Muzzleloader Season And Deer Hunting | Deer Down In The Field! (Episode 475 Transcript)

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GRANT: Missouri has an alternative methods season that usually falls during late December. This can be a great time of year to hunt because deer are typically on a food cover/food cover pattern. Several weeks ago, we began preparing our muzzleloaders for this season.

GRANT: Once the scope was mounted, the gun was bore sighted; Daniel headed to the range to sight it in.

GRANT: Daniel started at 50 yards to make sure we had bore sighted it well enough to be on paper, then backed up to 100 yards to fine tune the scope.


GRANT: If you’ve shot a muzzleloader much, you know there can be a significant drop even at 200 yards. But just holding over with a standard reticle leads to a lot of inaccuracies and guesses.

GRANT: That’s why I really like Nikon’s BDC muzzleloader scope – Bottom Dead Center. It has a mark for 100, 150, 200 yards – all the way out to 300 yards. You don’t have to hold over. You can shoot those distances with confidence.

GRANT: We got the CVA sighted in and then waited ‘til the day before season to check the Reconyx cameras and have the most recent information.

GRANT: I wasn’t surprised when the images showed most deer activity was at night and/or in the timber.

GRANT: This is due to a very large acorn crop throughout much of the whitetails’ range and recently warmer temperatures.

GRANT: Fortunately, one of our cameras at a plot we call Prickly Pear showed a decent pattern of deer using the plot morning and afternoon.

GRANT: My youngest daughter, Rae, has been really busy with school and shooting trap after school and hasn’t been able to hunt much since the first of bow season.

GRANT: Rae took a buck we called “Oakley” during the early part of bow season and as I mentioned, due to her schedule, hasn’t hunted much since.

GRANT: Based on the pattern and Rae’s eagerness to hunt, I suggested she go to Prickly Pear.

GRANT: The plot is generally oriented east to west. The opening day of muzzleloader season, the wind was forecast to be out of the southeast and we’ve got a Redneck ghillie blind in the western portion of the plot.

GRANT: Based on our experience and recent trail camera images, we know deer typically approach from the southwest or northeast. It was a perfect setup for Rae.

GRANT: It was a clear, frosty morning when Rae and Tyler got to the blind. As they settled in, Rae hoped deer would continue the pattern of the last couple of days.

RAE: It’s December 22nd and we’re out here this morning on the opening day of muzzleloader season. It’s a little chilly, but hopefully, we’ll see some deer in a little bit. I haven’t seen anything yet, but I’m looking for either a doe or a nicer buck. So, we’ll see what happens.

GRANT: It wasn’t long until the first deer stepped out.

RAE: (Whispering) Yeah, I know.

GRANT: It was a doe fawn and when it got into the plot, it was head down feeding on the Eagle Seeds Fall Buffalo Blend.

GRANT: Even though it was tempting and I know that doe fawns count towards a doe removal project, Rae opted to give it a pass and wait on a mature doe or a buck.

GRANT: The fawn worked out of the plot and not long after it left, a button buck stepped in.

TYLER: (Whispering) Well, that one’s a button buck. (Inaudible)

GRANT: The button buck was close and easy to identify as a button buck and not long after that, a group of does and fawns also entered the plot.

GRANT: As often happens during the late season, the deer stayed fairly close together and Rae wisely waited until one of ‘em separated and offered a clear shot.

TYLER: (Whispering) The one at the very front with the head up.

RAE: (Whispering) Yeah.

TYLER: (Whispering) That’s the biggest one.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. I’ll wait for it to separate itself from the pack.

TYLER: (Whispering) Easy. Okay. See the one out in front by itself?

RAE: (Whispering) Yeah.

TYLER: (Whispering) That one’s also a doe.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. If it turns broadside, could I shoot it?

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay.

GRANT: Finally, one of the does broke off and Rae prepared for the shot.

RAE: (Whispering) I gotta find it. Where did he go?

TYLER: (Whispering) See it?

RAE: (Whispering) Yeah, I got it.

TYLER: (Whispering) All right. Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. You ready?

TYLER: (Whispering) Hold on. Hold on. All right. Can you kill it?

RAE: (Whispering) Yeah.

TYLER: (Whispering) Kill it.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. You ready?

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah. Right, right in the crease.

RAE: (Whispering) Yep. Oh, it’s moving. Hold on. Hold on.

TYLER: (Whispering) I gotta move the camera. I gotta move the camera.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. It’s quartered. I don’t…

GRANT: Just as Rae was preparing to shoot, the doe started walking again and Rae and Tyler had to readjust.

TYLER: (Whispering) Kill It.

RAE: (Whispering) Right now?

TYLER: (Whispering) No. Wait.

RAE: (Whispering) It’s quartering towards us.

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah. Wait.

RAE: (Whispering) I’m gonna wait for it to get…

GRANT: She quickly settled in and prepared once again to take the shot.

RAE: (Whispering) Right now, it would be a shoulder shot.

TYLER: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: This time, the doe was quartering to and Rae held off again.

TYLER: (Whispering) If he goes much more to the right, I gotta move the camera. We’ve got time.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay.

TYLER: (Whispering) Put the crosshairs right where you want it.

RAE: (Whispering) It’s too far.

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah, don’t. Wait, wait, wait.

GRANT: Finally, the doe turned broadside.

RAE: (Whispering) Okay. Are you good?

TYLER: (Whispering) Wait.

RAE: (Whispering) Are you good, Tyler? Are you good?

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah. Kill it.

RAE: (Whispering) Ready?

TYLER: (Whispering) Atta, girl.

RAE: (Whispering) Dude, it’s down in the field.

TYLER: (Whispering) Yeah.

RAE: (Whispering) Hooray. Dude, you sighted this bad boy in. Oh my gosh.

TYLER: (Whispering) Good job.

RAE: (Whispering) Thanks. Thank you. That was crazy.

TYLER: It’s not far from the road.

RAE: No. Not at all. Easy drag, easy drag. They came out and they were so bunched up. You know? I was, like, I didn’t want it to be like Southpaw when they were all too close and…

TYLER: Hmm, hmm.

RAE: …I couldn’t get a shot. I’m like, “Okay. Maybe she’ll space ‘em out.” And then, like, perfect. She just walked in front of them. But then, I was, like, “I’m gonna shoot her.” And then she turned, you know? And then, you’re like, “Stop!” I’m like, “Okay.” ‘Cause, like, I didn’t want to, like, have to go through the shoulder again and just…

TYLER: Right.

RAE: …take it half slice the body, you know?

TYLER: Oh, I was…

RAE: And then, she finally turned. I got her down; that’s all I care about. I didn’t really think I was gonna see a buck today. Because it’s like 10:00 right now. I’m glad that I shot this doe.

TYLER: Oh yeah.

RAE: Because my philosophy is shooting something is better than shooting nothing. So.

GRANT: Rae strikes again and the CVA dropped the doe in her tracks.

RAE: We got out here this morning and it was pretty chilly. But, we didn’t see much to start off with. And then we saw this little doe fawn come out, but she was too far away and just a little too small for what I wanted. So, we let her pass and she walked back in.

RAE: And then she came out again a little bit later and then she went back in again. And then, about 10 o’clock, we saw this doe, and a bunch of other does, and maybe some button bucks – we couldn’t tell – come out and they were all in a big group. So, I was, like, “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s gonna happen here.” Because they were, like, super close together.

RAE: I’m like, “Maybe this one is the one that I want.” And I’m like, “Maybe the big one will walk out in front of them.” And then, lo and behold – the big one walked out in front of all the rest of them, but she kept – was kind of quartering towards us and I didn’t want to take that chance.

RAE: So, we waited a little bit; she walked on a little bit more and she finally; she lined up for the shot and we took it. And she dropped right in her tracks. So, I’d say it’s a pretty good shot.

GRANT: We’re one more doe closer to our management goal.

GRANT: When we got the doe back to the shop, we hooked up the Rack Jack to the Yamaha and began processing the meat.

GRANT: Once Tyler had skinned past the shoulders, we could see both the entry and exit hole.

DANIEL: Well, we got Rae’s doe back to the skinning shed. Tyler’s already skinned it down. We’re looking at the entry hole right here on the shoulder. Of course, Rae made a great shot; dropped it in its tracks.

DANIEL: We’re looking at this entry hole. Great trauma on the outside. We already see all the way through the shoulder and even kind of into the chest and kind of down towards the belly.

DANIEL: Well, we spun her around. This exit hole – lots of trauma – just a massive hole. We’re gonna open her up; start taking off meat; and look and see what’s inside.

DANIEL: Tyler got all the meat off this doe; put it in the cooler. We got inside to see what was there and it’s really impressive.

DANIEL: We removed the vitals and I’ve actually got the lungs and the heart right here. And Rae’s shot with the CVA took out the front of both lungs. Shooting double shoulder – taking out both lungs is pretty good. But, what I’m really impressed with is what’s inside.

DANIEL: There’s a two-inch hole on both sides.

GRANT: The muzzleloader had done a perfect job causing massive trauma to the vitals.

GRANT: A fun morning hunting for the entire GrowingDeer Team and fresh venison for Christmas. It’s all good.

GRANT: During Rae’s hunt, you may have noticed a Hot Zone fence protecting some Eagle Seed Forage Soybeans in the far end of the plot.

GRANT: A few weeks ago, we shared we created a gap in the Hot Zone to allow deer to feed on the bean pods.

GRANT: That same day, we placed a Reconyx camera close by to see how long it would take deer to start using the beans. It was exciting for us to see deer had found the beans and were using them.

GRANT: After the peak of the rut, deer are genetically programmed to seek energy-rich food sources. They need to replenish the weight they lost during the rut and put on a layer of fat to help protect during those cold days.

GRANT: Standing soybeans fit the needs of deer this time of year perfectly and deer readily use the pods.

GRANT: We have a pair of Summit treestands hung near the gap and with this recent deer activity, you can bet we’ll be hunting there soon.

GRANT: Missouri’s archery season goes through January 15th and we’re eager to finish strong.

GRANT: After that, we’ve got some hog hunts planned.

GRANT: If you’d like to follow along with our late season strategy or our hog hunting trips, please subscribe to the GrowingDeer newsletter.

GRANT: The days are getting a little bit longer which means there’s more time for all of us to get outside and enjoy Creation. But no matter how much light is outside, make sure you take time every day to slow down, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.