This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode, click here.
DANIEL: Team member, Danny Naugle, knows how to enjoy Creation. Whether it’s hunting or fishing, he’s always filling the freezer and keeping his family fed.
DANIEL: Danny has permission to hunt on 80 acres in southern Missouri. And this habitat is primarily hardwood timber surrounded by cattle pasture.
DANIEL: In this habitat finding quality food sources and pinch points are key to seeing and tagging deer.
DANIEL: We’ve shared in the past, one of the pinch points Danny’s identified on this property is a low fence crossing.
DANIEL: Several wires were down on a portion of this fence, and this was just an easy place for deer to cross this interior fence. Sure enough, Danny found that pinch point and tagged a big, old doe.
DANIEL: Danny has also identified some great travel corridors, especially in an area he calls Four Ridges. From HuntStand it’s easy to see how these four ridges work as a travel corridor.
DANIEL: All ridges kind of dump into one valley. During the pre-rut and rut, bucks like to run these ridges. They can easily go up and down, cross that valley and onto another ridge.
DANIEL: Of course, the wind is much more consistent on a ridgetop than it is in a valley. So, there’s more days that Danny can hunt on these ridges, and he’s experienced some great hunts during the pre-rut and rut.
DANIEL: When the conditions are favorable for Danny to slip down into the valley, he can catch bucks crossing from ridge to ridge.
DANIEL: Last fall Danny had a great encounter with a buck while he was hunting the valley.
DANIEL: Now Danny had a small hidey-hole food plot on one end of the valley. This buck came down the ridge, kind of looked up the valley, almost like he was seeing if there were deer in the hidey-hole. He didn’t see anything and crossed over to the next ridge.
DANIEL: Based on this observation and a few others Danny decided to expand that hidey-hole food plot there in the valley of Four Ridges.
DANIEL: During the late summer Danny and team member Bradley Lueckenhoff, used backpack spurs to terminate the weeds in this area. They then used prescribed fire, once the weeds were dried and terminated, to burn off the duff and prepare the seed bed.
DANIEL: Right before a good rain they spread Green Cover Seeds Fall Release into the plot.
DANIEL: It wasn’t long before the seed germinated, and deer started feeding in the hidey-hole plot.
DANIEL: Seeing all the activity, Danny got excited, and he put a Redneck blind right on the bend of that food plot so, he could see the entire plot.
DANIEL: Hidey-hole have been a very effective strategy for both Danny and Bradley. In fact, we shared just a few weeks ago, that Bradley tagged a great buck in a hidey-hole food plot that they created.
DANIEL: Hidey-hole food plots can provide great hunting opportunities. And one reason is because they’re often in the middle of the timber.
DANIEL: They’re an attractive food source that deer can come in, grab a few bites or maybe they’re just traveling through. They feel very comfortable being at that plot because they’re never a bound or two away from cover.
DANIEL: If you compare an attractive food source like a hidey-hole right next to a travel corridor, like at the Four Ridges and you can effectively enter, hunt and exit without alerting deer, that’s going to be a great hunting location.
DANIEL: One of the bucks Danny had been seeing around the Four Ridges food plot was a buck he called Frank.
DANIEL: During Missouri’s firearms season, on the morning of November 17th, the conditions were right for Danny to slip into the Redneck at the Four Ridges plot.
DANNY: It’s November 17th. It’s pretty warm here in Missouri today; 65 degrees. Got a pretty strong southwest wind blowing right now. I’m going to slide down into a Redneck that we have overlooking a food plot that’s about an acre that wraps around the bottom of one ridge and there’s a couple other ridges that feed into it. That’s just a pretty good travel corridor for these deer as they transition from one ridge to the other.
DANNY: Now, we’ve got several Hit List deer in the area. Hopefully I can punch a tag.
DANIEL: It was still too dark to see, let alone film. But Danny could hear deer out in the food plot.
DANIEL: That deer just happened to walk in front of a Reconyx and even though Danny didn’t know it at the time, that deer was Frank.
DANIEL: Just as light began to break, Danny spotted a doe in the plot.
DANIEL: As the doe drifted off, things were quiet for a while. But as that sun started coming up, Danny heard leaves crunching.
DANIEL: Unfortunately, Frank was so close and came in so fast, Danny wasn’t able to get both the camera and the Winchester on the deer.
DANIEL: Danny hoped that Frank would circle back and come into the food plot.
DANIEL: A few minutes later, Frank came down the hill and was headed to the Fall Release.
DANIEL: Danny patiently waited for a good shot opportunity.
DANIEL: Finally, Frank stopped and began feeding.
DANNY: I’m pretty sure I just filled my buck tag. A big, mature, Ozark buck that we call Frank the Tank. He came in this morning, stopped in a Green Cover food plot for us. Took a few bites to eat and I’m pretty sure he was laying just outside of the plot.
DANNY: I’m sitting down at the bottom of some ridges. We put a food plot wrapping this bottom and these deer travel these ridges and they cross through here a whole lot. And so, this food plot was to stop them as they cross these ridges.
DANNY: And Frank’s been in here all year. We’ve got pictures all the way back in September. I’ve been using this area and I’m pretty sure that’s who it was and pretty sure he’s dead just out of sight up there.
DANIEL: The Winchester .350 Legend had worked perfectly, and Frank was down right on the edge of the plot.
DANNY: There he is. There’s old Frank the Tank.
DANNY: It’s the fourth day of Missouri’s firearm season and I was fortunate enough to punch a tag this morning. Not real ideal conditions when you think about deer hunting. It’s pretty warm, 65 degrees; southwest wind. But it’s November and these deer are always moving when it’s time to breed.
DANNY: The lockdown phase is kind of coming to an end and the bucks are up on their feet looking for those last few does. I came in here looking for a different deer. We’ve got a hitlist deer that we call Medusa; uses this area quite a bit.
DANNY: But about 7:30 this morning, Frank the Tank, he strolled through, we’ve got a lot of history with Frank, and he offered me a great shot here in the Green Cover food plot and I couldn’t pass it up.
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.
DANIEL: Congratulations, Danny. You have more fresh tasting venison for your family, and you shared some great lessons along the way.
DANIEL: Danny’s success on a hidey-hole food plot is the result of a great hunting strategy.
DANIEL: During the past few seasons Danny’s learned that bucks tend to cruise the Four Ridges during the pre-rut and rut. And that that valley seems to be a hub of activity where all those ridges meet.
DANIEL: By expanding this hidey-hole food plot, bucks that are crossing from ridge to ridge now have reason to stop, grab a few bites, and give Danny a shot opportunity before they cross over onto another ridge.
DANIEL: Because quality food sources are limited, during the late season, after many of the acorns have been consumed, Danny’s seen a lot of deer activity in this hidey-hole.
DANIEL: It’s the best quality food source in the area.
DANIEL: We’re very proud of Danny and happy he’s on the GrowingDeer team.
DANIEL: Danny’s a fireman and on the weekends, when he has his days off, he enjoys filming and documenting the entire process and sharing his hunts with the GrowingDeer audience.
DANIEL: This fall we’ve also shared hunts from Bradley Lueckenhoff, who’s a highway patrolman and Chase White who’s a rural carrier for the United States Postal Service.
DANIEL: These guys and others on our team, do a great job of filming their hunts and their habitat improvement work, sharing what they see and learn with others.
DANIEL: If you or you and a buddy enjoy filming your hunts and habitat improvement work and you’re interested in applying and joining the GrowingDeer team, email us at info@GrowingDeer.com and share a link to your most recent hunt footage. We’d enjoy seeing your hunt.
DANIEL: Whether you enjoy filming your hunts to share with others or maybe you just like getting out and taking a walk, I hope you slow down this week and enjoy creation.
DANIEL: But most importantly, I hope you slow down, listen to what the Creator is saying to you and the purpose He was for your life.
DANIEL: Thank you for watching GrowingDeer.
DANNY: Yeah. I shot old Frank. That – that great, big-bodied deer that I sent you all year. That’s what he – yeah. Thanks man.
DANNY: He – he came down in the – this big food plot; got Green Cover seeds. Shoot, it’s like 18 inches tall in there.
DANNY: And a couple ridges kind of converge together and he was moving through and stopped in here and was eating, there’s a leaf still hanging out of his mouth.