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GRANT: Father and son, GrowingDeer Pro Staff Team, Nathan and Levi Remole, have been hunting together for several years, and they’ve tagged some good bucks.
GRANT: They’re excellent woodsmen and really enjoy spending time in Creation together.
GRANT: During the past several years, Levi has shot thousands of arrows practicing for and competing in archery competitions. This has allowed him to refine his archery skills much more than most folks his age. Levi also frequently practices for deer season.
GRANT: All this hard work has paid off because a couple of weeks ago, Levi was self-filming and tagged a big doe.
GRANT: He grabbed the cameraman, his dad, and picked up the trail.
LEVI: (Whispering) I think she was, she was right, I think she was about right here. Found first blood splattered all up and down this, and she’s spraying. Right in here, I see quite – oh yeah, there’s quite a bit of blood. Blood, blood, blood, blood. I think right here. I lodged it right in her shoulder.
NATHAN: (Whispering) What’s that?
LEVI: (Whispering) I lodged it right here in her shoulder, so.
LEVI: (Whispering) Man, that’s a big ole’ doe, isn’t it? Yeah. She’s probably went – what would you say? 175 yards?
NATHAN: (Whispering) It looks like when she fell, you got blood all the way up to your fletchings like you thought.
GRANT: Levi is shooting 41 pounds and has a 26 ½ inch draw, and even though the doe was quartering away, his arrow had great penetration.
LEVI: (Quietly) That’s a big ole’ doe.
NATHAN: (Quietly) Yeah, it’s a good one.
LEVI: (Quietly) It’s a lot bigger than yours. (Chuckling)
LEVI: (Quietly) The G5 Striker V2 did the trick. Man, it put a – put a big ole’ hole in her, and it buried all the way up to the fletching. Overall, it was a pretty awesome hunt.
GRANT: A lot of times, I hear of hunters trying to pull bows that are a bit heavy for them. They believe that they need all that extra energy to penetrate a white-tailed deer.
GRANT: That’s not correct. Whitetails are a fairly thin-skinned animal.
GRANT: With a quality-built, razor-sharp broadhead, a finely tuned bow, and good shot placement, a much lower poundage bow can be just as effective, if not more effective. Being able to pull and hold the bow appropriately, being able to practice a lot without messing up your shoulder, all of these are good reasons to drop the poundage on a bow.
GRANT: Dropping poundage on a bow is not a bad idea for anyone that hunts where it’s cold. You’ve been standing in the stand for hours; you haven’t drawn or flexed any muscles, then you go to draw. Well, you can do some permanent damage if you’re not careful.
GRANT: Levi was on the board, had some fresh venison for the family, so now he was hunting for a buck.
GRANT: Last fall, they had a good encounter with a nice ten pointer.
GRANT: They had several pictures of this buck last fall but hadn’t seen him or had any trail camera pictures yet this year, and they were wondering if he was still around.
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GRANT: Several days after Levi tagged a doe, a strong cold front moved through the area and temperatures dropped 20 degrees. There was a south/southeast wind which was perfect for where Team Remole had previously hung some stands in a hardwood travel corridor.
GRANT: There was an abandoned strip mine to the east that was filled with water and a large cattle pasture to the west. To the south, probably where the deer were hanging, is a cut cornfield and to the north was a bedding area.
GRANT: The strip mine and cattle pasture create a great bottleneck or pinch point for deer to travel through on their way to food and cover.
GRANT: A southerly wind allowed Nathan and Levi to slip in from the west, knowing the deer were likely to the south in the cut cornfield.
GRANT: It was early in the hunt when they saw the first deer.
LEVI: (Whispering) There’s a little buck bumping these does.
GRANT: Through the trees, they could see more deer.
GRANT: The bucks even came to the base of their tree. Talk about good scent control.
LEVI: (Whispering) He’s not (Inaudible)
GRANT: Eventually, the group drifted off.
GRANT: Suddenly, they heard a grunt.
GRANT: It was the 10-pointer they had encountered last fall and had been missing in action.
LEVI: (Whispering) I can’t believe I just shot a giant buck with my bow. Man, I hope we get that buck. He’ll be going on the wall, baby. Right out of my savings account.
NATHAN: (Whispering) All right. So, it is October the 17th. It’s been an awesome morning. We are – I just now quit shaking from – from what just happened. All that – we got it all on film. I’ll let Levi kind of fill in.
LEVI: (Whispering) We’d been seeing quite a few deer. We saw three bucks, and a couple of does came underneath us, and none of ‘em smelled us, so they just went on out. So, that was good.
LEVI: (Whispering) And about 30 minutes later I looked over, and I saw a big buck, and I’m like, “Shooter, shooter, shooter.” And he walked right down behind me about 25 yards. I stopped him, and he stopped for a second, and right when I shot, he took a step. We think it was probably lethal, but we’re not sure so we’re going to give him quite a bit of time.
LEVI: (Whispering) But it was a pretty nice buck; my biggest by far and it was really exciting, so hopefully we can get him because he certainly is a trophy.
NATHAN: (Whispering) We may hang out a little bit longer just to make sure we don’t spook anything. I just don’t want to spook anything period, but especially that way. We will see. It’s gonna be – gonna be interesting. So stick with us.
LEVI: (Whispering) Dear Lord, thank you for this awesome day. Thank you for allowing us to be out in your Creation. Lord, if it’s your will help me to find my deer and thank you for everything you do for us. In your name, we pray. Amen.
GRANT: The buck had only ran about 15 yards, stopped, and then slowly drifted off. Considering this behavior and what they saw when they re-watched the footage, they decided the buck was hit a bit back and probably in the liver, maybe a portion of the lung.
GRANT: When we slow the footage down, we can see Levi’s Bloodsport arrow made great penetration. Levi is shooting 41 pounds, and this was a large-bodied, northern Missouri buck.
GRANT: Given the shot placement and the buck’s reaction, Levi and Nathan wisely decided to quietly back out.
GRANT: Liver shots are almost always lethal, but it may require several hours for the critter to pass. Often deer shot in the liver will only go a short ways and bed down. Oftentimes, the wound hole will clot and if the deer has jumped out of its bed there won’t be much sign to follow.
GRANT: If you risk taking up the trail too soon, you might bump the deer making recovery much more difficult.
GRANT: Nathan and Levi wanted to give this buck plenty of time to expire, so, painfully, they decided to let it lay during the night and take up the trail first thing in the morning.
NATHAN: So, we’re at our tree right here and this deer Levi shot, he’s about 23 yards over here. So, we’re going to walk over here, look at point of impact, and we’ll start following where we know he walked and see what we see sign wise.
LEVI: I got blood.
GRANT: When they took up the trail, the blood they found supported their conclusions. It was dark blood, which indicated a liver hit. Levi had one of his friends help them trail the next morning. Having multiple sets of eyes in this situation was a great plan.
LEVI: There’s buzzards circling right there.
NATHAN: A buzzard just flew off the ground right there.
LEVI: Oh, right there. I bet he’s right there.
LEVI: That’s him. He’s dead. Right there. Right there. Oh, my word! Oh, my word! Oh.
NATHAN: Oh, man.
LEVI: My word. Oh. Shoes.
NATHAN: Good grief. Look at that. You got all – how’d we not see that?
LEVI: Oh, my goodness.
NATHAN: How’d we not see that sticking out?
LEVI: That’s when he fell down, Daddy. Look at this guy.
NATHAN: There had to be some coyotes and everything, huh?
UNKNOWN: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got a coyote problem.
LEVI: It’s good.
GRANT: Well done, Levi. That’s a great northern Missouri buck.
GRANT: Levi’s hunt had several great lessons we can learn from. First, Levi’s 41-pound bow resulted in great arrow penetration.
GRANT: As I mentioned, whitetails are thinned-skinned animals compared to many other big game species, and it doesn’t take a big ole, He-Man bow to do the job.
GRANT: In the past, we’ve shared some hunts with my daughter, Raleigh, using a similar weight bow, and she’s had pass-through shots on some bucks.
GRANT: A quality, sharp broadhead paired with a tuned bow and arrow shaft is key for great penetration.
GRANT: The second lesson, locating and hunting naturally occurring bottlenecks within a larger travel corridor, is a great way to get within bow range of whitetails.
GRANT: The third lesson, reading a deer’s body language or behavior and what sign you find after the shot, is critical for knowing when to take up the trail.
GRANT: If hunters start trailing a deer too early and bump it, it can lead to an unrecovered deer. It’s much better to back out and give the deer a little bit more time and let it expire close to where it was shot.
GRANT: My final takeaway from this hunt: the deer behavior Nathan and Levi filmed is a great reminder that the pre-rut, even the early portion of the pre-rut, is a great time to be in the woods.
GRANT: Levi and Nathan saw a couple of bucks that appeared to be nudging a doe.
GRANT: Even during mid-October throughout much of the whitetails’ range, a few does will become receptive. They’re the early ones, they’ll have the earliest born fawns; and when those first few does start spreading that magic perfume throughout the woods, the bucks are gonna start scent checking some does and that pre-rut kicks in.
GRANT: Once that behavior shift is made the pre-rut starts, bucks tend to be on their feet and more active during daylight hours compared to the earlier portion of season.
GRANT: The buck Levi tagged was grunting. He was communicating to other deer in the area.
GRANT: That’s why a grunt call like the Messenger is so effective to attract deer.
GRANT: The Messenger is specifically designed to sound like an immature buck tending a doe, and that sound is a huge attraction for other bucks to come check out.
GRANT: As the pre-rut advances, we’ll be spending more and more time out in stands and blinds, and we can’t wait to share those hunts with you.
GRANT: (Whispering) Hit the grunt.
GRANT: (Whispering) I can’t see him through that tree.
TYLER: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Here he comes. Here he comes. Get down. Get down.
GRANT: If you like the information we share at GrowingDeer, I hope you’ll share the link with some of your buddies that hunt.
GRANT: Fall is one of my favorite times to be outside and enjoying Creation, but no matter the season, every day throughout the year, I need to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to me, and I hope you do the same.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.