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UNKNOWN: You can do it, Griffin.
UNKNOWN: Thanks, man. (Inaudible)
DANIEL: Give me some mackerel and we’ll throw a little mackerel in there.
GRANT: This week I want to share an incredible treasure with you. My family enjoyed it and I’m sure yours will too.
RAE: Oh look at that one!
JULIANNE: Oh wow!
RAE: Oh my gosh!
JULIANNE: Oh my goodness!
RAE: It did it again.
JULIANNE: Whoa, look at that…
GRANT: I’m talking about Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.
GRANT: I have visited several natural history museums and aquariums, and this is hands down the best I’ve ever seen.
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GRANT: As great as the exhibits are in the Wonders of Wildlife, I’m even more impressed that Mr. Morris had the vision to tell the great story of conservation and the contributions of hunters and anglers throughout the museum.
GRANT: So during Christmas break Tracy; Rae; Rae’s friend, Julianne; and I went to the Wonders of Wildlife.
GRANT: We started by touring exhibits about the Native Americans. Unquestionably, they had a special relationship with national resources. Deer, buffalo and all aspects of the land were vital to their day to day life.
GRANT: My family and I enjoyed seeing the incredible artifacts and the critters in their natural habitat.
GRANT: As the country was settled, President Thomas Jefferson funded Lewis and Clark to explore the lands west of the Mississippi.
GRANT: The Lewis and Clark Expedition inspires wonder in every outdoorsman and every conservationist. Can you imagine the sights they saw as they pushed across the American West? Well, you can see those sights because here at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum, they have 100 paintings that an artist went and retraced the exact steps of Lewis and Clark and painted the landscape. And then, of course, put in the scenes that they would have seen based on their journals. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Wonders of Wildlife.
GRANT: Unfortunately, the bountiful natural resources that Lewis and Clark observed were soon facing trouble.
GRANT: Yup, yup, yup. This is a mule deer here.
RAE: What’s the little tiny one?
GRANT: There was a time when critters were harvested solely for their monetary value and this mindset caused a great depletion of critters and their habitat.
GRANT: One of the characteristics I most appreciate about the Wonders of Wildlife Museum is the story it tells, not just the beautiful dioramas of all the ecosystems throughout the world and North America – but it tells the story of conservation. It tells the story, what we as citizens can do to conserve our resources and the contributions we’re making. If we lose that lesson, conservation will come to a dead halt. But if we promote that lesson and teach our children – as I’m doing – the future is bright.
GRANT: One of the huge heroes of conservation of North American is, of course, President Roosevelt. And there’s a replication of his cabin right here at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield, Missouri.
GRANT: Roosevelt was a hunter and an angler, and he understood that land and other natural resources were treasures everyone should be allowed to enjoy.
GRANT: The movement Roosevelt started has continued to inspire many conservationists. Many critters like deer, turkey and non-game species have been restored. Public lands have been set aside for everyone to enjoy and it’s up to us to continue that tradition.
GRANT: I was reminded of the tremendous successes of past conservationists when I entered the Hall of Horns. As a deer biologist, this is one of my favorite exhibits.
GRANT: The Hall of Horns in the Wonders of Wildlife Museum is more than the best collection of whitetail heads in the world. It represents conservation at its finest.
GRANT: Whitetails were on the verge of extinction many years ago, and great conservationists got together and put protection programs in, habitat improvement programs in, and allowed whitetails to repopulate their native range. Now, we’re blessed to have whitetails throughout all that range to enjoy. To see, to chase, to manage for, and, yes, to harvest – to consume the venison. This is a great example of working together to protect the resource. Not just growing deer, but imagine all the other animals that benefit from conserving whitetails in that habitat.
GRANT: Some folks simply see trophies but I see a huge success story and a great reminder that many men and women sacrificed to give us the natural resources we enjoy today.
GRANT: Every year millions of dollars are contributed by hunters and anglers so everyone can enjoy Creation. Whether you’re a hunter or angler, you still benefit from the work of those that contribute.
GRANT: I was thrilled to enjoy the Wonders of Wildlife with my family. Like a great work of art, there are many layers. There’s the surface layer of just the beauty and then there’s layers and layers and layers of messages and education that we all can learn from.
GRANT: Mr. Morris frequently reminds us that we all live downstream, and it’s our job to conserve these resources and improve them for future generations.
GRANT: I believe we can all learn from the Wonders of Wildlife and become better conservationists.
DANIEL: You can grab a cable and a can.
GRANT: An important part of conservation is teaching lessons to future generations. That’s certainly a goal here at GrowingDeer. And one way we do this is teach wildlife and habitat management techniques to our college interns.
DANIEL: And. Yup.
GRANT: A few weeks ago Daniel taught Tyler how to locate and set Duke cage traps.
GRANT: Since then, Tyler’s been successful on the trap line and removed about 20 raccoons and opossums.
GRANT: You may wonder why we’re doing that while we’re speaking about conservation but there’s no natural predators for raccoons and opossums in this area. And their populations tend to build up more than the prey species. If we don’t work towards achieving a balance, these nest predators can actually reduce populations of game and non-game species.
GRANT: The next step in Tyler’s education was showing him how to use a Duke dog proof trap.
DANIEL: The cage traps have been easy for Tyler to run. He can close ’em and take the weekends off; reopen ’em on Monday. But today we’re gonna be talking about the Duke dog proof.
DANIEL: Tyler, the dog proofs are super easy just like the cage traps – a couple extra steps – but we can fit a lot more of these in the back of a Yamaha than setting a bunch of cage traps up. So we can do a lot more work for our predator control. You ready to learn how to set up a dog proof?
DANIEL: All right. We’re gonna set right here on the edge, let our scent go right down the edge of this field where critters are gonna be running, coming off the hill up top. So we’ve got a great location and now we just gotta set it up.
DANIEL: So, we’ll grab this cable and we’ll come over to this tree right here. We’re just gonna wrap it around this tree here; run it through; tighten it up so a raccoon doesn’t take our trap anywhere. So, then Tyler, we’re just gonna take this link here, loop it around, screw it on. We want to make sure this link is tight because raccoons, they’ll pull this strap back, will be spinning around. Don’t want this working loose.
DANIEL: Take a flathead screwdriver; bring that down; flip this pin down. That clamp goes right over that just like that. We don’t want it off to the corner. Some people like that hair trigger. We don’t want that. We want something that’s gonna commit and grab that trigger inside and yank it and commit to the trap. We don’t want a hair trigger going off as soon as they stick their hand in and then they can pull it out without getting trapped. So, we don’t want a hair trigger. So, we want it solid. We got it just like that. Our trigger is inside where they’re gonna pull. And then right here, this is gonna go around their foot and hold ‘em. So, once it’s set like that, I’m gonna go stick it in the ground just like so. And then we’re gonna start baiting.
DANIEL: This is cat food. We’ll just drop it in there and just throw a couple marshmallows in there. It’s been warm so they’re kinda looking for some sweets. So, we’re gonna toss a few in there. And then let’s, uh, do a little cat food. We’ll do a couple trails right out just like you’ve been doing. Right up – there you go. You get ’em in the area. And then give me some mackerel. We’ll throw a little mackerel in there.
DANIEL: Ooh, love that smell. We’ll throw a little in there. They’re looking for some meat. Fishy smell – I’ll throw that right out there.
DANIEL: All right, last step, Tyler. We’re just gonna take a tin can, we’re gonna throw it over the top just like that. That’s gonna protect it from the rain, snow, any kind of weather. That way this trap’s working for us throughout the entire week and we’re good to go. Raccoons, they’ll just come up, and they’ll just pop that right off, stick their hand in.
DANIEL: So, this is set and we’re ready to head on down the trap line.
GRANT: There’s several advantages to these traps. They’re small; you can get a dozen or more in a 5-gallon bucket; easy to set; and they’re designed as such that they can be used even in urban areas because a dog or other animals simply can’t trigger the trap.
GRANT: I’m confident that in just a couple days Tyler will become just as skilled with the dog proof trap as he was with the cage trap.
GRANT: We’ll continue to share more trapping tips throughout the season.
GRANT: Another way to teach conservation principles and recruit future conservationists is take a kid hunting. And recently the Kentucky team did just that.
GRANT: Young Griffin’s been looking forward to tagging his first deer since he tagged a turkey last spring.
GRANT: When the big day arrives, Graham takes Griffin to a food plot planted in Eagle Seed Broadside Mix. They’d placed a Reconyx camera there and it has shown a good pattern of deer using the area.
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: The first deer came into the plot about 160 yards away. That’s a long shot, but Griffin indicated the scope was settled right on the vitals, and he could make the shot.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Let him get a little closer. Okay?
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRAHAM: (Whispering) See that one came back out.
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) I can shoot that right there.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Let’s let it get a little closer. Okay?
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRAHAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Are you ready to shoot him?
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Get ready to shoot. Go ahead and shoot it. Pull the trigger really slow.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Take your time, buddy.
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) You ready?
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Yup.
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) Ready?
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Yup.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Oh, you hit him.
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) What?
GRAHAM: (Whispering) You hit it. You hit it.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) It went, it went in the woods, but you hit it.
MADDOX: (Whispering) Nice!
GRAHAM: (Whispering) What do you think?
GRIFFIN: (Whispering) Is it – is it going down?
GRAHAM: (Whispering) I think it’s going to be down (Inaudible). One just ran through across through there.
MADDOX: (Whispering) It’s going down. (Inaudible)
GRANT: Griffin made a perfection connection at 165 yards – a double lunger – and that deer won’t go far.
GRANT: Such hunts are the reward of long hours of habitat improvement work. And habitat improvement almost always leads to seeing more deer, and seeing more deer keeps kids interested in hunting – kids like Griffin and kids like me.
MADDOX: Blood, so right there.
MADDOX: Right there.
GRIFFIN: Hmm. Hmm.
GRANT: Maddox found the first drop of blood and took the trail about 15 yards, keeping Griffin excited.
MADDOX: There’s a lot right there.
MADDOX: Look at that, Dad.
MADDOX: See that leaf? (Inaudible) there’s blood in there.
MADDOX: There’s some in here. You can come closer, Dad.
MADDOX: Oh, wow! There’s a lot right there.
MADDOX: Come here, Griffin,
MADDOX: Maybe. Is it going that way?
GRANT: Soon, they were joined by the rest of the group, including Max, the puppy they’re training to find antlers and trail deer.
GRAHAM: Doc, right there is where we stopped.
GRANT: Max got some real world training and made a short job because Griffin had made a great shot.
GRANT: Griffin helped drag the deer and learned really quickly how heavy a whitetail can be when they live in good habitat.
GRANT: The doe weighed 166 pounds. Congratulations to new hunter, Griffin, his brother Maddox – who’s gonna be a heck of a blood trailer – and Graham for sharing conservation with his son.
DOC: Congratulations, you did a good job. That’s awesome for your first deer!
GRAHAM: This is Max’s first deer. Well, say, he found yours too, right?
DOC: He found mine. It’s his second deer.
GRANT: It’s easy to get excited about conservation projects when you take time every day to slow down and enjoy Creation. But most importantly make sure you take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.