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GRANT: This is a special week of GrowingDeer.tv, as we celebrate our fifth anniversary. 260 shows released every week, without ever showing a repeat episode. We’re really thankful to our loyal viewers and our partners that help make this possible. If you’d like to see us grow even more, just cut that link and share it with your hunting buddies. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: It was a great way to celebrate our fifth anniversary by taking both of my daughters hunting. You may have watched last week, as Raleigh tagged a nice buck with her bow.
GRANT: (Whispering) You’ve got it. You nailed him. You nailed him. You nailed him.
GRANT: Rae was able to join me the next day, as we set off during Missouri’s youth season. Long term viewers have watched Rae grow up through the years. She’s tagged several deer and turkey and is an adamant hunter.
RAE: Yay. I just shot my second deer. Second tree right behind it. Shot one.
GRANT: I never have to beg Rae to get out of bed and go hunting with me. Rae enjoys watching Creation, reading a book during the slow times, and gets really excited when there’s a shot opportunity.
GRANT: You nailed him.
GRANT: Rae feels a sense of pride in helping the family attain natural venison for the freezer. Rae’s outgrown the little single shot .223 she started with, and this year, she received a special gift, a Winchester Model 70 Compact in .243 caliber. Before youth season, we spent a lot of time with Rae, allowing her to get used to and shoot the new gun. After watching Rae shoot, I was totally confident that when I said shoot, there’d be venison on the ground.
RAE: Right there.
GRANT: When you’re allowing children, or new shooters, to practice with a centerfire rifle, I strongly suggest you use some type of recoil suppression system. I like to use the Lead Sled, cause it takes out almost all the recoil, and it’s easy and comfortable to use. Getting punched several times will allow new shooters to develop bad habits, such as flinching or jerking away. Rae hasn’t developed those habits, since she started out using a Lead Sled, and I want to keep it that way.
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RAE: (Whispering) It’s November 2nd, the second day of youth season. It’s really cold and the wind is coming towards us, but we saw a bunch of deer coming up here, and I think I’ll get one.
GRANT: That afternoon, there was a strong south wind, so Rae and I changed positions and went to a Redneck blind in a food plot we call Tracy’s Field. It’s located so right across the creek you can see into another food plot we call Blue Hole. With the south wind, we figured that we might see deer in the Blue Hole field.
GRANT: Rae is very familiar with this blind because it’s the same location where she tagged a nice buck last year. During that hunt, there was a north wind, and Rae was focused on Tracy’s Field.
GRANT: During the afternoon, we caught some glimpses of young bucks, and even some antlerless deer crossing Blue Hole field, but it happened too fast, or just wasn’t something Rae was comfortable with.
GRANT: During last light, two mature does entered the Blue Hole field a little bit over 200 yards away. I’ve seen Rae shoot off the DeadShot FieldPod a couple times before and I was totally confident she could make this shot.
RAE: (Whispering) I could shoot ‘em right now.
GRANT: (Whispering) You could?
RAE: (Whispering) I could.
GRANT: (Whispering) What do you want to do?
RAE: (Whispering) We know that they’re does, right?
GRANT: (Whispering) I don’t, I can’t tell, honey.
RAE: (Whispering) I think that they are…
GRANT: (Whispering) You got a better view through your – I mean…let me see..
RAE: (Whispering) Yeah. They’re both does. They’re both does.
GRANT: (Whispering) Let me focus through here a little bit.
RAE: (Whispering) Can I shoot ‘em? They’re both standing still.
GRANT: (Whispering) If you – I think the one in the back is slightly bigger, but it’s up to you. Tell me ‘fore you shoot.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay. I’m gonna shoot.
GRANT: (Whispering) You got to take your safety off.
RAE: (Whispering) I’m gonna shoot the one in the back. Okay?
GRANT: (Whispering) Right in the shoulder, Rae. Right in the shoulder. Follow through. (Shot) You dropped her like a rock.
RAE: (Whispering) Are you sure?
GRANT: Yeah. You dropped her like a rock, girl.
GRANT: You dropped, she didn’t wiggle, she didn’t move, she didn’t go “kadunka”. She just dropped like a rock. Awesome job, Rae.
GRANT: This year, Rae was using the new Winchester Deer Season XP ammo. It’s likely the first ammo ever built from the ground up, specifically for white-tailed deer. With its larger impact diameter, it’s made to be optimized for knock down power in a white-tailed deer unlike other bullets that are overbuilt, so they can be used for elk, or larger animals. It was obvious, from watching Rae’s shot on this deer, that that design is perfect for whitetails. After watching the results of Rae’s shot, and cleaning her deer, I’ll be using Winchester Deer Season XP this year. And next year it’ll be widely available to deer hunters everywhere.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Stop shooting. Right behind us. (Inaudible) Follow through. (Shot)
GRANT: You nailed him.
GRANT: Later that week, we rolled over to the Kentucky Proving Grounds where there are more does than the food plots can produce quality forage, and I really enjoy hunting a target rich environment.
GRANT: We selected a stand in some hardwoods, just across an interior road from a bedding area. And it wasn’t long ‘til we heard footsteps in the leaves.
GRANT: We spotted a good buck, about 70 yards away, and the path he was on was gonna take him about 50 yards behind our Muddy tree stands.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Is that a shooter?
GRANT: Adam and I was confident that that buck would follow one of those does past our stand.
GRANT: As the buck approached, Adam and I both knew we’d have a short window to estimate his age before the shot opportunity passed.
GRANT: At first glance, I thought it was a four year old buck, and the landowner requests his guest to pass bucks younger than four, but as the buck got a little closer, Adam and I could both tell that neck broke way above the brisket and had the typical straight back of a three year old buck.
GRANT: (Whispering) I’m gonna shoot this big doe. Big doe, right here.
GRANT: I’ve now shot several deer with the Havoc broadhead, and I’m very confident with my current bow, arrow, and broadhead setup. As one of the mature does come up, she was quartering to me a little bit, but it was a close shot, and I was extremely confident I could put it where the money counts.
GRANT: (Whispering) Perfect.
GRANT: I could instantly tell it was a good shot, as I stood there quietly. I was confident I heard her fall about 70 yards away.
GRANT: (Quietly) Look up see if you can see that deer before we blow something out of here.
GRANT: There she is. Laying right there. There’s a deer laying right there.
GRANT: I – I looked at that first, and I said, “My gosh. That’s an antler on that thing.” Just say – he is shooting good today. Look at that slice on that thing.
GRANT: Yeah. I put it right there. I didn’t want it buried in there. Although, really pretty confident with that, actually. And, uh, worked out perfect. 70 yards. Easy drag.
GRANT: Uphill. (Laughter)
GRANT: Unfortunately, I brought my bow, and I got to protect it, so I’m gonna carry my bow out, while you drag this deer out.
ADAM: Yeah. I was gonna say, easy drag for the guy nominating the two other guys to drag. (Laughter)
GRANT: Gaining the long term access and friendship of a landowner can be as easy as following his harvest guidelines and helping out with some habitat improvement projects.
GRANT: Even though it’s during the rut, we’ll take a little mid-day break, gonna make a tree plot right next to where the landowner had planted some other trees, but when we look at this, we noticed that he didn’t put a tree protector, and five for five of the trees had been killed by bucks rubbing on them.
GRANT: Chris and Tina, from Flatwood Natives, joined us on this hunt, at the Kentucky Proving Grounds, and they brought five pear trees to Mr. Hamby’s property.
GRANT: Not only is mid-November a great time to be deer hunting, it’s also a good time to plant trees. So we want to go through a few steps in establishing a tree plot. We’ve dug our holes, and you want the hole as deep as the tree pot, but no deeper, ‘cause you don’t want water standing in this area. You also want it about twice as wide, so you’ve loosened up all that soil, so its feeder roots can expand out from the base of the tree.
GRANT: First thing I do is start with a slow release type fertilizer in the bottom of the hole. Now, you don’t want too much. Trees don’t take a lot of fertilizer, like soybeans, or something else. Just a handful in the bottom, and a little bit more, as we’re packing in the dirt.
GRANT: Gently take the tree out – not putting much pressure on this. You notice I’ve got it laid over. Put that right in the bottom, and you can see, I’ve got it right at ground level. Air pockets are natural root pruners, so if a root’s growing and hits a pocket of air, it will kill that root. It’s important to tamp down, and then, use water and fill it around.
GRANT: You don’t want to saturate the whole hole. You just want enough water where you can pack it down; make sure all the air pockets are out. And then, keep adding dirt, about an inch at a time.
GRANT: All the trees are planted, and the next step is pruning these lateral limbs. It’s never too early, especially here in the dormant season, to start pruning. You want to cut as close to the stem as you can, without damaging the bark on the main trunk. And we’re gonna leave this tree with one main leader. And this will grow up and have plenty of lateral branches and require more pruning in the future.
GRANT: We showed you earlier what happens when you don’t protect fruit trees. Oftentimes, deer will rub them, deposit their pheromones. A really easy way to solve that, and benefit the growth of your tree, is use a tree protector. Protects it physically, conserves moisture. Tree tubes are a necessity when establishing a tree plot.
GRANT: Another really important step is a tree mat, so there will be no weeds growing right around this young root ball of a tree, competing for moisture and nutrient. Secure it down. Do that on each corner, and you’ll have a very well protected tree – saving moisture and protecting it from physical damage. A final protector, actually protects the tree and some important wildlife species. It’s called a bird net. We simply open up the netting. Stick it over the top of the tree tube. During the springtime, several species of birds are looking for cavities to nest. They’ll go down in here, potentially damaging the tree, and they might not be able to fly back out by expanding their wings, dying in the tube. This simple netting prevents both from happening. Tree plots are an investment in time – well worth it if you’re a serious deer hunter. If you’ve got the only fresh fruit in the neighborhood, you can be sure deer will be there, when that fruit is ripe.
GRANT: I hope you have an opportunity to get outside and hunt, or do a habitat project this week, but most importantly, find some time to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.