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>> GRANT: Last summer Pro Staffers Bradley Lueckenhoff and Danny Naugle started preparing for deer season.
>> BRADLEY: We’ve dropped the torch on another small hidey hole food plot. This is a new property we picked up last fall. We are back out at a hidey hole. We finally have some rain in the forecast. We grabbed a bag of Eagle Seed; we’ll try to get a hidey hole established here.
>> GRANT: Bradley and Danny hunt in a portion of Southern Missouri where the habitat is primarily hardwoods and cattle pasture. There’s not a lot of quality forage around the properties they hunt.
>> GRANT: Hidey hole food plots are not designed to provide quality nutrition throughout the year or even a single season. They are designed to attract deer and allow hunters to pattern deer while hunting that area.
>> GRANT: Hidey hole food plots have another advantage. By definition, they’re small and often placed in thick cover. That means deer are comfortable moving to and feeding there during daylight hours.
>> GRANT: They also can be used to create great pinch points. Locating the hidey hole food plot in a staging area or travel corridor is a great way to make sure deer traveling through will be within range.
>> GRANT: You may remember that last year Bradley used a hidey hole food plot on an 80-acre parcel to get a big doe within range and provide some fresh venison for his family.
>> GRANT: Last summer Bradley started getting trail camera pictures of a great-looking mainframe eight. That buck’s tines were so tall he named him Sky High.
>> GRANT: During September 26th of this year, Sky High showed up at one of Bradley’s hidey hole food plots.
>> GRANT: Then a few days later, Sky High showed up at another hidey hole food plot just to the southeast and he was very active there.
>> GRANT: Bradley and Danny started texting back and forth using the onX maps to try to figure out how Sky High was using those hidey hole food plots and the terrain in that area.
>> GRANT: After studying the Reconyx trail camera images and a map, they decided that Sky High was most likely using a long ridge that ran from northwest to southeast and dumped in to one of their hidey hole food plots.
>> GRANT: Putting all this together, they decided to hunt the hidey hole food plot they called Lookout in hopes of tagging Sky High.
>> GRANT: On the way in that day, they pulled a card from the camera to see if Sky High had been in the area during the past couple of days.
>> GRANT: He had. In fact, Sky High had been in that plot just an hour before they arrived.
>> GRANT: A few days later during Missouri’s youth season, Bradley returned to the Lookout food plot with his Prime.
>> GRANT: It was still early when Bradley spotted antlers through the timber.
>> GRANT: Bradley grabbed a Messenger call and gave it a grunt.
>> GRANT: A few moments later, a buck Bradley called Big Mac came on a string right to the call.
>> GRANT: Unfortunately, Big Mac never presented Bradley with a good shot opportunity, and he wisely gave the buck a pass.
>> GRANT: Danny and Bradley kept hunting the next couple of days, and during one of their hunts, they had a great encounter with three coyotes.
>> GRANT: Check out the coloring of these coyotes. They’re probably the result of the pairing of a coyote and a domestic dog.
>> GRANT: Once Missouri’s firearms season opened, Bradley grabbed his Winchester and hit the woods.
>> GRANT: Bradley saw lots of deer but was holding out for Sky High or Big Mac.
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>> GRANT: On the property where Bradley was hunting, there’s a fence line that runs east to west, and that opening is a great location to have a view right through the timber.
>> GRANT: Bradley had created a small food plot in this opening with hopes deer would cross at that location, maybe even feed there and present a good shot.
>> GRANT: Knowing there was a lot of deer activity at this location and a south wind forecast, Bradley decided to hunt from a Summit ladder stand on the west end of the food plot looking east.
>> GRANT: It was a cool morning with a heavy frost and some fog during the second-to-the-last day of Missouri’s firearm season.
>> BRADLEY: [Quietly] It’s a super cold morning. It’s about mid to upper 20s. Just a couple days ago the temps were in the upper 70s. So, cold front moved in yesterday. Pretty heavy frost this morning. So we’re hoping deer will be on their feet.
>> BRADLEY: [Quietly] We have today and tomorrow and then rifle season closes here in Missouri, so we’re gonna do an all-day sit today. Hopefully, we don’t have to. Hopefully, we can get it done this morning, but we’re just gonna sit back, enjoy the morning and gonna see what happens.
>> GRANT: It was still early when Bradley saw a set of antlers through the fog.
>> GRANT: This young buck drifted away, and Bradley hoped a more mature buck would show.
>> GRANT: As the frost began to melt and drop from the trees, Bradley spotted more deer near the fence.
>> GRANT: Suddenly, Bradley heard something coming through the leaves to his right.
>> GRANT: The doe appeared to be on edge and looking back into the timber.
>> GRANT: Then Bradley saw why the doe was so nervous. She was being followed by Sky High.
>> BRADLEY: [Whispering] Oh. Yes! That is a buck that we call Sky High. It is 8:50. I was planning on sitting all day today.
>> BRADLEY: I’d happened – I thought I heard a grunt, and I looked up, and there was a doe right here at 20 yards. And I thought there’s no way that was that doe. And I look back, and there he was – Sky High at 40 yards.
>> BRADLEY: But he finally came up, and I had a little bit of – a little opening. But I knew with this Winchester – I knew how it shot. I knew how it shot at close distance, and I knew I could punch through that hole. And sure enough, I’m pretty sure I just put a double lung on him, so.
>> BRADLEY: Yes. I’ve got to give Danny a call. Oh. [Phone ringing]
>> DANNY: Yeah?
>> BRADLEY: What you doing?
>> DANNY: I’m sitting in a blind.
>> BRADLEY: Hmm, that’s pretty cool.
>> DANNY: Yeah. You shoot one?
>> BRADLEY: Sky High is dead.
>> DANNY: Are you for real?
>> BRADLEY: I’m dead serious. I shot him at about 30 yards. Oh my gosh! Oh!
>> DANNY: That’s awesome.
>> GRANT: As you would expect, Danny was also hunting that morning and had a great encounter with a buck working a scrape but decided to give him a pass.
>> GRANT: Bradley called his brother-in-law to have him come help film the recovery. And it’s always good to have another hand dragging a deer, especially this time because Sky High ran down the hill to a bottom.
>> BRADLEY: Well, we finally got him to the top of the hill. That was a drag. So, I am very grateful for the help. My brother-in-law that came out helped me drag it and filmed the recovery. I couldn’t be happier with this buck. More meat for the freezer, and it’s always good whenever you get a set of antlers with it too. So.
>> GRANT: Well done, Bradley. All your hard work paid off, and your strategy was obviously spot on.
>> GRANT: Bradley’s season is a great example of how to pair a hidey hole food plot with a trail camera to pattern deer and allow hunters to have a great season. They can see what deer are in the area and develop a strategy that results in a successful hunt.
>> GRANT: Another key to Bradley’s success is that he opted to hunt a long, narrow clearing right through the timber during Missouri’s firearms season. That gave him a great view through lots of cover, and he could approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer. And this obviously resulted in a lot of venison for his freezer and another mount for his wall.
>> GRANT: The GrowingDeer Pro Staff has had a great season. They’ve tagged a bunch of good bucks and put a lot of venison in the freezer.
>> GRANT: If you’ve been filming your hunts for several years and you think you’d be a good fit for the GrowingDeer Team, send a link where we can review your videos to email@example.com.
>> GRANT: Late season strategies are often very different than early- and mid-season strategies. If you’d like to see what strategies the GrowingDeer Team is using to put more venison in our freezers, check out our social media.
>> GRANT: A great way to add to our enjoyment while out in Creation is spending time with friends and family. But even more important is to take time every day and be quiet and spend that time with our Creator.
>> GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.