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GRANT: Adam and Heath both end up going to northern Missouri during prime time rut and it's well worth their trip.
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GRANT: My 15 year-old daughter, Raleigh, and I have had several hunts together this year.
RALEIGH: It’s the day before gun season here in Missouri, and I had a few free hours this evening before I went to a friend’s house. So, I decided, “What a better way to spend it than going bow hunting since it's still bow season.” So we came out to Clover Mountain and the wind seems right so we’re going to see what will step out in front of us today.
GRANT: Right at dark, both Raleigh and I heard those footsteps.
GRANT: My whole objective was to get Raleigh a shot at this buck, so I didn’t mess much with the camera and it shows as I only caught a little bit of footage as he approached our stand.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I can only see (inaudible).
GRANT: (Whispering) Don’t move.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) If it took another step, I could have shot it, but it, then it, like, it looked up at us and started running. But if I had one more step, I would have got it.
GRANT: (Whispering) You know that was – if he’d have come out 10 yards this way, that would’ve been a chip shot. It’d been super easy.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) If he’d had one more step, that would have been perfect.
GRANT: (Whispering) One more step, you would have been on him.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: Some hunters might have been discouraged by having that buck just one step away from providing a shot opportunity before he busted out of there, but Raleigh was super excited and wanted to know when we could go again.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Okay. That one’s good.
ADAM: (Whispering) Young eight pointer. Nope. Young seven pointer.
ADAM: (Whispering) Today is November the 14th. So, hopefully, it’s that time of year and up here it’s peaking and there are bucks chasing does everywhere, so, there’s a lot of mid-afternoon, on into the evening movement right now. Seems to be even better than the mornings. Saw some deer this morning but hopefully, we’ll see more deer tonight and bigger deer.
ADAM: We weren’t in the stand very long when we started having activity behind us. But as those young bucks start working down in the draw just south of us, we caught movement coming straight for us.
ADAM: As he works his way down the hill and into the ditch, I can see he’s got an nice set of antlers on his head, but I couldn’t get a clear look at his body.
ADAM: (Whispering) Fourth or fifth deer of the night. By far, the best. Great looking buck. When I first saw antlers, I thought I was gonna shoot him, but I know there’s something bigger in here.
ADAM: (Whispering) Another two and a half year old. Maybe a nice yearling, even.
ADAM: About 8:30 in the morning, I heard movement behind us; got the Nikons up – I noticed he’s the same buck from the night before. He’s coming up right for our stand, but he’s in so much brush, I still can't get a clear read on his age.
ADAM: As he worked his way toward the opening, when I got to full draw, he stepped in the opening for the shot and I noticed one thing – he’s too young.
ADAM: As I let my bow back down, I hung it up and decided to enjoy the show.
ADAM: As the morning came to an end, we didn’t harvest a buck. It was a great trip and I can't wait to get back.
GRANT: Looks like Adam had a lot of fun and clearly, the chase phase of the rut was full bore as he was seeing bucks almost every time he went to the stand.
GRANT: Heath was able to take a week off work and head north, but his wife Lindsey had a few too many responsibilities at work and she couldn’t quite swing the whole week, so Heath took on the huge task of self-filming his hunt. The first night out, Heath got all set up with all his equipment over a beautiful Midwestern food plot.
HEATH: It’s, uh, November the 7th here in northeastern Missouri. I’m in a tree for the first time this year. We’re overlooking a couple food plots tucked in between some CRP and some, some draws where the deer bed.
GRANT: As Heath's settling in and getting used to holding his bow and running the camera equipment at the same time, he starts seeing deer in the food plot.
GRANT: Over the next couple days, Heath gets to watch deer use scrapes and use food plots and move in and out as he’s really getting settled in to self-filming.
GRANT: It’s tough enough packing in all your camera gear and your hunting equipment. Heath also packs in a decoy one day to try that advanced technique given the stage of the rut.
GRANT: It may be a day or two early at the location where Heath’s hunting for the big boys to be moving during daylight hours. Heath’s footage clearly shows that the does are out and the young bucks are on the prowl.
GRANT: The last day of Heath’s hunt before he had to return to work was another cold, blustery day.
GRANT: On one hand, Heath’s hunt’s been full of action as he’s seen deer during almost every single set. On the other hand, it’s been a little bit slow as it appears the big bucks just aren’t roaming during daylight hours. Like any good hunter, Heath has remained positive all the way through his hunt going into his last day.
GRANT: After a little sequence of rattling, Heath catches movement over by a creek he’s watching. As I’ve mentioned, Heath is self-filming and there’s not much tougher than self-filming a whitetail hunt.
HEATH: (Whispering) Finally. I’m about to freeze to death. I had to sit down. We just shot a great deer. A great deer. He uh – just a good, solid eight point. I drew back and he stood behind this dang limb for what seemed like an eternity. He finally took a step forward. Kind of thread it through that limb. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. It has been a long, cold, windy week. I just couldn’t be happier. Finally glad to get an arrow in a nice buck and uh, proud to put this buck in the back of the truck and let him ride back to Arkansas with me.
GRANT: Heath had a lot of patience and endurance to keep packing all that camera gear in every day. And it ended up with a great hunt.
GRANT: I hope each of you and your family are blessed with a great Thanksgiving. But in all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year. I’ve had a great season already. I’ve enjoyed hunting with my dad and both of my daughters. And most importantly, I’m thankful that I know my Savior. You know, years ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And that freedom of knowing Eternity – of knowing His will for me and what I’m supposed to do in my life. Well, there’s just nothing else that deserves more thanks than Jesus accepting me. This Thanksgiving, if you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, put everything else aside, get your house in order and enjoy the freedom that I’m thankful for.