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CHASE: (Whispering) The last one to come in. Right there.

RYLAN: (Whispering) Got him.

CHASE: (Whispering) No. Just wait a second. Right on his front shoulder. Bust him.

GRANT: Father and son Pro Staffers, Chase and Rylan White, have enjoyed many great deer and turkey hunts together throughout the years.

GRANT: You may remember last year that Rylan tagged his first archery buck and his largest buck to date with his Winchester.

GRANT: Chase and Rylan hunt here in the Ozark Mountains where the habitat typically consists of large stands of contiguous timber, steep terrain and, often, a large acorn crop.

GRANT: These factors often make patterning deer difficult and it often comes down to finding subtle pinch points in the landscape. Team White has tagged some great Ozark Mountain deer hunting benches on the side of the mountain and other areas that act as hidden travel corridors.

GRANT: Chase and Rylan just got a new hunting lease here in southern Missouri and it’s about totally covered with a mature forest made up of oaks and hickories that Chase has been scouting and already found a great pinch point for him and Rylan to hunt.

GRANT: If you study their lease on onX, you can tell there’s a large ridge that runs east and west and on the point of that ridge, there’s a small clearing with a pond on the west.

GRANT: The pond, clearing and the line of the ridge all work together to make a great pinch point as deer travel up and down the ridge.

GRANT: Earlier this year Chase and Rylan started preparing for deer season. Chase put a new Burris scope on Rylan’s Winchester; they sighted it in and were ready to roll.

GRANT: During the first afternoon of Missouri’s 2020 youth season, there was a south wind. So Chase and Rylan parked at the north end of their property, walked down an old logging road and went into that pinch point with the south wind hitting them in the face.

GRANT: Rylan and Chase climbed in some Summit stands on the west side of the pond.

GRANT: This entry and hunting strategy allowed Rylan to overlook the clearing while keeping the pond between them and where they believed deer would travel.

GRANT: It wasn’t long until Rylan and Chase started seeing critters.

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GRANT: As the light began to fade, Rylan and Chase spotted antlers at the edge of the clearing.

CHASE: (Whispering) Six-point buck. That’s our buck.

RYLAN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

CHASE: (Whispering) Oh, there we go. He’s a little better. That’s about like the one you killed last year.

RYLAN: (Whispering) Yeah.

CHASE: (Whispering) Here comes one. Don’t move. Another one coming.

GRANT: As Rylan was watching this buck, Chase heard another deer that sounded like it was getting ready to enter the clearing.

RYLAN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

CHASE: (Whispering) (Inaudible). That one (Inaudible).

RYLAN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

CHASE: (Whispering) That’s a shooter, Rylan.

RYLAN: (Whispering) This one?

CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah. The last one to come in right there.

RYLAN: (Whispering) Got it.

CHASE: (Whispering) No. Just wait a second. Right on his front shoulder. Bust him.

CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah. Baby.

RYLAN: (Whispering) That’s cool.

GRANT: Nice shot, Rylan. The Deer Season XP hit its mark and I’m sure that buck is not going far.

RYLAN: (On phone) Hey, mom. I got a big one. I got a big nine.

GRANT: Of course, one of the first things Rylan wanted to do was call his mom and let her know he had a good buck down and there would be fresh venison for the family freezer.

RYLAN: I think that was, that was like the ninth or tenth deer that came out.

GRANT: Rylan was excited to climb down and pick up the trail.

RYLAN: That wasn’t hard.

CHASE: There he is. He didn’t go very far, did he?

RYLAN: (Inaudible) Right up front.

GRANT: As I suspected, he didn’t have to go far.

RYLAN: It’s the first day of youth season here in Missouri. And this is my first time on the new lease. And I passed up a few this morning but it paid off tonight.

GRANT: I’m very happy for and proud of Rylan and glad he could enjoy another hunt with his dad.

GRANT: Some may not realize how special this hunt is. But other long-term watchers of GrowingDeer may remember that last year Rylan had a serious surgery and was in a wheelchair for quite some time. The therapy was tough. But Rylan powered through it with a goal of being fully healed and ready to climb those Ozark Mountains by deer season.

GRANT: Chase and Rylan’s success through the years is a great example of hunters scouting, finding pinch points and setting up an appropriate strategy for that area.

GRANT: A pinch point can be a lot of different features. Many of them are easily overlooked such as a pond.

GRANT: I remember last winter when I toured Kris’ property in eastern Iowa. I was there to help Kris create a habitat and hunting improvement plan.

GRANT: One of the best bottlenecks we found while touring Kris’ property was a series of three ponds.

GRANT: Deer were traveling on these pond dams between food and cover. And the way the ponds were arranged, there just wasn’t much room between one pond and the next, making a very narrow pinch point. It was an easy situation for Kris to move a Redneck blind in there, limit his movement because there weren’t any trees between the pond dam and the start of the next pond down the hill.

GRANT: But the Redneck was a perfect solution for Kris to be right in that travel corridor and have an excellent archery setup.

GRANT: In some cases, the hunter may set up next to a pond in a way that his scent is blowing over the pond where deer won’t be walking and that is a great way to approach and hunt deer without alerting them.

GRANT: In Rylan’s case, he used the pond as a buffer to make sure there was a bit of space between him and where the deer were likely to travel.

GRANT: Ponds, creeks, bluffs and many other things can serve as a hard edge or a barrier that determine where deer are going to travel. And, of course, this is the definition of a pinch point or bottleneck.

GRANT: By careful scouting, hunters can use these features to develop a great hunting strategy. It’s important to remember these features not only serve to funnel deer in certain areas, but they can really be used so the hunter can approach, hunt and exit without alerting deer by carefully planning that approach strategy.

GRANT: If you would like to stay updated on the GrowingDeer strategies, successes and struggles, check out our social media.

GRANT: Spending time with family and friends in the outdoors is a great way to enjoy Creation. But it’s more important that you spend time every day being quiet and seeking God’s will for your life.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.