him.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) What do you think about that? You know what you just shot?

MADDOX: (Whispering) A buck.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) A big buck. (Inaudible) felt really good?

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yeah.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Didn’t hurt your ears?

MADDOX: (Whispering) Yeah, but they beeped a little when I shot it.

GRAHAM: (Whispering) Yeah.

MADDOX: (Whispering) They…

GRANT: With the camera forgotten, Maddox is now free to share his joy.

MADDOX: Norman’s gonna look on the camera and see someone hit a deer.

GRAHAM: (Inaudible)

MADDOX: He’s gonna go, “Who in the heck shot that deer?” I’ll go, “Oh, I did. I shot a deer today.” Like how cool is that? Hey dad, you know how I shot a deer?

GRAHAM: How’s that?

MADDOX: I prayed in the vehicle.

GRAHAM: You did?

MADDOX: Yeah.

GRAHAM: Awesome. That’s what you do.

MADDOX: Yup. Praying – God makes it happen. Well, He doesn’t really make anything happen, but you pray for it, it may be happen.

GRANT: Graham shared with me how proud he was that Maddox told him he had prayed to God and asked God to help him get a deer.

MADDOX: You see blood?

GRAHAM: Blood and like one…

GRANT: You may have noticed the shot was a bit back and the blood trail was a little sparse.

MADDOX: I aimed right at him. And if he’s not here, that’s a shame.

GRANT: When the buck wasn’t found rapidly, Maddox started to lose a little hope.

MADDOX: If that’s – if there’s no blood, I’m – that’s a shame.

GRANT: They decided to give it a little time and come back in a couple hours. A couple hours is a long wait for eight year-old Maddox.

GRAHAM: Okay? So, let’s go get our stuff. We’ll give it some more time.

GRANT: Soon, after their return to take up the trail, Maddox’s prayer was answered as he has a nice buck in hand.

GRAHAM: Go on.

MADDOX: I see it.

GRAHAM: Oh, my goodness. Is that him?

MADDOX: Yes. I see a dead deer over there. And it’s a buck. Over there.

GRAHAM: That’s your deer?

MADDOX: Yes. Of course it is. It’s over there.

GRAHAM: Let’s go, let’s go look at him.

MADDOX: Wow. How are we gonna carry him?

GRAHAM: Check that out. How are we gonna get him out of here?

DUSTIN: Oh, I’m so glad I’m the camera guy. (Laughter)

MADDOX: Check out his antlers.

GRAHAM: That’s not a small one.

MADDOX: No. He’s pretty big.

GRAHAM: Fine.

MADDOX: Giant.

GRANT: Congratulations to Maddox for taking a fine buck.

GRANT: As we get further into December, we increase our efforts to balance the predator and prey populations here at The Proving Grounds. Duke traps makes a species specific foothold trap that we use a lot to catch raccoons.

GRANT: One advantage of the Duke Dog Proof trap is that it can be placed anywhere. Even on unlevel ground like near creek banks or other places. We simply stake it to the ground or cable it off to a nearby tree.

ADAM: We’ve talked before how easy it is to set up the Duke Cage trap, but the Duke Dog Proof might be just as simple. The design of the Dog Proof is basically a smaller tube, but it’s to help prevent any domestic catches while still continuing to remove smaller predators. There is a couple of different ways you can set this trap up. You can drive a stake through the back part of the chain or, like we’re using today, attaching it with a cable.

ADAM: Our cable has two loops – one on each end. Basically, you're gonna loop it around a tree, post, something that’s gonna secure it. Loop it through itself – attached to the tree. Still have a loop on this end. We’ve got a small link – run it through the loop of the cable. Then attach it to the back end of the chain. Tighten that all the way down. Once it’s hand tight, I like to give it one more quick – with a pair of pliers – just to make sure it’s not gonna rattle loose if we have a predator in the trap.

ADAM: Now, that we’ve done that – put it in the ground. Once we’ve selected our site, we like to use a screwdriver just to help save the hands. It’s cold out here. If you're setting a bunch of ‘em, your hand’s gonna get tired of doing it.

ADAM: Trap is set. Now that it’s set, we’re gonna bait it up. We’re using fish food. We’ll fill the trap up all the way. We’re gonna bait it just like we bait our cage traps – as Grant calls it – the Hansel and Gretel trail. Predators may be traveling up the edge of the food plot. Of course, they're gonna travel the road along the creek. So, we’re gonna give a little line to try and get ‘em in the trap.

ADAM: We’re gonna use a can just to save the bait – keep the rain and the other elements out, keeps the bait fresh. Put it over the top. It also serves as a little bit of a visual attraction; it’s a shiny can. Raccoons may see it and be curious to what’s shining over there and this trap is set.

GRANT: These traps have proven to be a great tool in past years here at The Proving Grounds. And I’m excited to see what we catch this year.

GRANT: As we approach 2016, I hope each of you all are blessed with a great year. I hope you take time each week to get outside and enjoy Creation, but most importantly, I hope you take time every day during 2016 – slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.