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>>GRANT: This Saturday is like a holiday. Firearms deer season opens in many states. There will literally be millions of outdoorsmen and women heading out to the field together as family and friends, having fun, hoping to see some big antlers and get some venison to consume throughout the winter.
>>GRANT: To help with those goals and objectives, I wanted to share the observations we’re seeing right now and several of our friends and clients are reporting to us throughout much of the whitetails’ range.
>>GRANT: Now, this would exclude that very southern portion where the rut tends to be later.
>>GRANT: November 15th, give or take a day or two, is the peak of the rut in many states. So, what that means – the most does will be receptive on that day.
>>GRANT: We’ve been on that left side of the curve and kind of climbing up and climbing up. And boy, when we got really going up, that was the pre-rut and just enough does were receptive that bucks were really going through the woods trying to find a receptive doe.
>>GRANT: But we’re past that now and there are so many does receptive, that a lot of mature bucks are with a doe. They’ll tend a doe for 24 or 36 hours – and not just mature bucks, all bucks. Or they will be seeking a doe. And if you’re where that buck is seeking a doe, you’re thinking, “Man the rut is great. It’s just on time this year. It’s awesome.”
>>GRANT: And if you’re not, well, you may be going, “Boy, the rut is early or late this year.” or, “There was no rut this year.” And neither one of those extremes are true.
>>GRANT: The rut is going to happen at the same place, the same time each year. Now, if it’s really, really hot, there’s no doubt there may be more nighttime movement than daytime movement. But it’s the rut, so deer are still going to move. And you want to get out in the field and enjoy it.
>>GRANT: Here at The Proving Grounds, we’re getting a lot of Reconyx images of what appear to be single fawns or a couple fawns going down a trail or in a food plot. And that’s a great indication that the doe is with a buck. Often does will separate from their fawns when they’re receptive.
>>GRANT: Does may even move to a different portion of their home range, not always, but certainly they can move to a different portion of their home range.
>>GRANT: And what I find on one of my favorite places to hunt here at The Proving Grounds is they move into thick cover. And that’s probably because there’s so many bucks trying to pester them, that they want to get in cover and try to hide from those bucks.
>>GRANT: Just this morning I was hunting in a travel corridor. Now, it’s not a narrow fence row like you might find in ag country, but a steep holler went off one side and, actually, some open land on the other side. So, it’s kind of an easy place, a path of least resistance, for deer to travel.
>>GRANT: And I saw a bunch of does and fawns. And I saw a couple young bucks trying to push some does around. But they really weren’t having any of it. Those does obviously were not receptive.
>>GRANT: It was still a great hunt. It gave me observation that those does and fawns were using that area for feeding. There were some acorns dropping, and to get from Point A to Point B.
>>GRANT: And that’s also a great place for a mature buck to move through, or any buck to move through right now. So, it’s a travel corridor and a feeding area. Kind of putting two resources together. And that’s a great strategy for the coming firearms season.
>>GRANT: That location, though, was pretty tight and it’s good for archery hunting, to get deer within 30 yards of your stand or blind. When you’re out there with the Winchester in your hand, you’ve got a lot more effective range. And that’s why I like hunting where I can cover, you know, 100, 200, 300 yards – just increases my odds much more.
>>GRANT: [Quietly] Super buck.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, RTP Outdoors, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>GRANT: I mentioned earlier one of my favorite places to hunt here at The Proving Grounds during firearms season is a Redneck blind looking to the east over, you know, 10 or 12 acres of native grasses and forbs.
>>GRANT: What we’ve prepared is a bedding area, and to the north over a whole ridge side with that same management strategy. I’ve tagged some good bucks there through the years. And they seem to be doing the same thing year after year.
>>GRANT: They’re either with a doe, or you can tell they’re just moving through. And they often respond to a grunt call because they’re heavy in that seek and tending phase.
>>GRANT: If you got out early and scouted and you found three or four scrapes, you said, “Man, I’m gonna hunt right here during firearms season.” That may or may not be a good strategy. If those scrapes are in a great travel corridor, that’s probably a good strategy.
>>GRANT: But here at The Proving Grounds a lot of scrapes are starting to leaf over. When a lot of does are receptive, there’s no need for the buck to go to a scrape. Or so to speak, if you know where the dancing is going on, you don’t want to stop and use your phone to find out; right?
>>GRANT: Well, that scrape is a communication point. It’s like our cell phone. And bucks don’t need that communication point right now because the communication is those pheromones in the air. And those pheromones overtake the need to go to a concentrated place like a scrape.
>>GRANT: Another subject I want to make sure I touch on. You know, there’s going to be a lot of people outdoors this weekend. Safety should be our number one priority, no matter if it’s opening day of archery season or the last day of deer season where you hunt.
>>GRANT: And safety can mean making sure you’re tethered in if you’re climbing or making sure that gun is unloaded until you’re ready to hunt. You never point a gun towards anything you don’t want to fire the gun at. Safety is on; you’re not sitting there with the safety off. Accidents happen like that.
>>GRANT: You know, wear that orange. And I want to say, you know, I’ve known some people say, “Well, I’m afraid the deer will see me.” Remember, a deer’s eye is designed to see movement.
>>GRANT: Predators are camouflaged. Man, a bobcat sitting still is hard for anything to pick up – me, a deer, or anything. But if you’re sitting there in orange and you’re not moving; you’ve not got your cell phone out and you’re not doing all this and waving all around – I’ve had a pile of deer walk right by me as long as I sit still.
>>GRANT: Get the wind in your favor. Sit still. Be where deer are traveling and have a great firearms season.
>>GRANT: Whether you get to get outside and hunt this season or maybe you’ve got to work, or maybe your freezer is already full. You know, no matter what you’re doing, slow down and enjoy Creation.
>>GRANT: The leaves are just stunning here at The Proving Grounds. They’re starting to fall. And we’re not going to have many more days of this beautiful leaf cover. But that would just open up a new landscape view where we can see farther. We can see rocks and bluffs and the topography of the land.
>>GRANT: Even more importantly than enjoying Creation is taking time every day to intentionally be quiet and seek the Creator’s will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.