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DANIEL: A lot of you folks have been asking how Grant and Raleigh are doing. I’m happy to say they're both doing great. Raleigh will be starting school here in just a few days, and Grant, he’s doing well and can't wait to be back in the field.
DANIEL: Right now is a great time to be scouting for velvet bucks. They’ve done all their growing, so you know what they're gonna look like and they're on a food cover pattern.
DANIEL: Across most of the whitetails’ range, antler development has changed. Bucks have gone from putting on inches to going into the hardening stage. Over the next few weeks, bucks are gonna be transferring important minerals like calcium and phosphorous into their antlers to help with the hardening process.
DANIEL: Just a few days ago, I headed back to my hometown in northern Missouri to scout velvet bucks where I hunt.
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DANIEL: The farm I have permission to hunt has several ag fields with an 80-acre chunk of timber. Most of the area surrounding this farm is mostly agriculture and cattle pasture. So, having that 80-acre chunk of timber – well, it’s some of the best cover in the area and I’ve enjoyed some great hunts there.
DANIEL: I’m back home in northern Missouri. I’m gonna head to the bean fields this afternoon and, and look for some velvet bucks. I’ve got the iSPOTTER and Nikon with me. And I’m just, just really excited to see what shows up this afternoon.
DANIEL: It’s always great to get back home during the summer and do a little scouting. And I was excited to get the iSPOTTER on the Nikon spotting scope and see what would show up.
DANIEL: Not long after I was set up, the first deer walked out.
DANIEL: As the sun began to set, the deer started pouring out and I saw a lot of antlers.
DANIEL: I enjoyed watching these young bucks, but there was one buck that really caught my eye.
DANIEL: I was thrilled to see that there were some great deer in the area. I also know that place just gets better and better as the season progresses. So, you can bet, next time I’m home, I’m gonna have a bow in hand and I’m gonna be chasing some of those northern Missouri bucks.
DANIEL: I got pretty amped up seeing those bucks in northern Missouri. When I returned to The Proving Grounds, I grabbed my bow and took my practicing to the next level.
DANIEL: Deer season is just around the corner and we’re kicking off our opener in Kentucky. And we’ll be doing a lot of shooting, getting ready for when that first nanny doe or buck steps into range.
DANIEL: I've done a lot of blind bale shooting this summer where I close my eyes and really focus on my form while I shoot at a very close target.
DANIEL: I’ll blind bale shoot multiple times and then I’ll take it out in the yard and shoot 20 or 30 yards.
DANIEL: Standing on the ground is one thing. But, as we prepare for deer season, there’s a few more steps that we usually take to get us ready for opening day.
DANIEL: This morning, I climbed into a Redneck hunting blind that’s on a trailer and I’m gonna be practicing an elevated shot.
DANIEL: This is a very real hunting situation. I’ll be shooting through the vertical window at a target 30 yards away.
DANIEL: There’s a lot of things going on and I’m gonna take my time to work on my form sitting down and focusing at a target through a window opening and making the shot.
DANIEL: Dead deer.
DANIEL: I've taken several shots from the elevated and sitting position. I’m gonna make this hunting situation even more real. We’ve all done it. When a deer comes in and it’s moving and it moves within our shooting range and we need to stop it, we make a sound. Whether we go or, we try to get that deer to stop. In those moments, a lot can happen.
DANIEL: So, what I try to do – this is my personal practice method. When we get closer to season, I actually start shooting, making those noises like I would be stopping a deer where I keep my anchor point the same. And I also put a time crunch on myself. Because I know when I stop a deer, at any moment, it could start moving again. So I want to be ready; make the sound; stop the deer; and shoot as quickly as I can.
DANIEL: For me – when my mouth moves just a little bit, things are adjusted just a tad in my anchor point. So, I want to practice making that sound and finding that anchor point again very quickly.
DANIEL: Over the years, I’ve learned for me, personally, when a deer stops, my target panic begins to rise. I’m thinking in the back of my mind, “That deer could start moving at any moment.” So, I want to get myself under control and make a great shot as quickly as I can from the moment I stop that deer to reduce my target panic and to make a clean, ethical shot.
DANIEL: Just finished up swinging a few arrows at the Morrell target and getting ready for opening day. One thing that we’re using right now to prepare is the BMP, which is a practice point from G5. The BMP stands for Ballistic Match Point. It flies exactly like the Deadmeat broadhead, so we can practice in the off season with this point; get sighted in and know when we throw a Deadmeat on there, it’s gonna hit true every time this season.
DANIEL: We’re not only shooting getting ready for opening day, but we’re preparing our gear.
DANIEL: Deer depend greatly on their noses for survival. If they smell you, the game is usually up. So, as a hunter, if we can reduce our scent and get in the woods without alerting deer, we can have some great encounters.
DANIEL: This time of year as we prepare for our season opener, we’re washing our clothes with D/Code laundry detergent. D/Code’s done a lot of research over the years and they’ve found that a silver based formula does much better at reducing scent through the high and low temperature swings – much better than an enzyme product.
DANIEL: Whenever we handle the clothes, even if we’re taking ‘em out of the washer and into the dryer, we’re spraying our hands with the D/Code because we don’t want any of that bacteria or odor on our hands, transferring on the clothes that we’re trying to get scent free.
DANIEL: Once the clothes have been washed and dried, we’ll throw ‘em in a Scent Crusher bag or a locker; run the unit for 10 to 15 minutes; they're good to be stored until we’re ready to pull ‘em out to go hunting.
DANIEL: This scent control system has dramatically changed how we hunt because not only can we do it here, but we can take it on the road with us.
DANIEL: We plan to kick off our deer season September 1st in Kentucky. That can be a warm time of the year and having a scent control system that travels with us – well, it could be the difference between punching a tag and tag soup in Kentucky.
DANIEL: We’ve been getting a lot of questions on Instagram and Facebook about our hit list and what bucks are running around The Proving Grounds this year.
DANIEL: Last week I shared that we hung a new Summit stand overlooking a food plot we call Pops. And we’re trying to move in on bucks Swoops and Slingshot.
DANIEL: You may remember that last December, Grant and Clay had an encounter with a hit lister we call Herman.
DANIEL: Even though Herman was within bow range, he’d already shed one antler. He got a pass and we were wondering if Herman would make it through the hard winter and we’d see him again this summer.
DANIEL: Based on our history with Herman, we estimate him to be eight years old. And that makes him the oldest buck roaming the mountains here on our property that we know of.
DANIEL: During the years we estimated Herman to be four and five years old, he was spending much of his time on the southern portion of the property.
DANIEL: As Herman grew older, a lot of his activity seemed to shift north to the center of the property. This summer, Herman’s showing up on Boomerang Ridge right there where Clay and Grant had an encounter with him last winter. If he keeps this pattern, I suspect it won't be long before we have an encounter with Herman on Boom Ridge this fall.
DANIEL: If you haven’t picked up on it, the GrowingDeer Team is excited for deer season. I bet you are too.
DANIEL: In fact, it’s raining today; planting season is here; we’re gonna be getting seed in the ground real soon. It’s a busy time of the year for us.
DANIEL: But even though it’s busy, we’re still taking time to slow down and enjoy Creation. I hope you do the same.
DANIEL: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.