This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: It was recently Missouri’s alternative weapons season and the GrowingDeer Team hit the woods with our muzzleloaders.
GRANT: During the opening morning of this season, my daughter, Rae tagged a doe in a plot we call Prickly Pear.
GRANT: A few days later on Christmas afternoon, Pro Staffer Chase White tagged a buck he called Squiggles.
GRANT: Missouri’s muzzleloader season usually occurs during late December. Often, the temperatures are cold, which makes for great hunting as deer are seeking high-quality food.
GRANT: The food-cover/food-cover pattern that often occurs at that time of year usually makes for some great hunting. We’ve enjoyed some great hunts throughout the years while capitalizing on that pattern.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay. I’m gonna shoot him.
GRANT: (Whispering) Okay. Take your time.
RAE: (Whispering) Okay.
GRANT: (Whispering) Okay. Just take your time and follow through. (Inaudible) After you shoot him.
GRANT: That – ain’t no doubt about that one, girl.
RAE: (Quietly) He better die. He needs to be in the field. In the field. In the field, in the field.
GRANT: We’re gonna start reloading real quick, but I think he’s going down right there. He’s getting ready to go down.
GRANT: (Whispering) Stop, buddy, stop.
GRANT: (Whispering) He’s hit good. He’s hit good. He’s going down. Trashman is ours.
GRANT: This year at The Proving Grounds, the daytime temperatures were much warmer than normal. And our Reconyx cameras showed most of the deer activity was at night.
GRANT: There was one plot where deer seemed to be using during daylight hours and that was Prickly Pear where Rae tagged a doe the first day of muzzleloader season.
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GRANT: New Year’s Eve afternoon, the wind was forecast to be out of the west. So, Daniel decided to hunt from the east side of Prickly Pear.
DANIEL: Self-filming this afternoon; heading up to a food plot we call Prickly Pear. Right across the holler here is a south facing slope bedding area. And there’s a good chance deer are going to be right over there, and gonna slip up across this holler, and come up on top of this ridge to feed this afternoon.
GRANT: Daniel approached the plot from the east so he wouldn’t alert deer to the south, north or west given there was a west wind.
GRANT: Daniel settled into the Redneck ghillie blind and prepared for the hunt.
DANIEL: (Quietly) It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m looking to end the year right by punching a tag. Hunting this afternoon; self-filming; got the muzzleloader. It was rainy all last night and into the morning, but it’s finally cleared up and the sun is shining. And I think that’s gonna be the ticket to get deer on their feet this afternoon, even though the temperatures are a little warm.
DANIEL: (Quietly) I’m hunting in a food plot we call Prickly Pear. We’ve had a lot of success here. In fact, about a week ago on opening day of muzzleloader season, Rae punched a tag outta here.
DANIEL: (Quietly) I’m set up on the other side this afternoon because we’ve got a west wind and I’m on the east side. And so, I suspect deer are either going to come straight from the west or from the north. I think we’re in the game this afternoon.
GRANT: Even though it was sunny and warmer than normal, it had rained that morning and Daniel believed deer would move before dark due to the rain.
GRANT: As the sun set and the shadows grew, a doe stepped into the plot from the north side.
GRANT: She began feeding on Eagle Seeds Fall Buffalo Blend.
GRANT: Daniel enjoyed watching the doe feed and was waiting to see if other deer entered the plot.
GRANT: After several minutes and no more deer showed, Daniel prepared for the shot.
GRANT: The CVA did the job and Daniel punched the last tag of 2018 here at The Proving Grounds.
DANIEL: Well, it’s exactly what I was hoping for. I didn’t even find blood. I just happened to shine my light down here and she’s not but ten yards. right outside the food plot.
GRANT: The next afternoon, Clay was hunting with a muzzleloader at a plot we call Raleigh’s Field.
GRANT: While hunting, Clay saw several does and young bucks.
GRANT: Unfortunately, Clay never had a good shot opportunity. But Daniel used that information and returned to the same plot a few days later with his Prime.
GRANT: Raleigh’s Field lies primarily east and west on top of a very steep mountain. We have a pair of Summit stands hung on the south side, about 80 yards from the western end.
GRANT: Deer usually enter this plot from the north or west so we can approach those stands from the east without alerting them.
GRANT: Daniel and Colton headed to those stands from the east hoping the deer would follow the same pattern that Clay saw.
GRANT: They settled into the stands and were excited to see what the hunt would hold.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Well, it is January the 4th and Colton and I are in a food plot we call Raleigh’s Field. It’s up on top of this ridge – hardwoods all the way around us and a lot of red oaks. There’s a lot of acorns on the ground; deer are definitely still on red oak acorns.
DANIEL: (Whispering) But there’s been a pretty good pattern here in the afternoons of does on the back side of this plot. I think what they’re doing is they’re feeding on acorns; they’re crossing over; grabbing a bite to eat in the Fall Buffalo Blend; and then going back into the timber to feed on acorns.
DANIEL: (Quietly) I think we’re in the game. It is late season and all the trees have dropped their leaves. And it is bare up here, so we’re all painted up. We’re gonna have to sit still in this tree, but I think we’ve got a good shot at punching a tag this afternoon.
GRANT: Once the sun set below the mountain, three deer entered from the west.
GRANT: It appeared to be two does and a button buck.
GRANT: The deer slowly fed toward Daniel and Colton.
GRANT: Daniel and Colton remained extremely still as that side of the ridge is all hardwoods and there’s not much cover since the leaves are off.
DANIEL: (Whispering) She’s at 30.
GRANT: Finally, the big doe turned and Daniel prepared for the shot.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Are you on her?
DANIEL: (Whispering) Go down; go down. Drop there, baby. Drop there. She’s down. She’s going down; she’s going down. She’s laying right there on top of the mountain.
DANIEL: (Whispering) I gotta be honest. I don’t know what I’m more excited about, tagging a doe with as many acorns on the ground as there are and as hard a hunt as it’s been or the fact that that doe is down on top of the mountain and it’s gonna be an easy drag. I’m pretty excited.
DANIEL: (Whispering) You think I’m crazy, but this is a steep mountain. And once you get off the food plot, it just goes down and there’s not a road nearby. It’s all legs, baby. All legs.
DANIEL: (Whispering) The plan worked perfectly. They came out of the timber and was probably eating on acorns on their way up the hill – came out of the food plot, head down.
DANIEL: (Whispering) I think we were waiting for ‘em for about 25 minutes, but sure enough, the big doe out of the three gave me about a 23-yard shot.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Late season, late season success. It feels good.
DANIEL: (Whispering) It rained all last night and this morning, it got sunny – kind of warm. I figured deer would be moving and sure enough, sure enough, they were.
DANIEL: Arrow is just soaked. Deadmeat did the job. Got it done tonight.
DANIEL: There’s no better feeling for me in the deer woods than having a successful late season hunt. It is, it is one of a kind because deer have been hunted hard all through the season. There’s no leaves on the trees; you’ve got to sit still. They are on edge.
DANIEL: And to be able to pull off a late season hunt, that’s quite a feat in my book. So, I am super pumped about this big doe this afternoon and I’m really excited because the Deadmeat put her down 80 yards from the tree we were hunting in.
DANIEL: I shot her about 20 – somewhere in there and she only ran 60 yards. So, easy blood trail and an easy drag.
DANIEL: We’ve got a few days left here in Missouri’s season and we’re gonna be hunting hard trying to get a few more does closer to our goal; trying to pattern a hit list buck. And we’re gonna get her up, load her up and start making some venison.
GRANT: Colton normally edits GrowingDeer’s short videos and this was his first time filming a hunt for us. He did a great job capturing the story and I’m eager for him to get out, film more hunts, and then return and work his magic in the studio.
GRANT: Team Kentucky and their families have had a great deer season this fall.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Smoked him, right there.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Oh, yeah, baby.
GRANT: Recently, Kentucky had a youth free weekend hunt and Pro Staffer Graham Gandee took his eight-year-old nephew, Josh, hunting.
GRAHAM: All right. We’ve got the Kentucky free youth weekend that’s getting ready to hit tomorrow and I’ve got my buddy, Josh, my nephew, who just came in from Pittsburgh. And he loves the outdoors; loves to hunt and our Christmas wish, maybe for him, is to maybe be able to punch a tag on a deer.
GRAHAM: So, he’s in Kentucky and the Kentucky Team has had a really good season this year and wouldn’t be anything better than to top it off with Josh getting his first deer killed.
GRANT: Before the hunt, Graham wisely showed Josh all the safety features of the Winchester he’d be using. He also taught Josh where the vitals are on a deer and where to aim to make an ethical shot.
GRANT: The following morning, Graham, Josh and Josh’s dad, Morgan, all headed to a Redneck Blind overlooking an Eagle Seed forage soybean plot. Deer often cross this lane and stop for a quick bite.
GRANT: Josh didn’t have to wait long until a buck stepped out.
GRANT: The buck fed on several pods before crossing, and then turned, and started walking right toward the blind.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Josh got ready and waited for a good shot opportunity.
GRAHAM: (Whispering) Get ready. Are you ready?
JOSH: (Whispering) Yeah.
MORGAN: (Whispering) Good work, kid.
GRANT: Wow. That was a great shot, Josh. There was no need to wait long before they climbed out of the blind and took up the trail.
GRANT: Once again, Deer Season XP serves the GrowingDeer Team well and Josh didn’t have to trail the buck far.
MORGAN: Find your deer?
MORGAN: Well, let’s see him.
GRANT: Congratulations, Josh. You made a great shot and I’ll bet you have many more hunts in your future. I’m very proud of Graham for leading by example and introducing another person to the great sport of hunting.
GRANT: A great way to enjoy Creation is grab somebody else; and take them outside; maybe share something you’ve learned from past excursions. But more importantly, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.
GRANT: Similar to introducing others to the outdoors, I hope you’ll subscribe to the GrowingDeer newsletter and share it with others.