This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Late October can be a beautiful time of year. It’s an especially great time to be in the woods chasing whitetails.
GRANT: Depending on your location, you might be seeing some signs of bucks checking does or deer still on a food to cover pattern.
GRANT: For Pro Staffers Rory and Ryan they had a great pattern of deer going from cover to food.
GRANT: In Iowa, archery season opened October 1st. Rory and Ryan were very excited to go hunting and we’ve had so much footage, we just now have the opportunity to share this neat hunt with you.
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RYAN: (Whispering) We’re here on a farm. We’re hoping to take some does. We’re on a finger of trees that runs north and south. We’ve got a northeast wind, and so, we’re in a low impact stand. I’m hoping to catch some deer as they’re coming out to, uh, uh, pasture. And, uh, it’s our first hunt of the season. And we’ve been just crazy wanting to get in the stand. So, I think whether we see anything or not, it’s gonna be a good night. But, uh, the plan here on this farm is to do some management on the does. We haven’t had pictures of big bucks – you never know what you’ll see – but the main objective here is harvesting does this year, on this farm, so we’re in for it.
GRANT: It sounds like they’ve got a solid hunting plan this season. They have access to two farms; one some good bucks are using the farm, but they’re wise enough to wait until the right winds ‘til they hunt that farm. So they opted to open season on the second farm where they needed to harvest some does. Harvesting does can be a critical part of deer management. Keeping that adult sex ratio balance ensures a healthy rut and enough food so all deer can express their potential.
GRANT: They realized they needed to harvest multiple does this year and they’re hoping to start the process by getting their first doe down tonight.
GRANT: Dead set on meeting their goals, the first doe came in too quick for the cameraman, but Ryan was still able to make a great shot.
GRANT: With one doe down, another doe is already approaching the stand.
RYAN: (Whispering) Oh boy. Oh my gosh.
GRANT: The shot is good. Doe number two is on the ground.
RYAN: (Whispering) Wow. That’s two does down. We missed getting the first one on camera, but that one we got. They landed, they just fell out in the field, probably, about 50 yards from each other. Wow.
GRANT: These guys picked a great stand. With two does down, a third doe is approaching their setup.
RYAN: (Whispering) Same spot.
RYAN: (Whispering) Three does.
RYAN: (Whispering) They all dropped in a line. Out in the CRP, they’re all in a line. Wow. We are meeting our objective.
GRANT: I don’t recall the last time I heard about a bow hunter taking three does with a bow within an hour from the same stand, and unbelievably, a fourth doe is approaching the same area.
RORY: (Whispering) Dude.
RYAN: (Whispering) There.
RYAN: (Whispering) Four does.
RYAN: (Whispering) Whew. Wow. That is just amazing. I mean, I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. The freezer’s looking pretty good about now, and this is exactly what we sat out here to do was take does. This farm is overrun with does, and, uh, man. We are definitely following through on the objective today, so it’s pretty awesome.
RORY: (Whispering) You want to talk a little bit about the buck?
RYAN: (Whispering) Yeah. That buck, um, that came out looked like a good eight pointer. We’ve had some pictures of him and his rack seems to go up. Looking at him there, he looked more like he was three and a half, but in the pictures, he’s only looked, actually, like he was two and a half. So he looked more like he was three and a half there, so that’s a nice, nice deer. We’ve got to keep taking the does off, if we want to give – you know – those bucks a chance here, cause, um, the ratio is way off on this farm.
GRANT: This hunt was a great example of site specific deer management. These guys knew they needed to harvest several does, in order to balance the adult sex ratio. They set out with that objective and went a long ways towards completing it during their first hunt.
RYAN: (Whispering) Yeah. I bet she fell down not too far that way.
GRANT: Rather than wait ‘til the late season, and possibly missing their doe harvest quota, these guys started right off the bat, and that’s the exact strategy we use here at The Proving Grounds. Another great take home lesson is that deer, obviously, don’t associate death of their own species with fear like humans do. After Ryan shot the first doe, several other deer continued to use the area. Clearly, that scent was in the area. I’ve had the same experience, and many times throughout my career, tagged a doe, stayed in the stand, and tagged a mature buck a short time later.
RYAN: We were very fortunate to shoot four does out of the same stand, in the same sit. And it’s never happened to me before; I’m not sure if it’ll happen again. But we’re very appreciative and, uh, we’re already starting to meet our objective for reducing the does on this farm. And, uh, we’re gonna get these deer processed, into the freezer and it is a great start, already, to the 2015 season.
GRANT: Yes it is, Ryan. And I look forward to seeing how yours and Rory’s season progresses.
GRANT: With another cold front sweeping across the Midwest this past week, Seth was headed to the stand.
GRANT: Seth chose a stand over a small food plot that serves as a staging area to a larger feeding food plot located on top of the slope. His plan was the deer would feed through the smaller staging area on their way to the larger plot, which they probably won’t reach until after dark.
SETH: (Whispering) Now, while Chase was putting the camera together, first deer is in the field. We’ve got high hopes.
GRANT: And just like Ryan and Rory, Seth needed to work at balancing the local deer herd’s adult sex ratio.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible).
SETH: (Whispering) Are you on her? (Inaudible)
CHASE: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Are you gonna shoot her? (Inaudible) Don’t shoot after you draw until I tell you to. You can go ahead and draw.
SETH: (Whispering) Ready?
CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah. Don’t shoot until I tell yeah, but you can draw. (Inaudible) Bust her.
SETH: (Whispering) It was early. I could – I knew I could make a good shot on her. We’re gonna settle down here. Hopefully, a big rack comes in next. Beautiful night, wind playing on us. Just couldn’t ask for a better fall evening. Still got a deer right here. We didn’t spook things too bad.
GRANT: Since it was early during the hunt, Seth and Chase decided to stay in their stands and see if more deer use the staging area.
GRANT: Throughout the afternoon, there were several deer in and out of the plot. But just before dark, they saw antlers in the plot.
SETH: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: After looking this buck over, Seth and Chase decided he’s three years old and give him a pass.
GRANT: If your goal is to allow bucks to express most of their antler growth potential, this is a great lesson. Seth’s passing up three year old bucks, knowing they’ll express 20 – 25 percent more antler growth by the time they’re four, and tagging does during their early season. The combination of the two is a great example of deer management.
SETH: Still a good area. There’s still some great deer in this area, but we got to shoot some does. Looks good.
CHASE: Hit the off shoulder, and it still was a pass through.
CHASE: You can’t beat that.
SETH: Doe management. We’ve been letting ‘em slide through. This is a great spot. Maybe we shouldn’t of, but we’ve got to start shooting ‘em sometimes.
SETH: Uh, we just gutted our doe and, uh, our theory seems to be right. It’s complete – I know this is gross – but it’s complete greens with Eagle Seed soybeans, pod, or the actual beans. There’s an Eagle bean right there. So, no acorns, no – whatsoever. Oops. (Inaudible) That knife. No acorns whatsoever. I mean none, zero. So that kind of gives us, uh, tells us where we need to be hunting in our areas, for sure, and it’s not acorns. They’re not, they’re not hitting acorns, so we should be able to get on a buck. Gross.
GRANT: What a great hunt for these guys, and a great look at one of their up and comers.
GRANT: When you’re harvesting plenty of deer that means you’ve got plenty of meat for the freezer.
GRANT: Last week, we were trying out a grinder, but this week, we were up for some jerky.
TRACY: With the ground meat that we’ve made, Daniel and I are going to be making some jerky. We’re gonna be using the, uh, LEM Backwoods seasoning, the original, and the Cracked Pepper. Each package is good for five pounds of meat and it has the cure in it, so we’re gonna measure out the meat and mix up the sauce and make jerky. The guys at LEM, for food safety, encourage everyone to wear gloves when they’re handling the ground meat – getting under the fingernails, and things like that – so Daniel and I are following their protocol and wearing our latex gloves.
TRACY: It’s like playing with Play-Doh. First step is to take the ground meat that we’ve added the seasoning to, make it into a ball, then, roll it out into a log that’s small enough to easily fit inside the cannon. We’ll load it up, pack it down, and shoot us out some jerky.
TRACY: Here it comes.
TRACY: And then, that’s it. One shoot. Look how nice that looks.
DANIEL: Looks, looks good.
TRACY: Yeah. Super easy.
DANIEL: Didn’t even get a wave in it.
TRACY: Yeah. Got a little bit. Kind of like decorating a cake. You’re just want – you just want some of this raw, Daniel?
DANIEL: I’m just thinking 75 minutes.
GRANT: We’ve made a lot of jerky, through the years, but the Jerky Cannon certainly simplified the process. Adam and I can’t wait to put some more venison in our freezers and make some more jerky, as the season progresses.
GRANT: Gun season opens in Missouri during the middle of November, so it’s important we start preparing now.
GRANT: Our Reconyx has picked up a couple mature bucks in an area that we haven’t hunted much in the past, so we’re spending some time getting it ready for gun season.
GRANT: Our setup includes looking over a nice food plot and a power line extending north out the other side. There’s a bedding area on each side of that power line, and during the rut, mature bucks love to cruise bedding areas looking for a receptive doe. Being able to see right between two known bedding areas makes me very excited to hunt this blind.
MATT: Today, we’re clearing limbs and cutting brush, so that way, when we bring the Redneck blind to this location, get it setup for November, we won’t have any worry of a bullet deflecting when we take the shot. So we’ll grab our chainsaw and weed eater, head down the hill, trim the lanes for November.
GRANT: Once we’ve completed trimming the shooting lane down to the food plot, it was time to roll in the Redneck trailer blind.
ADAM: I love the smell of this stuff.
GRANT: Now that we have the blind in place, we probably won’t return to that exact location until we’re packing firearms and have orange on.
GRANT: Whether you’re hunting, or preparing for an upcoming season, I hope you take time each day to enjoy creation, and more importantly, listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.