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DANIEL: Well, just got out in the woods. We’re going to hang a set. Actually came out yesterday and scouted with Clayton and Evan. Found a great tree that we’re going to hang a Summit stand in today. We’re going to kind of walk you through the process of hanging that stand and explain a little more in detail why we’re hanging in this specific area.
DANIEL: So, we’re going to get everything unloaded. We’re going to pack it up, get to the cedar tree and get to work.
DANIEL: This afternoon got the interns, Evan and Clayton, with me. We’re going to do a little scouting. We’re trying to find a new tree stand location.
DANIEL: Last fall while we were tracking a deer, we came up through this timber on the side of this slope and there were several flats and I saw lots of trails. So, we’re going to get in there, look for fresh sign and maybe find a tree that we can hang in and get ready for this fall.
DANIEL: Super excited about scouting in here. I’ve looked on the onX map on my desktop and I’ve kind of got an idea of where I want to start scouting.
DANIEL: There’s kind of a ridge that kind of – just an elevator ridge – kind of works straight down and it makes perfect sense. Because we’ve hunted in this food plot just to the north of here several times.
DANIEL: And we’ve had bucks kind of pop out right here on this southwest corner. And I think they’re just working this little elevation change right down in this food plot. So, we’re going to start right there. We’re going to ease up here, start scouting.
DANIEL: We’ve got our tracker on. We’ll mark some trees with onX. And then probably here soon, we’ll be hanging a stand if we find a good tree.
DANIEL: All right. You guys ready?
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DANIEL: Just got to the base of the tree and I want to take a little time to just kind of breakdown this set up and explain why we are choosing to hang here and the hunting strategy we’ll use for when the conditions are right to slip up into these Summits.
DANIEL: During the past few hunting seasons, we’ve made several observations that have made us go, “Ooo. This may not be a bad spot to get in and scout.”
DANIEL: To the north and northeast, there’s two food plots. There’s a food plot we call Backdoor. You may recognize Backdoor because on that southwest corner several years ago, we placed a Reconyx camera and there were a lot of bucks dumping into that food plot.
DANIEL: Based on the Reconyx images and videos that we received, we hung a stand in Backdoor, hunted it and had some great hunts. We even encountered a hit list buck we call High Riser last fall.
DANIEL: There were obviously a lot of deer and some good bucks using the Backdoor food plot.
DANIEL: Now, just to the northeast here, there’s another food plot just down the ridge from Backdoor. We call this food plot Bigfoot.
DANIEL: Look at that trail right there. Holy moley, that’s a highway. Take a look at this, folks.
DANIEL: We’re right up through there. There is an absolute highway that runs right down through there – all the way through there. So, they’re doing exactly what’s expected kind of right here on this little spine.
DANIEL: And it’s just an easy elevator ridge is what we call it where they can go from high elevation to low elevation fairly easy. And these deer are just working their way up and down this ridge.
DANIEL: Of course, they’ve got a food plot we call Backdoor right up here to the northwest and just to the east here, Bigfoot. So they can go either way. They’re going to come right down through here. So, we’re going to probably walk this – walk this trail up and try to find a little flat or something where we can get where the wind is more constant.
DANIEL: Right now you can see back behind me, we’re kind of at the lowest point here. And there is a little drainage or draw right here and the wind would really want to swirl.
DANIEL: So, we’re going to probably go back up here, try to get off to the side here where we can let thermals come down and suck down the bottom and where the wind won’t want to swirl as much where we can get in here when the conditions are right.
DANIEL: So. Super excited. I love getting out here and scouting. You never know what you’ll find. So, I’m going to keep on walking.
DANIEL: During the fall of 2017, I was hunting in the Bigfoot food plot and I harvested a doe early during the morning. I didn’t get down out of the stand because a downed doe can be a great attractant for a buck, especially during the rut.
DANIEL: Around 10:30 or 11:00, I heard a grunt up on the hill. I hit the Messenger grunt call and a few minutes later, I saw antlers coming down the hill.
DANIEL: It was an exciting hunt and a great example of how a harvested deer can be an attractant to other deer.
DANIEL: When we started considering our observations from our hunts at Backdoor and Bigfoot and we put that together with our other trail camera data, we started realizing there was probably a lot of activity in the timber to the south of those food plots.
DANIEL: Well, there’s blood right there.
DANIEL: Last fall while trailing a deer, we were in this timber and we saw a lot of deer sign. And when we started putting all that information together, we realized it was time to come in, scout and figure out how we hunt the timber to the south of these food plots.
DANIEL: Came out yesterday afternoon and scouted with the interns.
DANIEL: All right. This is exactly what I was looking for, waiting for. We’ve got a fork in the trail. One goes high and one goes low. We’re walking on this one that was low.
DANIEL: This one that goes high is kind of wrapping around the point here. So, we’ve got two trails coming together. Love that.
DANIEL: Looking around, there’s actually a heck of a cedar right here that we could hang in. And I’m going to mark that cedar because I really like it.
DANIEL: There’s several terrain features in this area that make it an ideal travel corridor for deer. It’s very steep out in front of us. We’re about 50 or 60 yards to the north. There’s kind of an easy elevator ridge, as we call it, that deer can use to go up or down the mountain.
DANIEL: Even though it’s very steep right here, there’s a very small flat. And right on top of this flat is a heavy deer trail. In fact, the trail actually splits right in front of this tree. One of those trails goes high and one trail goes low.
DANIEL: I’ve walked both these trails and you can see by my tracker, the one that goes high wraps around the point and dumps into Backdoor. The one that goes low, it goes right into Bigfoot.
DANIEL: The side of this slope is facing east. So with any west, northwest or north wind, on a cold morning, our wind is actually going to blow back behind us, drop down. Thermals are going to be coming down off the mountain and suck right down the valley below.
DANIEL: The only negative to this hunting location is that it’s on the east-facing slope. So, we’re only going to be able and come in and hunt very cold mornings with a strong wind.
DANIEL: Because once the sun comes up and starts warming that air, it’s going to want to rise. Well, we’re still going to have cold air that’s going to be wanting to sink. So, it will just cause a churning or a mixing of the air.
DANIEL: Once that happens, we won’t be able to effectively hunt without alerting deer. So, we’ll want to climb down and return once the conditions are favorable.
DANIEL: We know from similar setups that our hunting window may only be until about 9:00 or 9:30 but we’re banking on that early morning success.
DANIEL: That’s the strategy. It’s time to get to work and hang the Summits.
DANIEL: I really like hanging in cedars when it’s possible. I will leave these lower cedar limbs. And we’re going to go up. And we’re probably just going to kind of cut a hole right up top. And what that does is, especially on this setup where this trail is kind of down below us, it puts that cover right between us and the deer.
DANIEL: So, we’re actually kind of looking over these limbs and seeing the deer. But when the deer are looking up, they’ve got to look through cedar limbs. So, this provides a lot of cover.
DANIEL: Cedars are usually pretty straight, so it makes it easy to hang in. And what we’re going to do is we’ll end up – we’re going to kind of clean up the backside of this cedar. We’ll hang our, our vine steps up here on the backside. And then come around on the front and kind of make a little hole up in the branches. And that’s where we’ll hang our stands.
DANIEL: You know, the most important thing when you’re hanging a tree stand is to make sure you’re wearing a harness. And I’ve checked. You know, this harness has been at the barn. You know, I’m checking and making sure all these straps are still good.
DANIEL: Another thing I like to do is I like to have two lineman ropes. You’ve probably seen a lineman rope around the waist and the tree so you can work, have your hands free.
DANIEL: But something we always run into is there’s a limb that you’ve got to go around. And we never want to be unhooked from the tree. So, I like to have one around my waist and I like to have another one available.
DANIEL: And what I’ll do with that is I’ll kind of work it in tandem with the strap in the back. And I’ll reach up so I can go around limbs, hook in, be tied in, and I can take the one off my waist. I can climb up, get around that limb and then go back to the lineman rope around my waist. So, I’m never unhooked from the tree.
DANIEL: And I like the straps – I’ll kind of start ‘em a little high. I’ll tighten ‘em down and I’ll kind of push down. And that just gets ‘em super tight.
DANIEL: All right. Next one.
DANIEL: Make sure that carabiner gets screwed on. All right. Next one.
DANIEL: And give yourself enough room so you can use your weight to lean back so you can actually work out in front of you.
DANIEL: All right. I’m to the height that I want. I kind of cut out a little hole right here where I’m going to set the stand. The first thing I’m going to do is I’ve got my safety line. I’m going to put it up right above here.
DANIEL: Now, I’m not going to tie into this yet. I’m going to use this to haul up the tree stand once I get the bracket placed here on the tree. So I’ll put the bracket up; tie on the safety line. And then I’ll haul up the stand and attach the Summit to the bracket.
DANIEL: Okay. I’m kind of imagining how I want my hunter to sit. I’m hanging two stands – one for the hunter and one for the cameraman.
DANIEL: All right. First Featherweight is up. It’s solid. I’m going to tie in up here. I ‘m going to climb in and see what the view is like. Still not tied into the safety line. I’m using my lineman rope that I brought up with me.
DANIEL: So, this line is still loose. So, we can bring up the cameraman’s stand and see what we’ve got.
DANIEL: I gotta tell you. I really like this. This looks good. You’ve got the trail right here. It’s an easy chip shot, 10 yards. I can see up above me. There’s, there’s that flat up there.
DANIEL: If I see something up there, we can grunt, bring them down. I’m going to get the guys going down on the ground starting on lanes. We’ll be really choosy which trees we cut. I’d rather leave a couple things for cover because once all the leaves are off, it will be pretty bare out there. But, we can – we can get started. It’s going to look good. I can’t wait to get up here later this fall.
DANIEL: All right. Clayton, you see this little oak right here?
DANIEL: Well, the guys just finished trimming up all the lanes. We actually didn’t cut a lot. Just a couple of the big trees right here in front that were blocking our view for either the shot or seeing deer coming.
DANIEL: So, one trail is coming all the way through here. And this trail cuts up. Of course, we’ve got a bedding area over here. We’ve got food here. So, during the pre-rut, bucks are going to be cruising through here.
DANIEL: I chose to leave a little more cover out in front of us. The reason being is, you can actually see – there’s another flat up above us. And you can see through there. If we hear or see a buck up there, we can grunt.
DANIEL: This cover allows us to have, you know, a block between us and that buck. Because that buck is going to be coming down the mountain looking for the buck that he heard that grunt from.
DANIEL: So, I wanted to leave a little more cover here. So, as he’s coming down the mountain really searching hard, he’s not spotting us in the tree. And we can get ready for whenever he steps out into these shooting lanes.
DANIEL: I’m really excited about this set. And I’m going to climb down and we’re going to do kind of the last few things we’ve got left here to finish her up.
DANIEL: Just finished hanging this set. Super excited. Can’t wait to hunt it this fall. But we’re not quite done. We’ve got one last thing to do. We’re going to cut and blow a trail from the base of this tree down the hill.
DANIEL: We’re not blowing a very large trail – just a walking path. You know, it just helps us to be able to see the trail as we walk in the dark and it’s quieter.
DANIEL: The leaves aren’t on the ground. We’re not crunching on ‘em as we’re walking up. We can slip in undetected by deer.
DANIEL: The GrowingDeer Team has been hunting at The Proving Grounds for many years. But we’re still getting out; we’re scouting and finding new hunting locations.
DANIEL: No matter how long you’ve been hunting a property, it’s good to get outside, scout, find MRI – the most recent information – and create a hunting plan based on those observations.
DANIEL: Whether you’re scouting, getting ready for planting season or just taking a walk, get outside and enjoy Creation. But more importantly, slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you and the purpose He has for your life.
DANIEL: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.