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GRANT: Heath and Lindsey Martin hunted at their family’s farm in central Arkansas. They’re both skilled hunters and have tagged a bunch of deer and turkey at this farm.
HEATH: (Whispering) Yes. Yes. Yes.
GRANT: This farm is in the Ouachita Mountains, and if you haven’t been to the Ouachita’s, there much deeper and bigger than most people believe occur in Arkansas.
GRANT: Throughout the years Heath and Lindsey, have worked on a great plan to improve the habitat quality. They’ve worked on TSI projects, used prescribed fire to stimulate native grasses and forbs. And of course, established several high-quality food plots.
GRANT: We’ve watched the results through the years by the critters they harvest and there obvious. There are not only higher quality critters but they’re more of them. It’s become a hunting paradise.
GRANT: During the 2019 season Heath was chasing a buck he called Fake Out.
GRANT: During the morning hunt when Heath has his prime; he had a great encounter with the buck Fake Out, but couldn’t close the deal.
GRANT: It was muzzle loader season and Heath believed Fake Out and that doe wouldn’t go far. So, that afternoon he left the prime at home and returned with his muzzle loader.
GRANT: It was mid-October and there will always be a few does receptive at that time of year. And when you get around those couple of does that are receptive, there’s going to be a flurry of buck activity.
GRANT: The Redneck overlooks the food plot, but what might not be obvious is there’s a travel corridor on the other side of the plot.
GRANT: Using the HuntStand App, it’s easy to see that the spine of the mountain is the perfect place for bucks to travel going from low to high or vice versa elevations.
GRANT: In addition, Heath knew that deer traveling along the side of the mountain or kind of paralleling it at a lower elevation.
GRANT: A Redneck at the north end of the plot allow Heath and Lindsey to hunt where deer enter, feed or cross the plot.
GRANT: This fall Heath was hunting a buck he’d named Big Frame.
GRANT: Heath had several Reconyx images of Big Frame around the same plot where he had tagged Fake Out. Big Frame was showing up during daylight hours and on November 12th, he walked in front of a Reconyx Heath had about 160 yards away under a big oak that was dropping acorns.
GRANT: The following day was the opening of Arkansas’s firearm season and there was a northwest wind forecast. Heath believed that Big Frame and other deer might approach from the east, and since there was a Ghillie blind sitting there, he was afraid that the scent might blow through the Ghillie blind and get to where the deer would smell him before they entered the plot.
GRANT: Given these conditions, Heath decided to move a Redneck blind on a trailer to that plot.
GRANT: If you’re not familiar Rednecks are awesome. Man, they’ve got automotive quality glass for the windows and automotive quality gaskets; so, they seal up really well, containing most of a hunter’s scent.
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HEATH: Good morning. Today’s November 13, the opening day of rifle season here in Arkansas.
HEATH: We have just gotten tucked into a Redneck blind on the trailer. Got a (Indiscernible) Redneck we moved in here yesterday, actually. And we’re hunting a buck I call Big Frame. Hunted him quite a bit; heard him with a bow, just couldn’t get him on a pattern.
HEATH: All of a sudden, he showed up where I thought he would, just over this ridge on a red oak, eating acorns. And we’re going to sit in here with the window shut. Going to stay scent free and just hope he comes in.
HEATH: He’s living on this end of the farm. It’s the only place on the farm we’re getting pictures of him. So, hopefully we’re going to see him this morning. Maybe we’ll get some action today. Let’s see if we can get this buck on the ground. So, we’re going to sit here and see what happens.
GRANT: About 9:00 A.M., they spotted several deer entering the plot.
HEATH: (Whispering) (Indiscernible)
GRANT: They could tell these deer were a bit antsy and wondered if a buck was nearby.
GRANT: About 20 minutes later Big Frame stepped out.
GRANT: Heath wisely waited until Big Frame was well within the plot before opening a window.
GRANT: Even thought the buck seemed to be moving through the plot fairly quickly, that Green Cover Fall Release was tasty enough to slow him down and he took a few bites.
HEATH: (Whispering) You on him?
LINDSEY: (Whispering) I’m on him.
HEATH: (Whispering) Well, that’s the deer I’ve been after all season; a buck we call Big Frame. It’s just a big ten-point.
HEATH: (Whispering) He just came out of the woods and was walking across the food plot here pretty quick. He gave us a (indiscernible) [00:06:51] shot, and I pulled the trigger, and he’s laying in the food plot out there. We just shot a big buck.
HEATH: (Whispering) I know Lindsey’s happy because we were gonna sit most of the day so, now we won’t have to be.
LINDSEY: (Whispering) Congratulations.
HEATH: So, I’ll tell you that deer came from dead downwind.
HEATH: Not to be a cliché but moving the Redneck this morning. We moved it in here yesterday, because we knew the wind was going to be iffy for this deer. Had the windows all shut up. Obviously, you saw it, he came right up there just like nothing.
HEATH: So, if we hadn’t had that blind sitting there, we probably would not have killed that deer because he would have winded us. So, works good.
HEATH: Well, here he is, a buck we call Big Frame. I’ve been hunting this deer – well, I hunted him throughout the bow season and at about 9:30 – luckily, we didn’t have to sit all day. But sure enough, about 9:30, well probably about 20 minutes before, some does come through and acted like they’d been kind of been pestered by a buck. So, I figured there was a buck around. I didn’t know if it was him or not.
HEATH: But anyway, sure enough, just a few minutes late, 20 or 30 minutes later, here he comes shoveling through the food plot. So, we got him on the ground.
GRANT: Congratulations, Heath, on another nice Arkansas buck and lots of fresh venison for your family.
GRANT: Heath and Lindsey’s success at tagging good bucks year after year is based on a well-designed habitat improvement plan and great hunting strategies.
GRANT: Heath has learned how deer use the terrain to use this plot and where they typically enter and exit. Based on the forecasted wind direction, he took the time to move a Redneck fiberglass blind into position to contain most of their scent.
GRANT: We shared a couple of weeks ago how Raleigh and Daniel used that same strategy, of keeping all the windows shut in the Redneck, until they were ready to take a shot.
GRANT: This may not work every time, but in a quality blind, it sure puts the odds in your favor.
GRANT: I’ve known the Martins for years, and there’s no doubt they know how to fill a freezer and put some big antlers on the wall. Soon we’ll share when Lindsey used a muzzle loader earlier this year and tagged another good buck from the family farm.
GRANT: Sharing habitat improvement techniques and strategies back and forth with good friends like the Martins, well, that’s just another great way to enjoy creation.
GRANT: But even more important than that, than hunting strategies, I want you to be sure and take time, every day, to purposely be quiet and seek the Creator’s will for your life.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.