Whitetail Fawns, Ticks, And An Ozark Bear (Episode 134 Transcript)
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GRANT: He’s in a snare trap so he’s been studied and documented. And, um, I’m sure there’s a lot of data associated with this young male bear.
GRANT: Oooo, it’s been a busy week. From ticks to a shed to a wildfire to a bear. All right here at GrowingDeer.tv.
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GRANT: As we were headed east towards the Kentucky Proving Grounds a friend of mine called about an hour from here and told me a bear was in a trap at his property. Tuesday, June 5th and I’m with Jeff Ford, GrowingDeer fans will remember Jeff ‘cause we had a coyote hunt a few months ago together in Oklahoma.
JEFF: Yep. That was a fun hunt. We didn’t, we weren’t successful.
GRANT: Saw some coyotes.
GRANT: Didn’t quite put it all together. But today you’ve put it together.
JEFF: Yeah, we have. We’ve, uh, caught ourselves a two-year old male that has been caught before by the conservation department.
GRANT: The Missouri Department of Conservation is trapping and radio collaring or ear tagging and studying black bears here in the Ozarks to monitor the population size. And over the course of last couple years the Missouri Department of Conservation has trapped and re-trapped about seventeen bears on that property.
GRANT: So, Missouri will most likely establish a bear population at a undetermined time in the future. You’ve had bears caught here that they’ve actually caught what, an hour or more away?
JEFF: Hundred miles.
GRANT: Hundred miles away.
JEFF: Yeah, and those are usually young males and they go out traveling. Now one thing I will add, uh, department of conservation is doing a huge hair snare starting this week, uh, where they put some bait around barbed wire…
JEFF: …bear goes through it, pulls a little hair, they do DNA testing ‘n that.
GRANT: Jeff had placed a Reconyx camera monitoring that bait site so he could tell the researchers when to set their traps and he knew there were other bears in the area. But what’s interesting, shortly after this young male was captured by the foot snare a much larger bear, roughly three times as big, comes trolling through the area, scares the young bear around the tree while the older bear hits the bait site.
GRANT: One of the great things about Missouri Department of Conservation is they’re not only management but research orientated. And I look forward to following the results of their bear research project.
GRANT: John and I enjoyed that but we still had seven hours of pushing ahead of us. So we hopped in the truck and pushed on to Kentucky.
GRANT: He’s dragging a torch right behind him. Lightin’ her up. All right, better get out of here before he gets mad and whips up on John.
GRANT: (Rooster crows) Our mission at the Kentucky Proving Grounds was to check all our Reconyx cameras there and for me to check in with the loggers that are doing that habitat improvement project we showed you a few episodes back. I won’t bore you with all the details. And John and I pretty much put our head down and got our work done. We weren’t filming our activities. Worked three or four days got in the truck and were headed home when I got a tough phone call. The forester gave me a call and said that one of the logger’s machines were on fire and that it also set the woods on fire. I turned the truck around and didn’t waste a second, headed toward that spot because the conditions are horribly dry and I knew that small fire could turn into a catastrophic event if we didn’t get it under control soon.
GRANT: After we contained the fire I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. And you can see the machine was totally destroyed. And we limited the fire damage to less than acre of timber. I share this even without supporting footage just as a reminder of how intense the drought conditions are in much of the middle part of America. And how dangerous it is for those men and women working in the timber throughout the United States.
GRANT: Back at The Proving Grounds Adam is spraying some of our food plots to maintain weeds. And had a very pleasant find.
ADAM: I just found another shed. I’ll show you. I gotta get off the tractor. Uhh, I think it is Funky 10. Encounter of, a buck we had an encounter with in Big Boom.
GRANT: 67 yards.
ADAM: And right out here in the middle of the field. I guess finally the wheat died down enough that it, I saw the tines sticking up. We call this buck Funky 10 and we’re honing in on his home range.
GRANT: Last year, we detected a lot of buck activity around an area we call the 50 Acre Glade. It’s a big bedding area on a south facing ridge. Matt harvested a mature buck there and Adam and I had some other encounters throughout the fall.
GRANT: The timber going up to the bedding area is very thick and really doesn’t offer any rifle hunting opportunities.
GRANT: Adam’s been scouting and has found an ideal location for a Redneck Blind where we can ease up to the very edge of that bedding area and get a great view right in the bedroom.
ADAM: Of course, where Matt killed is right there. Across The Creek where we get a lot of pictures is right there. Of course, Pumpkin Face showed up just last week right up there. And he seems to run with the big boys. It’s the spot.
GRANT: With all that work completed we hope to later this week put a Redneck Blind right there on 50 Acre Glade, cut some lanes in during the summer and have some really enjoyable hunts there this fall.
GRANT: June 11th and I’ve simply noticed more ticks on the edges of deer’s ears and behind their ears during May and this part of June than I have any year that I’ve owned The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Thinking about the significant load of ticks on the back of does ears. Makes me quiver to think about a young, newborn fawn laying in dense cover, that’s ideal tick habitat and how many ticks are gonna approach that fawn ‘cause it’s exhaling carbon dioxide, the primary attractant that draws ticks.
GRANT: Just as a little demonstration, I put on some white pants and took about a thirty minutes walk through an obvious fawning area or a bedding area.
GRANT: In less than thirty minutes, in just a little walk, on gosh, quarter acre or so, maybe a little bit more. I removed 18 ticks. That one right there. Take this 18 in thirty minutes and the factor of me moving with the slick fabric and compare it to a fawn laying still for several days at a time, laying down most of the first four weeks of it’s life. And breathing out what attracts ticks and think how many hundreds or thousands of ticks could get on that fawn.
GRANT: As conditions change and there is less prescribed fire and more predators, more bodies to carry ticks and tick populations expand. And even new species of ticks being brought in on exotic pets. It’s time we all take the tick problem very seriously.
GRANT: Paring coyotes and ticks together and all other predators. You can see where it’s possible to have almost no recruitment; no new fawns survive in a single year.
GRANT: When removing ticks off of you, or your children, or even your pets, use a simple pair of tweezers. When you grab a tick, like most of us have done in the past, just between your thumb and index finger and pull it off. You’re squeezing everything inside that tick, including potentially very harmful bacteria, into your blood system. You want to take a pair of tweezers, get underneath the tick and grab it as close to your skin as you can and then pull it off so you’re not giving yourself an injection of everything that’s in that tick’s gut.
GRANT: Don’t let ticks and drought and other things keep you from going outside. There is still plenty of activities where you can get out and enjoy Creation. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: Boys here are a little young but I’m have to bust my John Travolta disco move on ‘em out there and just do it. (Laughter) Kinda be like a coyote chasing a deer or something like that.
ADAM: …our former wildlife student and I were, okay, don’t roll…