Waiting on a Hit List Buck (Episode 54 Transcript)

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WOODS: It’s November 30th and it’s spitting snow very lightly for the first time here at The Proving Grounds this fall and that’s a great sign of things to come.  You know, it’s been a little bit slow week with the lockdown phase of the rut going on and now a lot of acorns still present, but that metabolism rate of deer has got to kick in.  They’ve got to gain food to get that heater going; that big furnace in their body and we haven’t over hunted our food plots.  So great hunting yet to come.  Well, let’s talk about last week as we prepare for next week.

WOODS: (Whispering) It’s a very frosty morning.  November 27th, Saturday.  And I feel really good about this morning.  I had some, some friends tell me, my buddies up at Heartland Bowhunter that they’re seeing a few scrapes open back up and some bucks out cruising so the timing’s right and the observations are right that we should be going out of the lockdown phase of the rut.  Bucks have been used to having a date every day without a lot of effort.  Now they’ve got to search a little bit, so these four or five days could be some awesome hunting.

WOODS:  We were in early.  The wind is cold.  It’s going down in the valley.  We’ve come from up the valley, get to the treestands, so the deer don’t know we’re in the world.  Get up the tree early and I had predicted that it would be late before we saw a deer and about 9:00, 9:30, saw a yearling buck come through, hit the Trophy Rock and come on in the food plot a little bit.  It was still frosty so he didn’t eat much and then scoot on out.

WOODS: Just a little bit later, we saw a huge doe;  a magnum doe and a couple of very large fawns come scooting through right above the food plot, going toward a known bedding area about a hundred yards behind that food plot.

WOODS: I did a little aggressive calling, but sure enough we see a shooter buck come through; work the scrape just off the camera.  And I did some calling.  Now I was on the edge whether to call or not because he was on a mission.  He was headed toward that bedding area and I knew he was going to get out of range or out of sight soon.  But when you call and you’re in a food plot and deer look out in the food plot and don’t see a deer, they know something’s up.  They hear a vocalization but they don’t get that image of a deer standing there to go with it.  That’s where a decoy would have paid huge dividends.  We didn’t have our decoy set up.  I did some various calling and I did a snort/wheeze and he turned and looked right at us.  I really thought he was coming.  As a matter of fact I said to Adam, “Here he comes.”  I’m ready to draw the 7 back.  But, he just couldn’t find the image.  I could see him in the woods searching.  He couldn’t see anything.  Off he goes to the bedding area.

WOODS: (Whispering) It’s about eleven.  We’ve had a good morning.  No shot, but great encounter.  We had a yearling buck come in here right in front of the Reconyx camera, then nowhere in the world.  His face looked kind of odd.  I think he’d been whipped.  He had busted off one antler already and his face was disproportional.  I think it was swollen, but his ear was all puffed up.  It was really cold so he’s, he’s healthy.  Looks like he’ll be fine.  Had a magnum doe come through.  Man, she had a huge body; couple of great fawns, and probably a shooter buck.  I couldn’t identify if it was a Hit List Buck or not.  Just because I saw him and I was concentrating on not moving and calling and trying to get him in range, but we were 30 yards off.  Pretty quiet so I think we’re going to bail out of here.

WOODS: My #1 job is not to kill a Boone and Crockett buck.  My #1 job is to come home at night so I can be there for my wife and children.  And one of the things I count on the most to come home is Muddy’s new safety tether.  It’s absolutely simple and wonderful.  Come home safely.  Check out Muddy’s tether.

WOODS: (Whispering) So I like to grunt when yearling bucks are walking by because it, you know that old buck may smell that yearling buck and associate that grunting with something going on.  I don’t want to grunt when he’s right below me because I may blow him out of here.  We just need Granddad to come on by.

WOODS: As these temperatures get colder, and we haven’t over hunted our food plots, deer are going to stop searching far and wide to find those few remnant acorns that are left and go to the more concentrated food source in our food plots.  This is where food plots really can pay huge dividends.  When deer have to find enough food to feed that furnace and you’ve got concentrated food in your food plots that’s high quality and they haven’t been pressured; deer have not been conditioned to avoiding those areas in daylight, there can be some fabulous hunting.  Man, I can’t wait for the weeks ahead.  There’s going to be some great hunting with Christmas coming up.  It’s all good and I’m really excited that we’ve had a strategy of not over hunting our food plots and waiting for this late season based on the huge acorn crop we had this year.  I hope your strategy is working out and things are looking good at your hunting area.  Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.