This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: June 9th is a very special day for me. Twenty-three years ago, I received a kidney on June 9th. I’m a kidney transplant patient. That’s very, very important to me and my family, and I encourage everyone to learn about and consider being an organ donor.
GRANT: Turkey season’s over. Most of our food plots are planted, and now, we’re seriously preparing for deer season.
GRANT: My family and I really enjoy venison. One of the critical steps in obtaining that venison is being able to shoot accurately under pressure.
GRANT: (Whispering) Perfect.
GRANT: There are many different strategies and techniques for shooting a bow accurately. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do have a system I’ve used for years that I want to share with you that’s easy and it’s produced great results for me.
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UNKNOWN: There you go.
GRANT: Good form practiced over and over and doing what a lot of law enforcement people call building muscle memory will help you immensely when that moment of truth occurs and you’ve got a deer out there at 20 yards.
GRANT: The first step of my training is called blind bale. Blind bale is a very simple concept in where I shoot at a target very close and actually shut my eyes, so I’m only focused on form, and nothing to do with lining that pin up on a target.
GRANT: The blind in blind bale means you’re shooting with your eyes closed. That allows you to totally focus on your form and not worry about putting a sight pin on a dot. Blind bale is not only outstanding muscle memory training, but you can do it anywhere in a safe environment. I’m out here in my shop. I’m gonna be about an arrow length away from the target. You can do this in your house, even if you live in an urban environment. I tend to do it towards an outside wall, in case something should happen – you’re not shooting through a room. It makes no difference where the arrow hit the target, because you’re totally focused on form. You’re not trying to line the pin up. You’re getting your form right, getting everything right, and working on that surprise release. You’ve not got any anxiety trying to align the pin up on the dot. You’re just – forms right – squeeze those shoulders, pull with your shoulders, not your finger, drag it right through. The bow goes off as a surprise. Doing that over and over and over is then what you’re gonna expect when that big buck walks out and you’re getting ready to put some tenderloin in the freezer.
GRANT: And my eyes are open, when I’m getting ready to execute the shot. But during the five to seven seconds where I’m really executing the shot, my eyes are closed. I’m totally focused on form. I’m gonna pull up, my stance is already set, gonna draw, shut my eyes.
GRANT: Takes about five, seven seconds. Everything’s just right. I’m concentrating on following through and it’s like I have an egg between my shoulders. I’m pushing with this arm and I’m squeezing my shoulders. That pulls my release arm through my release. It’s not static and I punch this. If I’m static, it gives the bow a lot of chance to do this. But if there’s a slight push/pull, and my arm is really not moving, my shoulders are doing this; it keeps everything exactly in line for a perfect follow through.
GRANT: When doing blind bale practice, I use one arrow, because I’m not aiming, I don’t want any chance of my second arrow hitting that nock – ruining an arrow, or deflecting across the room.
GRANT: A very practical consideration, and a lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way, is make sure you have a quality target when you’re doing blind bale practicing inside. Otherwise, your arrow’s gonna zip through, damage something that momma doesn’t want you to.
GRANT: The blind bale technique is an excellent way to develop proper form and muscle memory. I shoot it almost exclusively during the first two weeks of my training before deer season, and then, I start every practice session with at least five or ten arrows using the blind bale technique throughout the whole summer, and even during deer season.
GRANT: It takes practice to know which deer to shoot to meet your or the landowner’s management goals. That’s why I practice estimating the age of deer year round.
GRANT: An easy way to practice estimating the age of deer is simply try to estimate the age of every buck captured by trail cameras on the property where you plan to hunt. This year, we started using Reconyx UltraFire in video mode and I was shocked at how much better it was to estimate the age of bucks in video, where they’re changing posture, versus a couple of still pictures. When you can see that buck changing postures in the same light and the same distance from the camera, it allows you to do a much more thorough evaluation and develop a more accurate estimate of his age.
GRANT: This week, I’ll share an example of a buck that’s easy to estimate his age and then, we’ll improve on that, as we get closer to deer season.
GRANT: As you watch the video of this buck, it’s easy to notice that his shoulders appear smaller, or less developed, than his hams. His back and belly line, in most postures, are very straight. And his legs just appear a little long for his body. That’s because he’s not mature enough for his chest to start sagging down and covering up part of his legs. Another tip is if you cover up the antlers on this buck, it appears as a doe – and not even an old doe – using a mineral.
GRANT: This is clearly a yearling buck, and it’s pretty easy to estimate the age of yearling bucks in almost any posture. But when bucks mature a little bit, as they change posture, that back can go from straight to sagging, and the shoulders and the hams can look different in proportion. By seeing them in several different postures, and using the overall appearance, you can come to a more accurate estimate of their age. We found that using a trail camera with the video option over trace mineral this time of year will capture almost all the bucks on most properties. If you’re just snapping one picture, that first buck may get out of there, and it may not catch the rest of the bucks. But that video option has allowed us to see a larger percentage of the deer using our property.
ADAM: Stand on the right side, when you do that one.
GRANT: A very important practice this time of year is develop locations that are attractive to deer, so you’ll have a place to harvest deer come deer season.
GRANT: Tree plots are easily created by planting trees that produce fruit or nuts in an area where the hunter can access without alerting deer.
GRANT: I always wish to maximize the attractiveness of any stand location. So I like combining a tree plot with a food plot by planting soybeans right between the trees in a tree plot. Creating a tree plot within a food plot requires more than careful tractor driving. Usually, there’s a herbicide application; you need to be very careful to protect those trees. Food plots usually require the use of some herbicide. So you want to protect the trees from that herbicide application, so both the food plot and the trees can express their maximum potential.
GRANT: Almost every food plot has a bunch of trees growing around the outside edge, and they’re not harmed by the herbicide, but brand new trees right in the center, low to the ground, are a little bit more susceptible to herbicide drip.
GRANT: A very simple technique is to take a large trash bag, place it over the top of the tree, and that keeps any herbicide from hitting the leaves.
GRANT: You can tell we used the tractor and generically sprayed this area, but today, we’re gonna spray up close to each tree tube, and the trash bag will keep us safe. We’re using glyphosate, or generic Roundup, to kill all the weeds here, and that’s a good choice, because it’s ground neutral. It won’t have any chance of impacting the root system of this tree. We want to take the weeds out – not just for looks – but a young tree, obviously, doesn’t have that large of root system yet, and these are all competing for nutrients and water that we want going to the tree. It’s a simple technique, but tree plots are a multiyear investment. You want to take the time to do it right.
GRANT: One thing that’s important to remember with herbicide, you just have to lightly cover the leaf surface area. If it’s dripping off, you’re applying too much.
GRANT: We will continue sharing exactly what we’re doing to get ready for deer season throughout the summer. Fortunately, it’s easy to prepare for a great relationship with our Creator. Simply slow down each day and listen to what He’s saying to you, and take time to put His will to work in your life.