Let’s Deer Hunt

Let’s Deer Hunt


(ocean waves crashing) (dramatic music) – [Announcer] Yamaha presents
The Whitetail Diaries. Chronicling hunting adventures
of the most plentiful and intelligent big game
animal in North America. Join top whitetail
hunters nationwide, and embark on the
amazing adventure that is hunting
the whitetail deer. (dramatic music) (peaceful music) Well we’re at the
Wendlandt Ranch today where both Wade and
Steve Nessl from Yamaha have opted to take the
Thompson/Center Compass Rifle into the field. – Whenever I get a
chance to hunt with Wade, there’s usually an opportunity
to hunt however I like. And Wade will sometimes say,
how do you want to hunt? You know, rifle or bow. And for me it becomes about a chance of success
thing sometimes, but you just can’t beat
going out with a rifle. So I got lucky enough to
go out on a rifle hunt here on the Wendlandt Ranch, and
I got the ultimate guide, and budding cameraman,
Scott Wendlandt. He is the guy who’s responsible for the awesome deer
on this property. I mean he runs this
thing with an iron fist, and for good reason. We’re out to take mature
bucks, and mature bucks only. Armed with the T/C
Compass, we had 30-06. We went out and didn’t have
really have too many hunts to try and get something done, and we had a pretty
broad shooter list. Everything from you
know, trophy animals, to maybe a management deer,
depending on what came in, and you know, what
Scott was thinking. That’s the beauty of having
him there with me in the stand behind the camera is we can
you know, talk about course, decide which animal
we want to take. And so we went out and
in the first morning we got up into a stand where we were actually pretty
elevated in a tree. Finally gets light enough
and we can start seeing deer. And actually, some of the
big guys have already, you know, they’ve
already wandered off. We were sitting
there, we’re looking for a couple particular deer, couple of eight points probably. And you know, who knows
what’s gonna come in when one of the shooter eights, I think Scott said he’s like,
eight or nine years old, and you could tell
he’s on the way down. He’s not very big. Probably a deer you’d
probably want to take. And before we can get
set up and get on him, he’s actually off
and wandered off. He didn’t stay in the set
up for maybe five minutes. So we got a nine point in
front that’s too young. We’ve got some spikes
all over the place, and we just had
movement, and it’s cool. I mean I’m enjoying the morning. It’s beautiful, it’s
cool, but not too cool. Not even too warm,
you know, it’s nice, and we’re hanging out, and
I’m learning a lot from Scott as we sit there about property, about the deer in front of us. And all in all, no shooting,
but a lot of shooting of video. And conversation with
a guy who’s teaching me a lot about deer, so
nothing wrong with that. I hesitate to say I went
into the evening sit with high hopes because
it was really warm. And you know, even me, I’m
not, I’m still on the infancy of my hunting life
span, I would say. I kinda knew that
it was super hot. The deer might not get
up, they might not move. I mean they’ve
got so many acorns and other food sources
around that they probably ate when it was cool in the
morning, bedded down. They may not need to
eat, and if they don’t, why get up when
it’s hot, you know? We got back up in the same spot. We get settled, and we didn’t
get in ’til a little later ’cause it was so hot. But in plenty of time to
give us at least you know, a couple, two, three
hours worth of hunting. And there’s just
nothing going on. We waited a long time. We saw a couple spikes come in, and actually one of
them stopped behind us for a good 10 minutes, thinking
that he was gonna bust us, and you know, neither one of
us cared about each other, but he finally came in and
around, and then wandered off, and then all of a sudden a buck
comes in, and we’re excited, and it’s that nine point
we saw in the morning. And he again, just kinda
lived in front of us for the entire evening,
but sad to say, other than a parade of
spikes, that’s about it. I mean it was, I’ll say it. It was a frustrating sit
because we didn’t see any of the bigger deer we
saw in the morning, and we didn’t see any
of the shooter deer that we had on our list. It’s never bad to get
out and sit up in a tree, but a little
frustrating, you know? They just weren’t moving as
much as we wanted them to. And to be honest with you,
we looked at each other almost at the same
point, and we go, I think we’re probably not gonna come back here in the morning. No, no, we’re not. So we got down and
got in the Wolverine, and headed back to camp. And then actually talked
some more strategy about what do we
do tomorrow morning because the last morning,
that would be my final time to hunt here in Texas
this time around. – [Announcer] The
Yamaha Whitetail Diaries is brought to you by Yamaha
ATV and side-by-sides. Real world tough. Cabela’s. It’s in your nature. Garmin Rino 7 Series. Wherever you hunt,
make it Rino country. – [Announcer] Welcome back to
the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries with Wade Middleton. – Alright, it’s my last morning
in Texas, unfortunately. We’re heading to a new spot
from where we were yesterday. Deer just weren’t moving enough and at the right
where we were at, so we’re gonna try
this tripod setup in a place in between a
bedding area and some water where the deer are
kinda coming through, making it kind of
a transition zone. So hopefully I get
lucky and we see one of the guys on
the list this morning, and I can get him
back, get him dressed, get him cleaned, get him
all set up and ready to go before I have to head back to
the grind of the work week. Last morning, fingers crossed. It’ll be fun regardless,
but we’re out. First morning, first hunt, we had deer all over the place. This was no different, except
they were running all around. They were sparring, fighting. They were just I mean,
just having a good time. And I saw this
white-faced you know, old looking deer with
these dark horns, and Scott said there’s a
shooter buck over there. I kinda look at him,
and I’m wondering if I’m looking at the
same deer, and I was. We communicated back and forth. That’s the guy we’re going for. But he was the only
one not playing. And what I mean by that, is he looked like deer
would normally look if they weren’t oblivious
to our presence. It’s almost like he
knew we were there. He’s coming in,
he gets into where I really would
prefer to shoot him. I look at Scott,
we’re good to go, the deer moves to his right. And you know, it’s not
supposed to be easy, so we’re gonna have
to wait and see if he gets back
into range again. So then the deer does something that I didn’t really anticipate. He went back into the
trees off to our right, and then he circles, he
gets further away from us, and is coming back, but he’s
probably 30 yards further away. And he’s getting outside
this little tree line, and (mumbling)
establishes a couple trees there off to the left. And I’m on him, but I can’t
tell if Scott can see him, and then all of a sudden
he stops perfectly. Got him. (gun fires) (laughing) Holy cow, what a morning. What a final morning, opening
deer season in Texas for me. Oh my goodness, what a morning. I think I probably just scored the most skittish
deer in the field. There is so much activity. I’m surprised we got a shot
off, and yet it’s still early. But my goodness. He’s right there. He’s right there. (laughs) No drama and tracking. He’s right there, good shot. Down deer, mature
buck, nine point. Brown horns out, comes out. Oh. (laughs) That was awesome. Spooky deer. The spookiest deer,
I thought he had me. He just kept looking around. He came in just moving slower. There are deer fighting for
45 minutes off to our right. They’re not fighting,
they’re just sparring. They’re just messing
around having a good time. Big bucks walking around. I think maybe some
does or spikes. I don’t know, I was on this guy, and I was afraid he
wasn’t gonna get. It’s right there. Right there. (clapping) Whoo! Oh, there’s still deer
in the field. (laughs) Yes. What a great way to end a hunt. That is awesome. Awesome. (laughing) That deer just falls
right where he is. He’s done, and we’re done, and we’ve just harvested
an awesome animal on my last morning in Texas. I’m there on the
Wendlandt Ranch. I’ve got Scott Wendlandt,
the guy who knows his deer better than anybody
as my camera guy helping me decide which
is the most mature deer. And again, I probably
could’ve picked him out ’cause he seemed like
the smartest deer
in the field, to me. But we just got
an awesome trophy. This cool looking
eight who you know, according to Scott has maybe
come down a little bit, you know, from year to year. But he’s got dark
chocolate horns. He comes up, he goes out,
and then he doesn’t come in, which I think is super cool. And man, he’s
hanging back in camp, and I’ve got meat, and
awesome experience, and stories to tell for days. You know, it
couldn’t be a better final hunt in Texas for me. Can’t wait to get back out here. – [Announcer] The
Yamaha Whitetail Diaries is brought to you
by Thompson/Center. America’s master gunmaker. HIVIZ Shooting Systems. See what you’ve been missing. Bradley Smoker. Food smoking made easy. Engel Coolers. A legend in reliability. – [Announcer] Welcome back to
the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries with Wade Middleton. Wade and Steve Nessl from Yamaha are hunting the Wendlandt Ranch. Now Steve has already knocked
down a solid eight point. So let’s see if
Wade has any luck as he heads to a platform
stand for the afternoon. – Temperatures are a
little bit above average. I’m gonna say it’s probably
in the upper 80s right now. Probably should
be in the mid 70s. Lows in the evenings right now are only getting down into
the upper 60s, low 70s. But the deer activity,
I mean they’re wanting to really start separating
themselves, establish dominance. You’re seeing a few scrapes,
a few rubs here and there. But you know, it’s pretty warm. So what that means to me is
we’re gonna be setting up on a little food plot
alongside a ridge high up in a tree stand. I think the deer will
probably start moving as that sun gets a little bit
lower, gets a little cooler. They’ll filter
down off this ridge that you can see off
here and to the right. We’re gonna be sittin’
on a small food plot, and we’ve had just
enough rain recently that it’s comin’ up real well. And these deer are gonna
kinda mill around in there hopefully in that last hour,
hour and a half of the day, but we’re gonna get in
there about two hours before they start showin’
up, get settled in, get you know, climbed up and
just kinda see what happens. There’s several
good deer showin’ up on scouting cameras
up here, and you know, we’ll just see if one of
’em will get into range. We got about 400 yards
from where we parked the Viking ghost, so it’s time
to put on a safety harness and backpack, and grab
that T/C and go to hunt. (peaceful music) So we’ve got this
great platform stand. Probably 20, 25
feet up in the air. It overlooks a series
of oat patches. It’s a great ridge. It’s a super bedding area. The deer come off the
top of this ridge. They funnel down
into this open area where there’s a creek bottom. I mean there’s just a
million and one reasons why a deer would want
to call this area home. And when you look at the
location of this tree, and where you feel like the
prevailing wind would be, I mean it makes all
the sense in the world. It’d be a perfect
rifle hunting scenario. You know, you could
see long distances, you got plenty of
angles, a great base to put shooting sticks up on. And the wind, you know,
historically what it does, you know, you understand
it, and the sun’s gonna set to the left, and I
mean just I mean, a million and one
reasons, in my opinion, why this is the perfect stand,
but it’s not panning out. You know, I’m sittin’ in this
tree, and we’re seein’ does, and I’m watchin’ all these
deer move around this area. But in my mind, I’m also
playing out another scenario. I’m looking out to the edge
of this grown wheat field, and I’m thinking the entire
time, that would be a great spot to either build a ground
blind, or bring a pop-up in, because I could actually still
see two of the oat patches that we’re sitting over
right now in this tree, but I can also see down
towards the creek flat. You know, after talking
about it and discussing it, that was kinda the plan. We decided to basically
build a big pop-up blind, and put it on this flat
right in the shadows where we had multiple options, and then just give
it a rest, you know? Brush it all in, and then just
leave it alone for a while. – [Announcer] Coming up next, Wade moves into
the pop-up blind, and we’ll see if
his plan pays off. The Yamaha Whitetail
Diaries is brought to you by Smith and Wesson
Performance Center. Performance when
it matters most. ConQuest Scents. Hunting scents and
dog training scents. Sawyer products. We keep you outdoors. – [Announcer] Welcome back to
the Yamaha Whitetail Diaries with Wade Middleton. – You seen us here
before. (laughs) The ridge runs this way,
the creek runs that way. All the fields are out
here in front of us. We’ve been climbing 20,
25 feet up in a tree stand that just overlooks a
series of three oat patches, and we’re seeing
deer every time. But we’re not
seeing the same deer we’re seeing on scouting camera. The wind feels right. Everything to me looks right. We came over here
a couple days ago. We built a pop-up, and
this is a monstrous pop-up. This is Cabela’s
six-sided pop-up, and this is a
gigantic pop-up blind. We brushed it all in,
we’ve got it in the shade. We’re actually going
out farther to the end of these oat patches
where we can see out into these big fields
over here towards the creek, and I made another change. I put on my lucky hat. This is my oldest Cabela’s
visor camouflage hat, and so we’re gonna see if it
comes through for us tonight because on the scouting camera, there’s a multitude of shooters. We just hadn’t seen ’em so far. You know, when
things come together, they just come together. You can set for hours,
and days, and months, and you know, some
people years at a time, and just the plan
never comes together. You never see that deer
you’re looking for. And in this case, the
parade kinda started. Some does came out, and a
small buck or two came out, and they’re just millin’
around this oat patch. And off to the left, literally
within feet of the tree that we had been setting in, this big old boy
comes steppin’ out. The first thing that
popped in my mind when I saw that
deer step out was we have set in that
tree for several days. You know, I mean
gosh, why’s he there? Well then it was like,
man it’s a big deer. And he starts millin’
around out in the field. Kinda lookin’ out in the field,
and lookin’ in the shadows. He’s turnin’ around, he’s just, just like a big deer, you’d
expect a bigger deer to do. He come out on that brush
line and look around, and then all of a sudden
he just kinda turned and starts walkin’ his
way up into the oat patch, and just easin’ along, pickin’
up a bite here and there. And I had glassed
him, and ranged him, and now it’s time
to grab the rifle ’cause there wasn’t a doubt
in my mind it was a shooter. And he’s about to
go over the berm that leads to the
next oat patch. I’m thinkin’, well if he
goes at the right trail I might be able to
get a shot there, but if he goes to
that next oat patch, I’m not gonna be
able to see him. That berm’s pretty tall. But then he turns and he
starts walking back down the closer side
to the oat patch. But once again, I’m blocked. (ambient music) Meh. (gun fires) Smoked him! Smoked him. I mean, that big ol’ sucker. We have been settin’ in
this field for some time. We been settin’ in this field. We’ve been walking, workin’
this big tree stand over here, watching the sun go down, and
could not get on a good deer. Could not get on a good deer, and built this pop-up
blind over here. Really set it up perfect
so we’d have a better spot to be able to get
in here and hunt. I mean, I couldn’t
be more perfect. The wind got better
in our favor. We got in here, got set up. That buck literally came
out and postured himself underneath that tree right there where we’ve been sittin’ at. And for whatever reason, I
guess it’s the wind swirlin’, or somethin’, when we were
gettin’ in that tree stand we just weren’t seein’
any bucks, occasional doe. This deer came in and
he worked along here, and he got all the
way up into the field. Kinda disappeared, and then he
came back down this edge here and I had to grunt at him,
bleat at him to get him to stop, but I mean he was right
in the perfect area and we smoked that sucker. I mean, what a buck. He’s got big, long tines. He’s a main frame
10 with kickers. I got a chance to
look at that deer far longer than I
would’ve liked to ’cause he was blocked
so many times. Whoo. The old Compass strikes
right there, buddy. Wow. You talk about strategy,
this one worked to our favor right here. To reset the way we were, I
mean and I love that blind, or that tree stand we were
settin’ up in over there. It’s freakin’ awesome. But I could see deer out here, and somethin’ just wasn’t
right in comparison to what else we were seeing. And so we come down here
and built this big thing. We set it up perfect,
brushed it all in. You can see the same
stuff right here that’s growin’ out here’s
what we threw all over it. Let it rest for a couple days, waited ’til that big wind. And that buck, I mean
if he didn’t come out 20 or 30 yards from
where I was sittin’, he came out 20 or 30 yards
from where we’d been, and milled around,
and we got him. You know how I know we got him? ‘Cause we can see him
out there in that field. This is an awesome
blind, right here. Let’s go up here and
get him recovered. This is warm weather huntin’
at its finest right here. You talk about character. Look at this. I mean that main beam, it
almost wraps all the way around. I’ve got a kicker off this
G2, kicker off that three. Kicker off that brow tine. I mean, an old bruiser
of a war horse of a buck. There’s our stand that
we’ve been sittin’ in on these other days, and
you’ve seen everything up and down through here. And he came in, and he
worked all the way around. He was going back down there. Maybe to go down to
that creek down there. And he was movin’ at a pretty
good clip when I stopped him. I mean I know what the
Compass was gonna do. I shot this thing, it’s
just dead on shootin’ tacks, straight outta the box. Shootin’ incredible
groups, and everything. I’m shootin’ 30-06 right there, which is you know,
arguably one of America’s top three deer cartridge,
and you saw the result. I mean when I hit him you
could see the dust flying after that deer went down. I mean that’s what
it’s all about. That’s a plan coming together
for perfection right there. To have that deer
step out by the stand, and then walk around that field, and then come out, and then
just stop perfectly broadside, give me a look, and allow us
to crack that buck like that. I mean, that was pretty awesome.

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