Team member Cody Kraut tagged a nice buck during Illinois’ shotgun season. The following morning, Cody grabbed his Prime Archery and tagged a big doe! We’re proud of Cody for filling the freezer and working toward his doe management goal, even after tagging a buck
For all the hunters headed to the woods this weekend, here’s a quick review for where to aim based on the deer’s body position! Hunting with a firearm is usually at longer distances. A quick, easy retrieval is all about shot placement, the efficiency of the firearm and the ammunition. In this short video, Grant shares very specific and detailed tips for shot placement when deer hunting: broadside standing still, quartering-to or quartering-away, and why you should avoid neck/ head shots, full frontal shots and the “Texas heart shot”.
(Apologies for the video not being immediately available. Please go to our Facebook page to see the video until we have this technical issue worked out.)
Share this page with your friends by copying the link in the browser! If you use FaceBook or Instagram, click through and leave a comment on the video! We hope this helps you fill your freezer this deer season.
Grant and the GrowingDeerTV team
We’re using HuntStand to create a strategy for tomorrow’s hunt! Daniel shares a step by step on how we use the HuntStand App to decide where and when to hunt: weather conditions in the area and in the hunt zone. The hunt zone will show where the scent is going based on the wind and current conditions. It’s a great way to get a plan for a specific blind or stand!
We will be sharing more updates of the weekend hunts on social media! We are always glad to hear updates from our viewers as well – tag us in your social media posts!
Grant shares an update from the stand. It’s the coldest morning of this deer season so far. He’s near a recently burned area that will be warm and sunny later in the morning. Food is nearby and an easy travel corridor. Grant shares his expectations for the morning hunt and when he might choose to use grunt calling. Watch to see the morning hunt and the bucks that came in…but just out of range. It’s a beautiful morning in the deer woods!
A viewer recently asked for help on figuring out the thermals and wind direction for his hunting property.
It’s difficult to forecast how the wind will react to the timber and openings on a property until you get boots on the ground.
Thermals are simply air masses moving based on land and air temp. Basically, cold air is heavy and therefore sinks. Warm air is light and therefore rises. This is easy to picture on a relatively homogeneous habitat.
Understanding and using thermals to pick stand locations gets tricky when there’s a mix of shade (cool) and open (warm if sun is shining on it) habitat. In addition, as the sun’s relationship to the earth changes, so can the direction of thermals.
I try to find stand sites where the thermals and/or wind direction will remain the same during my hunt.
The combination of wind speed and direction and thermals can be tough to figure out when paired with topography and cover. Strong (10+ MPH) winds are relatively easy as they usually override thermals. When the wind speed is slower than that thermals and topo/cover may have more of an impact on wind speed.
One of our bigger food plots, Crabapple, is in a bottom – next to a creek. Plots in bottoms can be tough to hunt during warmer weather as deer tend to bed high and move down to plots to feed. The rising thermals (hot air rises) usually alerts deer to the presence of a predator (hunter) located in a bottom. However, air rarely rises when the temps are very cold.
The thermal currents should be sinking toward the creek (cold air sinks). This is more prevalent at the Crabapple plot because it is at the base of a large hill to the west. Hence the field is shaded by the sun early in the afternoon – allowing the air to cool even quicker. This often provides us the ability to enter a stand at Crabapple with the thermals in our favor.
To dig even deeper and see all the videos and blogs where thermals are mentioned, enter the word “thermals” in the search box to the bottom right of the video player on the home page, select “other” from the drop down box, then click “go” on the far right of the search box.
The temperature was 46 degrees this morning with a 1mph south wind. We’re hunting in a pair of Summit Stands just above a creek on top of a bluff.
Out in front of us is a strip of hardwood timber with a recent cedar cut above. The bluff and the cedar cut act as a great pinch point as deer travel through the hardwoods. (The screenshot of the OnX map shows our hunting set-up best.) Even though there is a south wind, the thermals are stronger.
The cold is sinking down the mountain and being carried to the south. Because this is an west facing slope, it will not receive sunlight until later during the morning. Cool air will continue to sink until the sun rises over the mountain. This will allow us to hunt this location longer than if we were hunting under the same conditions on a south facing slope. We’re hoping bucks aren’t on their feet this morning!
Folks often ask how high we place our Summit Treestands. There are many factors. One is cover.
When possible, we like to have cover (limbs and leaves) to break up the hunter’s silhouette and mask movement. We also consider if a tree will provide cover throughout the entire season (even after leaves fall). Cover varies from tree to tree and we adjust our stand height accordingly.
Most of the stands we hang for bow hunting are 20′ +/– high. If stands are much higher it’s very difficult to get both lungs if the deer is relatively close to the stand due to the angle. Some stands may be a bit higher or lower based on the topography near the stand.
If the stands are lower deer tend to pick up movement easier. There’s a neat explanation to the angles deer can see at: https://www.qdma.com/articles/deer-can-see-you-even-when-theyre-eating
The GrowingDeer team has been using Winchester Deer Season XP for many years! Last fall I was able to fill my rifle tag on a great buck we called Slingshot. After the hunt we noticed the bullet was just underneath the skin on the offside shoulder. The bullet left all its energy in the deer, and Slingshot didn’t make it out of sight!
We are ready for those crisp fall mornings in the deer woods!
A viewer from Wisconsin recently wrote asking for advice on where to hunt in Missouri: “My three friends and I are planning a hunting trip to Missouri in November of 2020 as a change of pace from hunting in Wisconsin. We’re looking to come down November 9th-13th. I was wondering if you’d be willing to share any thoughts on what phase of the rut we can expect during the 9th-13th.”
Grant’s advice for this hunter:
I suspect you’ll be hunting in northern, Missouri! I live in the southwestern corner, near Branson in the Ozark Mountains. There are very few nonresident hunters in this area because the vast majority of habitat is composed of high graded forest. There’s no row crops anywhere near where I live and therefore few bottlenecks. This type of habitat makes patterning and/or observing deer more difficult.
I work frequently in northern, MO. If larger bucks are the goal, in general, the further north the better! It’s better hunting (more fragmented habitat) and better soils!
The best rut behavior is usually around November 1st through the 8th + -. This is because the majority of does become receptive somewhere close to the 8th annually. Bucks move more distance and time daily during the late pre-rut than during any other time of year. Once 30% or more does are receptive many bucks will be tending a doe and therefore not moving as much as when they were seeking.
With this said, any given day and location during November can be good or bad pending on if a receptive doe moves in front of where you are hunting. The odds are better when more bucks are moving during daylight hours seeking receptive does.
Missouri’s firearm’s season will November 14-24.
A friend from Michigan recently asked for help aging this buck. To accurately estimate deer age knowing the location and quality of habitat where the deer lives is helpful. It makes a big difference if the deer has been making a living eating soybeans or woody browse.
In general, this buck’s neck merges high on his chest – well above the brisket. His antler bases are relatively small and his shoulders and hams don’t appear to be fully developed. If this buck makes a living in timber habitat, I estimate he’s two. He could be a yearling if he’s been feeding on soybeans all summer.
My advice to deer hunters that wish to tag a mature buck and are faced with a quick shoot or pass decision is to focus on the buck’s chest. A mature buck’s chest will be developed and their body will have a buffalo shape. That is to say their chest will be larger than their ham. The buffalo shape is an accurate indicator that a buck is mature and is fairly easy to accurately assess in a shoot or pass hunting situation.