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>>GRANT: Deer season has started in several states. And this time of year, deer are typically on a food/cover pattern. And blind locations between those two resources tend to be great spots with the potential to see a lot of deer.
>>GRANT: Preferred food resources this time of year can change quickly. As an example, in production ag areas soybeans may be starting to turn a tad yellow – moving energy resources from leaves to filling out pod – and when they do that, they’re not very palatable to deer.
>>GRANT: In timber country, a few acorns may be starting to fall. And if you can find trees that are dropping acorns, you’ve probably got a great early season stand site.
>>GRANT: If there aren’t many acorns in the area and you’ve got food plots that include grains, like the Summer Release has milo, deer may be targeting that grain as their source of carbohydrates.
>>GRANT: This past weekend Daniel and I assisted a couple of landowners in Kentucky. Knowing bow season was open, we stopped by to see our good friend, Mr. Terry Hamby, and share a couple of hunts with him.
>>GRANT: I met Mr. Hamby years ago when he invited me to assist him with the habitat and hunting improvement plan. Mr. Hamby purchased an area in Kentucky that was primarily a cut over pine plantation. Some hardwood draws – but I’ve got to tell you that first ride through, it was gnarly.
>>GRANT: We came up with a plan and Mr. Hamby did a masterful job of implementing that plan. And I’ve got to tell you right now, it is an incredible place with wildlife habitat and premium hunting opportunities.
>>GRANT: Through the years I’ve shared many hunts with Mr. Hamby and benefited from his mentorship. I’ve got to tell you – watching that property improve through the years has been one of the highlights of my wildlife management career.
>>GRANT: I was excited to climb into a Redneck blind the afternoon Kentucky’s archery season opened, knowing that was a great place to start my 2021 deer season.
>>GRANT: Daniel and I were overlooking a large food plot that had been planted this spring with Green Cover’s Summer Release blend.
>>GRANT: And then recently, they drilled right through that standing Summer Release with the Fall Release. And this has resulted in young greens coming up and mature grain in the form of milo in that Summer Release blend.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] Feels good to be out. Man, I know my bow is tuned up, ready to rock. The first afternoon, now, we can see much further than we can shoot with a bow. I kind of consider this a scouting trip. But hoping one walks within range.
>>GRANT: We had just got settled in and kind of into the routine of hunting and filming when we spotted a doe at the far end of the plot.
>>GRANT: It wasn’t long until we spotted some antlers.
>>GRANT: As we were watching these deer, Daniel looked to his right and spotted a good set of antlers coming out of some cover and headed toward the food plot.
>>GRANT: For the rest of the afternoon, it was a great show. Watching deer come out of cover into the plot and go back into the cover and back and forth. It was a parade and the perfect way to start our season.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, RTP Outdoors, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>GRANT: No deer came within range of the blind, but I had a really good feeling that we were going to have a great year at Mr. Hamby’s farm.
>>GRANT: There was a steady rain the next morning and the wind shifted from the south to the north bringing cooler temperatures. That afternoon, Daniel and I went to a different food plot where a Reconyx camera had taken several images of good bucks.
>>GRANT: We believed that deer would approach or enter the plot in a saddle or a low spot. And checking on HuntStand, our wind should be going a different direction.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] Second afternoon of our Kentucky opener hunt. These food plots have jumped. This was just drilled with the Fall Release blend not that many days ago and it’s seven, eight inches tall.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] Walking in we saw a lot of tracks and some fresh droppings. So, there are certainly deer in the area. Just need one to get within range.
>>GRANT: As the sun set, we saw antlers coming through the native vegetation.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] Good buck.
>>GRANT: Daniel and I patiently, but a bit anxiously, waited seeing if this buck would close the distance.
>>GRANT: The buck fed up the slope and stepped broadside looking, man, just looking awesome but it was 40 yards away.
>>DANIEL: [Whispering] He’s at 40.
>>GRANT: Eventually, the buck kind of looked around and drifted out of the plot.
>>GRANT: You’re probably asking why I didn’t take that clean, broadside 40-yard shot. My bow is finely tuned, and I’ve been practicing a lot. I have no problem hitting the dot at 40 yards. So, you’re, again, questioning, “Why didn’t you take the shot?” But there’s a big difference between shooting a stationary dot and shooting at something that’s alive and has the reaction time of an Olympic sprinter.
>>GRANT: Through the years we’ve had the opportunity to watch a lot of footage of deer at different distances reacting to the shot of a bow. And we can tell you that some deer don’t react at all. And others react so rapidly that at 40 yards the arrow either misses them or hits in an area the archer wasn’t aiming. It ends up in wounding a deer.
>>GRANT: It doesn’t matter to me if it’s the first day or last day of season. I do not want to take any opportunity to wound a deer. So, at 40 yards, even though it was in my comfortable range of hitting the dot, I passed the shot.
>>GRANT: Remember that the speed of sound is about 1,100 feet a second, depending on where you are, barometric pressure, stuff like that.
>>GRANT: So, a fast bow is nowhere close to that. So, when that bow starts going off, sound is traveling towards the critter, the sound of the shot is reaching the deer long before the arrow arrives.
>>GRANT: This is why it’s so important for archers to aim at the bottom third of the deer. That way if the deer doesn’t move, you’ve made a great shot.
>>GRANT: If it starts reacting to the shot and dropping to load those legs and run out of there, you’re likely still in the kill zone unless your shot distance is too far.
>>GRANT: During just two afternoon hunts, Daniel and I had seen some great bucks and a bunch of does and fawns. This is a testament to the quality of habitat at Mr. Hamby’s property and the results of his great work.
>>GRANT: These deer were coming out of an area that had been a pine plantation but managed appropriately to provide fast-growing pines, generate some revenue, and high-quality wildlife habitat.
>>GRANT: We’ve shared a bunch of times show important it is to have some daylight – some room around each tree canopy. That allows that pine to photosynthesize at the maximum rate – producing wood as quick as it can – and for sun to reach the soil and allow great native vegetation to grow.
>>GRANT: Prescribed fire is a very important component of how we recommend landowners manage pines when wildlife is a part of their priorities. Prescribed fire will remove some of that duff on the ground and allow that native seed bank to germinate.
>>GRANT: Burning in pines is extremely natural. Pines have a deep taproot; not a shallow fibrous root system so fire almost never hurts the roots of a pine tree. And all species of pines have very thick bark. They were adapted to a fire regime to fire being frequent where they grow.
>>GRANT: Mr. Hamby had thinned these pines, used prescribed fire in the spring and the results, well, they’re tremendous.
>>GRANT: Because of the habitat design Mr. Hamby has implemented, there’s a pattern – a food/cover, food/cover – all throughout his property.
>>GRANT: High-quality cover, high-quality food. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And due to that, he can hold a lot of critters. And I don’t know about you, but I enjoy hunting where there’s a lot of deer and a lot of turkey and their quality is at the top of the charts.
>>GRANT: Another huge advantage to the plan Mr. Hamby has implemented, is that deer are always close to high-quality cover and, therefore, they seem to move much more during daylight hours than on properties that are, you know, closed canopy forest or there’s not a lot of quality cover.
>>GRANT: I’m very proud of Mr. Hamby for the great conservation work he has accomplished. I’ve still got a Kentucky tag in my pocket, and I can’t wait to roll back to Kentucky and share another hunt with Mr. Hamby.
>>GRANT: Spending time with good friends that enjoy the same recreational pursuits you do is a great way to enjoy Creation. But more importantly, be sure you take time every day and spend it with our Creator and seek His will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching Growing Deer.