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GRANT: My daughter, Raleigh, reinforces the lesson most deer hunters understand, patience is necessary to get your reward. As the last afternoon, she tags a great buck.
GRANT: Big buck, girl, big buck. Were you on it?
RALEIGH: I think so.
GRANT: You sure?
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GRANT: If you've watched GrowingDeer very long, you know I really enjoy taking my family hunting. You also know that I'm a huge fan of good deer management. Keeping the adult sex ratio balanced, making sure there's plenty of groceries for the amount of population out there, and allowing bucks to mature so they can express most of their antler potential. But a factor that even overrides all that, is keeping the fun in hunting. And to accomplish that mission, both my daughters and my 83 year old father have always had a green light to tag any deer they wanted to here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: (Whispering) Go ahead. Okay.
GRANT: Last year, Rae tagged a yearling buck and Raleigh tagged a two year old, and it was great hunts full of excitement and great venison for the family. This year, both the girls set their own objective of harvesting a deer bigger than they had in the past.
GRANT: You nailed him, Rae. You nailed him. I got it on film.
GRANT: You nailed him.
GRANT: During youth season, my youngest daughter, Rae, tagged a great two and a half year old buck.
GRANT: Raleigh passed some yearlings and two year old bucks during youth season with her goal set on something bigger than she already has on the wall. That was a little tough because she shot a nice deer last year and I knew she was setting the standard pretty high.
GRANT: Raleigh's the type of hunter that's very patient. She's practiced with her bow all summer long; practiced with her rifle, both at regular rifle targets and deer silhouettes to make sure her skills were in shape so when the opportunity occurred, she'd be ready to tee up. I really enjoy spending time with Raleigh, sittin’ in the blind and watching critters, those great father-daughter talks, but I was getting a little worried that we weren't gonna meet her goal for this season. Raleigh and I hunted during the second weekend of Missouri's rifle season and she actually had the opportunity to tag some immature bucks, but passed ‘em up.
GRANT: The last day of Missouri's rifle season is extremely windy. Gusts over 20 miles an hour and out of the north, northwest. Bitter cold and deer are not gonna be on the ridge tops. I selected a stand, long term viewers are familiar with, we call it Hidden Valley Two, and it's where my father took a nice buck last year.
GRANT: You got him, you got him.
GRANT: There he lays. There's your big ‘un.
GRANT: Give me a hug.
GLEN: Thank you for letting me hunt, son.
GRANT: Look at all these trash back here.
GLEN: That is wonderful, son. That's a good deer.
GRANT: That's a very good one.
GLEN: Yeah, yeah.
GRANT: The wind is out of north and west and Raleigh and I park on the east so we can walk into the Redneck Blind without the deer knowing we're anywhere in the world.
RALEIGH: But today's the last day, so maybe something big will step out. I don’t really care if it's a big doe or a big buck, I'll take both today.
GRANT: We get set up and do some interviews and kind of get going, and then we're just waiting for the sun to get behind the ridge and hopefully some deer to come out to the plot.
GRANT: About 30 minutes before dark, I notice good antlers coming into the plot.
GRANT: (Whispering) Big buck. Wait a second, wait a second. Go and get your gun. Go and get ready. Be quiet, be quiet. Big buck. I’m focusing.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I got a shot.
GRANT: (Whispering) Ready?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I got a shot.
GRANT: (Whispering) Ready, go. Go.
GRANT: Did you get him? Big buck, Raleigh. Big buck, girl, big buck.
RALEIGH: Thank you.
GRANT: Were you on it?
RALEIGH: I think so.
GRANT: You sure?
GRANT: About the time I said, “It's okay to shoot”, bam. The bullet's gone and it's a great hit.
RALEIGH: We got out of the blind, started walking through the field to find some blood and we found some right here at the edge of the woods.
GRANT: It’s a short trail of 60 or 70 yards, but I'm milking every moment as I watch my daughter follow up the process of tagging her largest buck to date.
GRANT: You find him?
GRANT: Those first few moments when Raleigh finds her buck and she's got the rack in hand, admiring that unique rack, and counting points, and looking at the size of the body, and I realize Raleigh's got that hunter's heart. She's got remorse and joy at the same time. She's appreciating the beauty and waiting for the next hunt.
GRANT: Man, look at how big the bases are on that.
GRANT: Look how big the head is on that thing. See right here's your shot. Perfect.
RALEIGH: Uh-hum, yep.
GRANT: Perfect, girl.
RALEIGH: Is this where someone like got him in a fight?
GRANT: Probably in a fight, yeah. Pull that – golly.
RALEIGH: He's heavy.
GRANT: Heavy, yeah, it's heavy. Gonna be heavy dragging out of here. And this just a little spot, watch out, let me see if I can get him a little bit here. I'll pick up right here.
UNKNOWN: One second.
RALEIGH: So, since the beginning of youth season, I've been out here hunting um, almost every day I could, and I've been passing up a few small bucks, seen about, seen about three so far, some does and some fawns. But every time, I just pass ‘em up.
GRANT: Whew, you just gave us all Thanksgiving off, Raleigh.
GRANT: You know Raleigh, I really just enjoy spending time with you and all my family together in the blind hunting. This just caps it off as a great season.
GRANT: The close of gun season means bow season's back open, but there's other chores to take care of and one of ‘em is balancing that predator/prey population.
GRANT: We're gonna set a few raccoon traps in areas that we won't be bow hunting to start removing those pesky raccoons to give our turkeys a little break this coming nesting season.
ADAM: We've got Thanksgiving holidays behind us and Missouri firearm season, so now we're gonna transition into late season bow hunting and trapping season. So we've got our Duke cage traps and our Duke dog proof trap. We're gonna get ‘em loaded up and get after it.
ADAM: One thing you like to keep in mind when trapping predators, is they tend to like to travel those paths of least resistance; whether that be a road, or a dry creek bed, or a field edge, by placing the trap right here on this high hump, or high point over the creek – as the thermals start falling in the evenings, they'll fall over the road and over the creek, which is where those predators are gonna be traveling, trying to pick up any scent along the way. So we're gonna look around, locate a tree to anchor it to; loop it around the tree and through itself again, and attach it to our trap. One little attachment we add to these Duke traps is a little carabineer with threads so when we put our cable in the carabineer, we tighten it down and give it quick turn, half, half turn, just to lock it down and know that that predator is not getting off the trap.
ADAM: Fill our trap up all the way and you hear Grant talk about a Hansel and Gretel trail, we like to cover the trap with a, any type of can. It keeps the rain and all the elements off the bait on the inside so you don’t have to worry about it gumming up the trap, plus it serves as a curiosity factor. Predators are traveling up and down; they may see this shiny can. Some of you may be wondering how the traps gonna be triggered with the can sittin’ over it. Well as you know, raccoons are very nimble with their hands, so it's no problem for them to reach under, flip the can off, reach down in there, before you know it, they're caught.
ADAM: As all you deer hunters know, we like to change things up and give the animal a little bit different look. That's where we use our Duke cage traps. When selecting your spot for the cage trap, you always want to try and pick a spot that's flat and level so your cage won't wobble. We go in, we're gonna bring it in and try to build like a nest, so to speak. Make sure it's all level. Might have to knock out a few high spots. Get kind of a nest built up around the back of the trap. That way they're, the raccoon can't come around from behind and slip his hand in and maybe grab the can and reach through and eat the bait out without even setting off the trap.
ADAM: Super easy to use. Just lift up the door, put the bait in the back, and you're ready to trap predators.
GRANT: The leaves are off throughout most of the whitetails’ range now, and it's a great time to get outside and enjoy Creation and look at all the wonders – but more importantly, take a few moments and be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
ADAM: We caught.
ADAM: We're able to.
ADAM: The dry creek bed, so we're gonna. What was I gonna say? Loop it's through. Loops it through itself. About setting up a, you know we talked earlier about how, whewie.