This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: (Whispering) As soon as he comes out in the open, you tell me you got him. You got him? Stop, buddy, stop. He’s hit good. He’s hit good.
GRANT: It’s Friday and it’s my day to take out the trash. The Trashman that is. Here at The Proving Grounds.
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GRANT: I had some great encounters with a buck we called the Trashman during rifle season.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s back, he’s back, he’s back. He’s coming our way, he’s coming our way. He’s coming our way.
GRANT: (Whispering) Tell me if you’re on him.
ADAM: (Whispering) I’m on him.
GRANT: (Whispering) I’m just waiting for him to stop.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay.
GRANT: And even though we had the Trashman at 200 yards, 100 yards, 50 yards, he never presented himself to what I thought was a clean and ethical shot.
GRANT: The story with Trashman has actually been going on for a couple of years as we had a bunch of trail camera pictures and a pattern of this buck last year.
GRANT: He clearly survived the winter of 2011, because when we did our camera survey this year during August, we started picking up more pictures of the Trashman.
GRANT: 2011 maps from Reconyx’s software of where we captured pictures of the Trashman and the 2012 X-Pattern generated by Reconyx software, clearly a food plot we call Clay Hill is dead center the Trashman’s core area.
GRANT: There he is. Oh yeah, look at the sun on him.
GRANT: Another feature that makes the Clay Hill food plot really attractive is the bedding area comes all the way to the edge of it on the east side and another one just across the creek on the west side. It’s clearly in the core area. It’s tough to get into in the afternoon because of the steepness of the slopes coming down to Clay Hill – if the Trashman’s laying up there bedded, he sees you walking in and climbing into the stand.
GRANT: Finally, during Missouri’s muzzleloader season, which is late season, post rut for most of the mature does for sure, it was predicted to be a strong north wind. Adam and I knew it was time and set up on the Trashman at Clay Hill.
GRANT: Early on when it was still very cold, Adam and I spotted two different large groups of deer moving through the bedding area to the west of us, probably several hundred feet above us in elevation.
GRANT: (Whispering) Young buck and a doe and a bigger buck, bigger buck. Two year old.
GRANT: Their direction of travel certainly appeared to be going to one of two places – Crabapple Field or Clay Hill.
GRANT: (Whispering) My goodness.
GRANT: I was fairly confident they were going to swing around to Clay Hill. ‘Cause you gotta remember – often deer don’t travel a straight path. They go serpentine paths using air currents and thermals and wind direction to protect them as they’re going to their final destination.
GRANT: (Whispering) Look at that. Look at that train of deer. Isn’t that cool? We’ve seen 14 deer on that ridge this morning. That’s a bedding area and sanctuary. We never go in there. Except to find shed antlers. You can tell the deer are very comfortable in there. They may circle around to come to this food plot because it’s cold and that metabolism’s up. They gotta have some calories.
GRANT: We held tight, not moving because there wasn’t much cover on this tree and sure enough about 30 or 40 minutes later, some of the yearling bucks we saw up on that high elevation mountain circled around and appeared in front of us at Clay Hill.
GRANT: I always enjoy watching any deer, but I was really hoping for some female fawns. This group of yearling bucks and one button buck drifted in and out of field several times so which told me something else was in the area.
GRANT: That female fawn came right into the field and rapidly, those yearling bucks were all around that female fawn.
ADAM: (Whispering) Big body, that’s a shooter buck…that’s a shooter buck. (Inaudible) Easy. (Inaudible). There’s more deer coming behind him. Be careful. Be careful of these deer on the field.
GRANT: That’s a young deer?
GRANT: And then I started doubting myself because the Trashman’s body was 20 or 30% smaller than it was when we saw him back in November, during the peak of the rut.
GRANT: (Whispering) I can take him. If you got footage. You got footage?
ADAM: (Whispering) Just let me know when you’re gonna take the shot.
GRANT: (Whispering) Are you sure you’re okay?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) I just want him to stop and make sure a good shot and I’m ready. You tell me when you’re ready. As soon as he comes out in the open, you tell me you got him? You got him?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) Stop, buddy, stop. (Shot)
GRANT: (Whispering) He’s hit good. He’s hit good. He’s going down. Trashman is ours. Oh, thank you, Jesus. Trashman. The Trashman. Weeks. An epic journey. Literally. People use that word.
ADAM: I know I say this after (Chuckling) every deer. Nobody understands it. Every deer on this place you’ve worked for, but we truly worked for that.
GRANT: Yeah. Just had to calm down a second because we’ve had such a history with this buck. Close. But not close enough. In range, but brush in the way. Out of range. Watch five deer come. One fawn with him, while a button buck and a female fawn came and joined and we were wanting a female fawn ‘cause once they reach about 60 pounds, 70 pounds, they become receptive, so that’s the key to hunting the late rut, if you will, is female fawns coming to food sources. The Trashman’s definitely the biggest buck on this part of the property we’ve caught on camera whatsoever, so, the plan worked after weeks of failure, basically. But we were patient and the plan worked.
GRANT: Look at that big ole’ gnarly Ozark head. Huge feet. Four year old, plus. Ladies and gentlemen: Meet the Trashman up close and personal. Check out all these tines back here. Look at all this. You can smell those tarsal glands. My gosh, they are so dark. Huge long beams. Look at the curve of this beam coming all the way around. Carries its mass out like a mature deer does. Remember, folks, this was a drought year here. The driest year in 118 years of keeping records. For this buck to express this amount of potential on the driest year ever, says a lot about the quality of the habitat.
GRANT: You need help?
GRANT: After we took a few moments to enjoy it, I called Tracy and had her come take some pictures so we could really seal the deal on the Trashman and give him his due respect. It’s a little bit of an empty feeling for me here at The Proving Grounds, because the Trashman filled a lot of dreams and a lot of days, but I’m not worried about that, because another buck that looks a lot like the Trashman, the Jackknife which we have pictures of and even video during rifle season, is in that same area.
GRANT: Whether season is still open or not where you hunt, it’s still a great time of year to get out and enjoy Creation and always share some quiet time with the Creator. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.