Category: Deer Hunting

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.

The Winchesters Come Out – Episode #314

By GrowingDeer,

Watch our success during the gun opener in GrowingDeer episode #314.

A mature buck named July was playing hide and seek with Adam. July was winning the game until they finally met in a plot of Eagle Seed beans. Watch to find out what happens!
Aaron Kicklighter’s gun opener was going badly. The wrong wind forced him to sit on the ground. Then the incredible happened. This hunt happens fast, but we got the footage!

Argh! Seth Harker could not believe what happened. He just arrowed a big buck called Subzero but he forgot to hit record on the camera. This week, Seth’s hunting during the Missouri gun opener when a big buck steps out. His Winchester barks, and this time Seth hits record!

Trapping season is here! We don’t waste any time getting our Duke traps into action. You shouldn’t either. A good trapping program removes more predators than just shooting the occasional coyote you see.

Tip of the Week:

Daniel and Adam checking traps.Want more deer and turkey on your property?

Shooting the occasional predator will not be enough.

A good trapping program can reduce enough predators to increase the deer, turkey, and quail on your property.





Weather map showing rain and temperature drop across the Midwest.

Note from Grant:

It’s just rained several inches throughout a big portion of the whitetails’ range and the temperatures dropped several degrees after the front passed. This weather created some ideal hunting conditions!  If the front just passed where you hunt get out and enjoy Creation!


Rae’s Buck – Episode #312

By GrowingDeer,

Watch Rae get her buck in GrowingDeer episode #312.

Rae Woods was hoping to tag a big buck. Watch now to see Rae’s biggest buck ever step out of the fog! After the hunt, Adam explores what the rapid expansion Deer Season XP did inside Rae’s buck. Then we continue working on our management plan with multiple doe harvests.

Tip of the Week:A deer in thick cover.

Where Should You Be Hunting Now?

Areas of thick cover, does often run for cover when bucks are chasing.



Hunting The Rut: The Lockdown Phase

By GrowingDeer,
Buck cruising through Kansas during the lockdown rut phase

While hunting in Kansas was saw the nice looking buck.

Adam and I are rolling back to The Proving Grounds from our trip to Kansas. We hunted hard for six days with lots of deer activity seen throughout the week. If you have been out in the woods, you may be experiencing much of the same. Unfortunately, we are returning without a mature buck in the truck despite hunting on some great ground in early to mid-November.

Most of the deer activity we saw was does slipping through the timber in an attempt to hide from pesky bucks or young bucks cruising with their noses on the ground. This action was quite intense and kept us on our toes. However, this action was also draining! At this time of the year bucks are starting to become locked down with does. Does are receptive for a 24 to 48 hour period. During this time bucks will stay close to the receptive doe and not leave her until she is bred, making this a potentially tough time to hunt since bucks aren’t up and moving as much as the chase phase.

In an instant, the mature buck can bred his doe that has kept him locked down and move on in search of another. When this occurs it can make putting in lots of time in a Summit Stand pay off in a big way. However, when the weather is unseasonably warm like this past week in Kansas and bucks are locked down with does, the hunting suddenly becomes much tougher. Does do not move as much because of the weather and the mature buck movement will decrease as well.

Despite the lockdown phase of the rut and warmer temperatures, the morning and late afternoon action, when temperatures were the lowest, kept us entertained. If you are finding yourself putting in lots of time in the stand recently, hang in there! Action from a hit list buck can come your way in an instant. Remember that does are seeking refuge from bucks, so key in to the areas with thick cover. Does will be bedding in the escape cover and in a matter of time, so will the bucks!

Chasing whitetails together,


New Bow, Big Buck – Episode #310

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode 310 to see Heath Martin take a Kansas brute!
Watch this episode to see how Heath Martin takes a Kansas brute with a brand new Prime bow called the RIZE! Lindsey Martin gets on the board too. Even though she has a run in with Kansas coyotes, she still drops a doe at 30 yards.

Heath Martin uses a grunt call.Tip of the Week:

Not much can turn a buck better than a grunt call.

Right now, this is the tool of choice.

Get attention. Don’t be afraid to get louder if needed.