Category: Deer Hunting

The Center Of Attention

By GrowingDeer,

Building the “Hit List” for The Proving Grounds every summer is always one of my favorite projects. Familiar faces begin to show up in front of our Reconyx cameras, as well as new bucks that increase our heart rates. My favorite part of the process is building the story with a buck over the years. If we can capture images of an immature buck, uniquely identify him, and follow him until he reaches maturity, then have the chance at putting a tag on him, that’s our dream!

One buck we have followed over the last three years, Handy, is turning into a great buck! Watch the video to hear more about this great buck!

For Love of the Land,


Are you SCOUTING yet? – Episode #344

By GrowingDeer,

Watch as we scout for hit list bucks in GrowingDeer episode #344.

New Video

We are! See the video this week when Adam and Matt take to the Redneck Blinds in search of hit list bucks in the Eagle Seed plots. Their early scouting pays off when a mature buck decides to step out of the timber. Do you think he will make the 2016 hit list?

It’s dry and hot here at The Proving Grounds. What does this mean and should we be worried? Watch how these conditions can wreak havoc on a deer herd.

Have you heard of CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease? Grant shares how it can affect your hunting, plus what YOU can do to limit the spread of CWD.

Click Here To Watch Now


A shooter buck is in bow range.

Short Clip:

Take a stroll down memory lane! Watch as a Halloween treat closes the distance into bow range!

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Matt at a Reconyx trail camera.New Weekly Video Blog: How To Capture Bucks On Film

Want to get velvet bucks in front of your camera? Matt shares some strategies we use each summer to watch our hit-listers develop!

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Adam practices with a 3-D target.

Tip of the Week:

Get your sight picture correct from the start. Remember to practice aiming for the lower 1/3 of the vitals on a 3-D target this summer!

The Last Bow Hunt – Episode #322

By GrowingDeer,

Watch the last bow hunt in GrowingDeer episode 322.

The final evening of bow season didn’t let us down! Adam connects and lays his eyes on what could be next season’s prize!

Trapping season continues and the predators have been working our Duke traps. Learn how we change our sets as the season progresses and the temperatures become colder.

Are there many cedars on your Proving Grounds? Watch to find out why we are aggressively trying to remove these trees. We will share the steps we take to turn cedar thickets back into productive areas for wildlife!

A deer trail.Tip of the Week:

Deer sign remains very visible even after season closes. Scout new areas! Odds are good that you’ll find a new hunting location.



The Riddler Is Down! – Episode #320

By GrowingDeer,

Watch Seth Harker take down the Riddler buck in GrowingDeer episode #320.

Seth Harker was on a mission. His plan was to figure out a tricky old buck whose pattern was a riddle. The answer to this riddle was a cold weather pattern that narrowed Seth’s search to a patch of Eagle Seed beans.

When temps rise, try the clover! That’s what Grant did and deer weren’t the only animals he found. Watch as Grant arrows a fine winter turkey!

Pee-eww!!! There’s a skunk in the trap! We don’t actively target skunks, but skunks will demolish turkey and quail eggs. The big question: Once you’ve caught a skunk, how do you get a skunk out of the trap? It could be a stinky situation. We will show you how we do it without getting a dose of cover scent!

Baiting a dog proof trapTip of the Week:


Now is the time you can take predator pressure off poults ’n fawns.

Hit Lister Buck Down!  – Episode #319

By GrowingDeer,

Matt arrows a hit list buck in GrowingDeer episode 319.

A pattern based on Reconyx images helped us develop a strategy to encounter this buck. Watch this great
footage, as Matt Dye and Adam Keith see big white antlers coming through the woods.

Adam is bow hunting when a fine buck comes into range, but something stops Adam from shooting, and he wisely takes a doe instead.

Deer in a clover food plot.

Tip of the Week:

Do you have a clover plot?

Deer often prefer clover during the late season as a food source when the temperatures are warmer than normal.

Benefits Of A Pre Established Hit List

By GrowingDeer,

As the end of season nears, the action can still be hot in many areas. Cooler temperatures are finally settling into our area, pushing deer to feed heavier than we experienced all fall. In response to this the Reconyx cameras overlooking Eagle Seed Broadside and soybeans are getting a workout. This information allows us to close the distance on any hit listers that are regularly feeding in our plots.

Although we are hunting the same deer from the beginning of season their appearance may have changed. For instance, a 4.5 year old buck we call Gumby has been showing up across The Proving Grounds throughout the season. Gumby is a hit list buck and showed every sign of a mature buck at the start of season. His chest merged evenly with his neck and had a large pot belly. Now, Gumby looks like a different deer, besides the fact that he has busted multiple tines off his rack. His large belly is no longer present and his neck has thinned down so much you could easily misjudge his age if you saw him for the first time, potentially passing on this mature buck.


Gumby during late season, take notice of his neck and other body characteristics.

Establishing a hit list prior to season allows us to identify and watch bucks progress as the season continues, no matter what shape we may find them in. Just because Gumby does not currently sport the normal body characteristics of a 4.5+ year old deer, does not mean he is taken off the hit list.

Be sure to watch the bucks that frequent your property closely from the beginning of season all the way thru. This will help to ensure that mature bucks who are worn down from the rut don’t get a pass during late season!

Finishing the season strong,


Youth Hunts – Episode #318

By GrowingDeer,

Trace & Maddox have successful youth hunts in GrowingDeer episode 318.

Remember your first deer? Watch our Pro Staff and their kids have some fun and learn some great lessons!

Now is a great time to reduce nest robbers on your property. Enjoy more turkey and quail with a handful of Duke Dog Proof Coon traps. We will show you how we use them.

We use Duke dog proof coon traps.Tip of the Week:

Want more turkeys on your property?

Now is a great time to reduce nest robbers.

Watch this episode to learn how.

Late Season Hunting – Episode #317

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode #317 to see us bring home the venison!

Late Season Hunting: Did you know temperatures can tell you where to hunt deer? Watch this episode as Grant uses temperature (and a bow) to bring home venison!

Then Ryan Arnevik and Rory Heims share their Iowa gun opener hunt. Rory has some unusual shot opportunities and makes the most of each one.

Clover Mountain Venison Sausage: We’re making homemade venison sausage! We’ve got some easy tips and tools, so you can do the same!

Foggy morning at The Proving GroundsTip of the Week:

Each week I usually offer a tip, this week I’ll offer a tip that is the most important I’ll ever share. I hope you will literally slow down and take time to enjoy creation this Christmas but most importantly, take time to celebrate the real reason for Christmas.

An Active Late Season – Episode #316

By GrowingDeer,

Watch two late season hunts in GrowingDeer episode #316.

Late season deer hunting is here! Watch as 4.5 year old buck “Rocker” steps into the beans. Grant and Adam are on him and ready.

Remember your first deer? Watch Brecka Pittman’s excitement as she tags her first deer – a dandy Oklahoma buck!

It’s time to trap so we’re gonna make the most of it. This is the most important time we have to remove fawn nabbers and nest predators! We’ve got some easy trapping tips that will increase your success.

Habitat improvement: Follow along as we expand a staging area to improve its huntability. We’ll share how we do it so you can do the same on your Proving Grounds.

GDTV316-Tip-Photo-1Tip of the Week:

Warm temps in late season?
Deer movement may be slower.
Hunt closer to bedding areas that are near food plots.

Four Bucks Down – Episode #315

By GrowingDeer,

Watch four bucks go down during rifle season in GrowingDeer episode #315.

With the final days of Missouri’s gun season approaching, Grant has a plan and heads to the woods with his Winchester. His strategy started years ago with habitat management and it paid off with a big mature buck!

What happens when you put time and effort into your hunting property? Big things happen! After two years of following Grant’s management plan, owners Doc, Graham and Norman show us some great Kentucky gun hunting. Three bucks go down during opening weekend!

“Deercember” is here and food sources can be dynamite hunting! We’ve used the Hot Zone electric fence to protect Eagle Seed beans in key areas. Watch as we finally open the gates and await the cold winter conditions. When deer start to pour in, we’ll be ready!

Tip of the Week:National weather map

The forecast calls for calm weather throughout most of the whitetail’s range this week with temperatures being normal or above normal. These conditions should result in normal to less than normal amounts of daytime deer activity. If the deer herd is healthy and fawns weigh at least 70 pounds, hunting where several fawns are feeding has good odds of producing sightings of mature bucks as some of the female fawns will likely become receptive.