This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Flipping the calendar to August can be an exciting time for deer hunters. Deer season is just around the corner. But that excitement level’s even higher when Reconyx cameras pick up a big mature buck where you hunt.
ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, ScentMaster, Dead Down Wind, Antler Dirt, LaCrosse Footwear, Whitetail Properties, BloodSport Arrows, Outdoor Edge Knives, Flatwood Natives, Morrell Targets, Caldwell, Hook’s Custom Calls, Montana Decoys, Summit Treestands, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
GRANT: Last week, we shared the results of some great research by the scientist at Mississippi State University. Their results clearly showed that small antlers are rarely the product of bad genetics from any given area. Those researchers concluded that in any given area, if you improve the habitat and give the deer herd a couple of generations, they’re likely to produce larger antlers.
GRANT: The Proving Grounds is a great example of these conclusions. When Tracy and I moved here 13 years ago, the whole area was covered with low grade hardwoods, or a few unmaintained fescue pastures. This property is split by a county line. The last time I checked, only one Pope & Young and zero Boone and Crocketts had ever been registered from either county. Clearly, this portion of the Ozark Mountains doesn’t have a record of producing large antlered bucks.
GRANT: After we moved here, we started improving the habitat. And through the years, I’ve noticed an increase in a number of deer and a drastic increase in the average size of their antlers. Even though this area survived a wicked outbreak of HD, during 2012, some of the bucks clearly survived. Last year, one of my neighbors, and fellow member of our local deer co-op, tagged a buck that had a gross score of more than 170 inches.
GRANT: A few weeks ago, we started getting pictures of a nice mature buck. We asked our viewers to help us name this buck and picked one of their suggestions as Chainsaw. Chainsaw’s a beautiful, mature buck with several kickers.
GRANT: Soon after, one of our UltraFire cameras captured some cool footage of Chainsaw and some other bucks.
GRANT: I went through this card last night. I wanted to show it to you ‘cause some of our better bucks are on this card, and then, in a hard rain coming in to the Four65.
GRANT: Looks like Perfecto 10. Always tough to know 100% sure if it’s the same deer from this year, or last year, but this, this rack is so identical – a little bit larger. Daylight. And this is where it really gets exciting. These bucks are – steps out of this corner. Here, look at that – Chainsaw. So they’re belly deep in beans out there. Moving closer to the Four65. I mean can you imagine being hunting there, just waiting for ‘em to close the distance?
ADAM: Mmm. Mmm.
GRANT: Perfecto’s tall and narrow. That’s gosh, 10, 11, 12 inch tines there.
GRANT: Clearly, big shoulders. You can see ‘em here. See how big those shoulders are? A little bit of a sway in the back. Yeah.
GRANT: Look at that.
GRANT: And I think there’s like 17 scoreable points on there. Split brows on each side. A bunch of kickers coming off. You know, three, four inch longs, not just, not just bumps. And this is July 21st; we’ve got another month of antler growth coming on.
GRANT: That’s a great looking young deer. A lot of potential coming on.
ADAM: Yeah. Got cool brows.
GRANT: Lots to be excited about in this area of the farm. You know, in early season, before the acorns drop, hope you’ll still be on a pattern.
ADAM: Well, the best part about it is we’ve got a stand we just hung last week. A hundred, 150 yards to the north of that field, which looks like that’s exactly where they came from, when they came down…
GRANT: Yeah. Yeah.
ADAM: …into the fields.
GRANT: The obvious, obvious travel corridor would be coming down that side of the mountain there where it kind of levels off and drops down to this food plot. So, really excited to hunt that stand with the appropriate wind. That’s just incredible right there.
GRANT: A month of antler growing to go. This is – may end up being number one on our hit list. But our hit list isn’t necessarily defined by antler size, but whether they’re moving in daylight or whether they’re a huntable buck.
GRANT: Chainsaw and a bachelor group of bucks are on a bit of a pattern using the small plot we’ve got planted, the Whitetail Thicket soybeans. Those beans are taking a huge amount of browse pressure and are still producing a lot of forage.
GRANT: Better yet, Adam and the interns just hung a couple of Summit stands right in the corner of a bedding area above this food source. We know from past experience that bucks tend to travel down the edge of that bedding area and funnel in the back of that food plot. If the acorns don’t fall too early and the bucks continue using those Whitetail Thicket soybeans, well, I feel fairly good we might get a crack at old Chainsaw during the early season.
ADAM: Today’s exciting, because we’re going in. We’re gonna hang a new set. It’s on a edge of a glade. A lot of deer travel through there. We haven’t hunted it much in the past, but we think we figured it out, so we’re gonna setup the stands, come back in the fall. Hopefully, reap the rewards.
ADAM: Yeah. I think that’s it, right there, isn’t it? You know access is often overlooked. We need to be able to get to and from a stand without alerting any deer. Creek’s 20 yards behind the camera. Tree where the tree stands are gonna go is about 80 yards up, so we’ll be able to slip up here, when the conditions are right, and we have cold air in the mornings, thermals gonna be dropping, pulling to the creek. We’ll be able to slip up, hunt an area where our scents never gone and the deer won’t ever know we’re even in the world. We’ll put our access just right here, and we’ll go straight to the creek so.
UNKNOWN: You want the right south side?
UNKNOWN: Um, So right through those….
ADAM: Yeah. Put the hunter on this side. The ladder, and then, the cameraman.
ADAM: This is the tree we’ve selected. It’s a great big hickory right on the edge of the glade, which is also gonna serve as a bedding area. And during the rut, this could be one prime spot. We’re considering a tree stand location. We need to understand more things than just basic wind direction. We need to understand humidity, the temperature that day, the tree foliage, and the thermals. More moisture, our scent molecules are gonna disperse more, making it easier for deer to smell us. So in this location, we’re already trying to thread the needle, so to speak. The deer are gonna be close, so if the humidity’s above 80%, we’re probably not gonna hunt this location.
ADAM: When we’re considering thermals, we need to understand that the cold air falls, or goes to the creek, and warm air climbs the hill and is gonna be headed out to the glade where the deer are. So temperature’s gonna come into effect, cause we’re only gonna hunt this stand on cold days when the air is falling towards the creek.
GRANT: Even if we’re showing a pattern of those bucks still using the Whitetail Thicket, we’ll wait for there to be either strong thermals coming down the mountain, because the temperatures are slightly cooler than normal for that time of year, or a really strong west wind that will be strong enough to override the natural swirling that occurs in that valley.
ADAM: Well, the stands are in place. You can see what it looks like from up top. We’ve got a nice glade out here – a big open area that the deer are gonna bed in throughout the year – a couple openings. There’s a scrape right out front about 27 yards, so we’re in love with this spot. We’re gonna trim a few limbs and get out of here.
ADAM: Sometimes, it’s the fine details that determine whether or not you’re gonna be successful. And this is one of the details we like to do with every one of our stands. We clear out a trail – remove any limbs, big rocks, anything that may cause us to make more noise while walking to the stand – and with doing this, it also reduces the amount of scent we’re gonna leave on the trail.
GRANT: When you live and hunt in mountainous topography, you rarely get a straight wind throughout the hunt like you would in western Kansas, or somewhere. We’re used to battling swirling winds. Even if the wind is in the right direction 90% of the time, a little swirl every now and then can blow your hunt. For years, Adam and I have counted on Dead Down Wind products to get us through those little swirls, or slight deviations in wind directions. We start with their laundry products; do our personal hygiene with their soaps; and end up with the field spray and our gear. That way, we’ve got all our bases covered. The wind swirls for a few seconds, we haven’t blown the stand and wasted a hunt.
GRANT: I hope you have a chance to get outside and do some scouting, or check your trail cameras, but most importantly, I hope you take the opportunity every day to enjoy creation and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
ADAM: Okay. I’m ready. The uh, tree foliage and thermals. Okay. Barometric pressure. (Laughter)