A Hit List Buck & Two Close Calls (Episode 52 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

WOODS:  It’s Tuesday, November 16th, and you’ll see this episode on the Monday before Thanksgiving.  I just got to thinking about that and I want to take a quick minute to just share how thankful I am for the freedoms in this Nation and the men and women of our service who provide me those freedoms.  I can travel with a gun; I can have friends fly in many states away and come hunt and share with me.  My family is safe and sound.  I truly have so much to be thankful for and it all goes back to that origin of the Creator and Creation I enjoy and love so much.  It’s truly a time to be thankful with your family this week.  I hope you have a very nice Thanksgiving.

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WOODS:  My youngest daughter, Rae is up that afternoon.  Rae is eight years old and loves to hunt.  So, we go to Clover Mountain.  Called Clover Mountain because years ago we had clover planted in it.  It’s currently planted in a wheat/rye grain mix.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Rae and I are on Clover Mountain.  Now, it doesn’t look like clover, but the first year we planted anything here, it was clover.  It’s actually wheat and rye grain right now and we’ve noticed that this groundhog we’ve been seeing is obviously loving it.

WOODS:  We play a lot of hangman and watch the groundhog a lot and right at dark, a yearling buck comes out 150 yards away.

WOODS:  (Whispering) There they come.

RAE:  (Whispering) Yeah.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Let’s just see what happens.  Okay?  I think there’s more than one.  It’s a buck, Rae.  It’s a buck.  I can see his antlers.  It’s a buck.  It’s about the same distance you shot your last one, but it’s solely up to you, honey.

RAE:   (Whispering) I feel like I’m gonna miss.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Uh, I don’t think you will.  You’re a great shot.  No, no, wait.  He’s coming.  He’s gonna come on.  You’re okay.  You’re okay.  He’s going to turn back to us and get closer.  You’re okay.  Calm down.  Breathe deep.  Breathe deep.  You’re okay.  You’re okay.  He’s gonna come right to us.  You’re okay.  Breathe deep.  Remember to follow through your shot.  Breathe deep and follow through.  Just put the crosshairs right behind the shoulder.

WOODS:  Buck starts feeding her way.  Comes closer and closer.  I do some grunting.  Every now and then, just to keep him interested.  Long story, short.  He gets up there 40 yards broadside.  And I say, “Rae, you can go ahead and take the shot.”  And Rae, usually, when I say, “shoot.”  When the “s” comes out, the bullet is gone.  But Rae’s not shooting.  And I’m watching the camera.  I look over at her and I see a big old tear coming down her cheek.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Can you find him?

RAE:  (Whispering) I can’t.

WOODS:  (Whispering) When you get on his shoulders, just shoot him.

RAE: Okay.


RAE:  (Whispering) I can’t find him.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Can you find him?

RAE:  (Whispering) I’m trying now.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Honey, can you find him?

RAE:  (Whispering) I’m trying, dad.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Now, look through there and shoot him, honey.

RAE:  (Whispering) I’m looking, I’m trying, I’m trying.

WOODS:   (Whispering) Can you find him?

RAE:  (Whispering) I’m trying.  I can’t get it.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Don’t, don’t drop the gun.  Breathe deep.  It’s okay.  Honey.

WOODS:  When the deer starts walking out of the field, I realized, I had left the scope on 8 power because she’d been practicing aiming at some trees at the back of the field.  So I had cut her field of view way down.  I felt horribly small.  But, Rae will be up to bat again and Rae is such a trooper.  She smiled.  Tears are dry and she’s asked me before school this morning, “Daddy, when can we go hunting again?”  It’s all good in Rae’s world and I’m reliving that hunting through my eight year-old daughter’s eyes.  It’s all fun.

WOODS:  Sunday morning.  We rarely skip church, but I decided I would share some devotionals with Raleigh and we’d go out and enjoy Creation outside.  I’m not saying that’s a good program for all the time, but I felt that was right for that day.  It’s horribly cold.  25 degrees, and the wheat is totally covered with frost.  Typically, deer don’t eat wheat when it’s got frost all over it.  I understand why, so I tell Raleigh, “be patient.”

WOODS:  About 10:30, sure enough I see a nose pop up out of a creek bank into the field, followed by two fawns and another doe.  Now, usually, the first doe out in that scenario will be the lead doe, the biggest, most mature doe and that was the case.  And I ask, Raleigh, “Do you want to wait and see if a buck’s following or do you want to try and get on that lead doe?”

WOODS:  (Whispering) Do you want to shoot the big one?

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Yeah.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Wait for her to stop and then just put it right behind her shoulder.  I’m on the one in front, right behind the big tree.  Is that the one you’re on?

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Yeah.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Okay.  Good.  Put it right behind the front shoulder.

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Yeah.  I’m gonna wait for her to stop moving.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Going over here.

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Wait, hold on.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Which one are you on?

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Ready?

WOODS:  (Whispering) Which one?

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) The doe in the front.

WOODS:  (Whispering) On the far left?

RALEIGH:  (Whispering) Yes.

WOODS:  (Whispering) Okay.  I’m ready.


WOODS:  You got her, Raleigh.  You got her.

WOODS:  And, boom!  The deer was down instantly.  Like a ton of bricks.  High five, Raleigh.  “Give it to me.”  We’re all excited.  While we’re doing that and I bring the camera back over to video the other deer to see if a buck comes out, that doe jumps up, off camera now.  Runs in the woods.  I’m still not worried because the doe flopped hard.  I mean, just bam, down.  But, when I replayed the footage, I saw the shot was high; the impact in the air was high.  Almost unquestionably, Raleigh barely touched the little spinelets that come off the top of the spine.  If you’ve ever flayed out the loin on a deer, tip the deer over.  Uh, we use Crystal who successfully trailed our, the buck I shot recently very well.  She took that deer a long ways.  Never one drop of blood.  I’m totally convinced that deer is sore, but okay.  Will give us fawns next year and provide another opportunity.  Raleigh will be up again soon.  We’re all good at The Proving Grounds.

WOODS:  I’m still pumped up because Jessica Brooks from Barnes Bullets is coming in town.  Jessica and I end up getting in a tree about 9:30.  I look down the power line and sure enough, a shooter buck.  When you can tell they’re a shooter at 300 yards, it’s a good shooter.  It’s crossing the power line.  I’m trying to get the camera on.  Help Jessica find the deer because she’s brand new to the area and it gets across before we get anything going on.  That’s okay because we’re just in the first day of a long hunt.

WOODS:  (Grunt) (Whispering) I’m going to call him up.  (Grunt)  If you can take the shot, you can take the shot.  Tell me before you shoot her.

JESSICA:  I’d like to wait.

WOODS:  Yeah.  Let’s wait.  I’m fine to let him go.  He’s liable to just circle back by.

JESSICA:  Yeah.  He’s a pretty deer.

WOODS:  How many points?  Can you tell?

JESSICA:  I think he’s, I think he’s an eight pointer. (Whispering) Really exciting.  Ah, he was a shooter buck.  Nice, nice looking deer.  Uh, real tall.  Uh, we were still trying to get ready, actually, so, uh, it wasn’t really in the cards for me to shoot that deer this morning.  I’m Jessica Brooks and I am the product manager for Barnes Bullets.  I handle the marketing and the advertising.  I’m shooting a .30-06 with a 150 grain tipped triple shock in Barnes ammunition.  We just released it this year.  Brand new product for us.  So for those people that don’t handload, now they have another option to shoot Barnes Bullets.

WOODS:  About 1:30 in the afternoon, I see clearly a shooter buck coming through the trees, getting ready to cross the power line from left to the right.  I tell Jessica about where the deer’s going to come out on the power line and the first flat below us which is about 85 yards and a 30% slope downhill.  Folks, it’s steep.  Jessica is up.  I’m on camera.  I’ve got the camera on.  I’m focusing razor sharp because I know I get so excited about the hunt, I forget I’m a cameraman.  I just point the camera at the deer and my editors told me that.  So, I’m, I’m focusing.  I’m super focusing and I have it razor sharp focused.  Unfortunately, I never hit the “record” button.


WOODS:  Oh, and just retell the whole story right there.  That’s fine.

JESSICA:  I’m too excited.  I can’t remember. (Laughter) I was kind of thinking that the activity was over for the day when all of a sudden, Grant spots this buck in the trees and um, so I get on it and immediately I can see that he’s a nice buck.  I got the go ahead from Grant and I fired and he dropped like a ton of bricks.  I was so pleased with the performance.  And, um, unfortunately, Grant was so excited too, that he forgot to push record, so we didn’t get it on film.  But I’m so excited.  I’m excited about the way the bullet performed.  Textbook triple shock performance and uh, Grant and I are having so much fun in the stand today and.

WOODS:  I really want to throw up and I’m just not a guy that pukes.  I just don’t puke.  But, Jessica was so excited.  Boom!  Barnes Bullet.  Down.  Deer down.  Just disappears.  Slammed it to the ground.  She’s excited.  She’s up.  She confirms it’s down.  We’re high five-ing.  Everything’s good.  I can’t break her spirit, but I gotta tell her the truth.  “Jessica.”  Because she had just told me at the start of that hunt.  “Grant one of the most important reasons I want to hunt with you is that we have this brand new bullet.  The VOR-TX bullet.  And I really want to video with the high quality camera, the impact and the damage because of this VOR-TX bullet.”  I totally dropped the ball.  Jessica gets over that moment of shock that I’m not teasing.  That I didn’t have the record button on.  It’s okay.  She goes into helping me.  I should be helping her and she’s helping me.  What a gracious guest she was.

JESSICA:  I’m so excited.  I can hardly wait to check out this trophy.  I really am excited.  I’m 5’2” and I think this grass and vegetation’s about 5’4”.  Wow.  What a beautiful deer.  Oh, he is absolutely gorgeous.  I am so excited about this deer.  I didn’t take a second look.  I was just focused on my shot, but I had no idea that he would be as pretty as he is.  I’m, I’m so happy with my trophy.  His eye guards are fantastic.  He’s got great length on his tines.  Really, really, really, nice deer.  Um, and I’m so happy with the performance of the VOR-TX ammunition.  Um, and I’m really happy that I, that I took this deer with the rifle that I did.  It’s a .30-06 that my father built for me when I was 14 and, um,  it’s, it’s been my favorite rifle all my life and now it’s taken my big, my best whitetail trophy to date.  And, uh, I’m really proud of that.

WOODS:  The guy on the red button wasn’t quite as good, but the shooter was awesome.

JESSICA:  Well, we can work on your camera skills, but your guide skills are quite excellent.

WOODS:  Okay.  Okay.  Well, one out of two is not bad.

WOODS:  All right, dad.  Take a look at this old boy.

GLEN:  Mercy.

JESSICA:  Mercy, me.

GLEN:  That is a good one.

JESSICA:  I know.  I’m so excited.

GLEN:  I mean to tell you.  That’s a good one.  How old is he, son?

WOODS:  He’s probably five or six, dad.

GLEN:  Five or six?  You done good.

WOODS:  Very old Proving Grounds buck.  We have his sheds from last year.  Now, we haven’t done any genetic testing.  But, they are identical shape.  And it’s about, uh, ten inches bigger or about a seven percent increase in size this year.  But there’s more to the story than that.  Last year – 2009 – was a tremendous growing year.  Perfect rain, great crops.  This year, as you know, if you’ve been watching our show, tremendous drought.  15 weeks in the summer with no measurable precipitation.  To grow seven percent in a horrible year, compared to a great year is huge.  These are the sheds from last year.  You see the pictures of the buck this year.  156 inches of gross.  Great Proving Grounds buck.  Remember, this is from a county that’s never had one Pope and Young recorded.  156 inches and we’ve got a bunch of those on the Hit List.  Hey, you know, there’s a lot of lessons here.  Hunt all day through the rut.  Enjoy your family.  Turn that record button on.  And good management.  Because at The Proving Grounds down by Branson, Missouri, it’s horrible deer habitat.  But due to fertilizing and planting and prescribed fire and passing up deer, we have awesome quality hunting.  Jessica, I’m so sorry I didn’t hit the record button.  Thanks for being so gracious.  I hope each of you has a very blessed Thanksgiving.

WOODS:  Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.