Spring Food Plot Strategies for Hit List Bucks (Episode 183 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

GRANT: May 20th and we planted some food plots 14 days ago. They’re looking great. We’ve also got a management tip for those smaller hidey hole food plot.

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GRANT: Garrett, you can kill – if you sit in that stand.

GARRETT: Yes, sir.

GRANT: … you can kill a ground hog out of this field. When are you going to plant those two rows up there?

ADAM: Hopefully this, after this rain.

GRANT: Anything coming up through here, yet?

ADAM: Yeah.

GRANT: Oh, I see some out there.

GRANT: We call this field Across the Creek. The creek’s literally 20 yards to my right. And you can tell it’s nothing but a gravel bed. Anywhere I put my hand down, I’m literally on creek gravel. I’m sure over time that creek has just went from mountain to mountain in between here and filled this portion of the valley with gravel. But with those harsh conditions, the Eagle Seed forage soybeans are doing very well. They’ve made a couple of sets of leaves now. There’s almost no weed competition because they’re Roundup ready, allowing us to keep the weeds in check and providing great forage and I see places where deer are already starting to browse on this. This food plot’s relatively small – about an acre – and it’s really poor soil, so I don’t expect these beans to get chest high like they do in some of our other food plots. My mission for this field is to provide very high quality forage throughout the summer, knowing they may not make pods and if they don’t, come in and overseed this field with a fall blend so I’ve got continuous feeding and I’m never cleaning a plate. Keeping the deer in this neighborhood.

GRANT: The cage simply allows us to compare how tall the forage is inside versus outside and how much browse pressure is occurring in this food plot. Without the cage, I might come back and have a failure and I wouldn’t know if it was drought related or something else or if I simply have a lot of deer using this relatively small plot.

GRANT: We just filmed a little bit about how rocky these food plots are here at The Proving Grounds. And I noticed this groundhog den at the edge of the food plot. You can tell they’ve excavated all creek gravel, even though we’re several yards from the creek, because that’s what this field is composed of. And that’s why we’ve been usin’ Antler Dirt fertilizer for years and no-till drilling to build organic matter or soil on top of this rock pile.

GRANT: Three, six, nine, twelve, eighteen.

GRANT: I discovered the art of using electric fence a few years ago to protect crops and small food plots that might be over browsed before deer season.

GRANT: (To group) …the beans, we have no failures and now, you’ve seen in recent videos, I’ve got beans close to two foot tall on the inside; dirt on the outside. Not one bean survived outside. Not one. So, highly effective…

ADAM: Yeah, right there, Grant.

GRANT: Adam planted this food plot we call Little Cave about a week ago and with the rain last night, I’m sure these Eagle Seed beans be germinating soon. But before they germinate, we want to put up a Hot Zone Food Plot Exclosure. We want to keep deer out of this area of the food plot. Let these plants fully mature. Got a couple Muddy treestands right over my shoulder. It’s always been a good location, but it will be much better if I’ve got tall beans here come hunting season and one way to ensure that is keep them from being browsed during the summer. We’ll let the deer browse the rest of the food plot, take this fence down during the hunting season. Put the deer right here in front of the treestand.

GRANT: As long term watchers of GrowingDeer know, we no-till drill so we’ve sprayed the fall food plot foliage in here. We’ve no-tilled right through it. We’re going to take a weed eater and knock the stems down right where the fence is, so it won’t short it out; put the fence up and watch those Eagle Seeds grow.

GRANT: The fence is all up now in our Hidey Hole food plot; time to put a little power to it, put that energizer online and make this baby hot. The Hot Zone Non-Typical Electric Fence is up, the soybeans will germinate in a day or two with the soil moisture we have. Those inside the fence won’t be browsed on; outside will get the deer used to coming to the area and come hunting season, we either take the fence down, or take the gate open – make a perfect little bottleneck or fence gap. Muddy treestand is right behind us and we’ll be ready to score. One of our bucks that we think is still here and will certainly be on our Hit List this year is an older buck we call Split Brow.

TRACY: Good one, good one, beautiful. Is that him?

ADAM: That’s definitely him. He’s got that busted G2.

TRACY: (To dog) Good girl. Look at that, you found him.

GRANT: And during past years, Split Brow has used the Cave Ridge and specifically Little Cave food plot. It’s not just a matter of being in an area where you have a Hit List buck, but being in a huntable area. Little Cave is on the top of a ridge. It’s got a logging road running up it, so we can walk up that road silently. And on a wind from the south blowing from the food plot to our treestand, we can slide in there early afternoon; let everything be calm and Split Brow likely won’t even know we’re in his neighborhood.

GRANT: One thing I’ve enjoyed throughout my career is either developing techniques or improving existing techniques and then sharing those techniques with fellow hunters. Brian, Garrett and I had the opportunity to do that this week as we traveled north of Springfield, Missouri and met with fellow deer hunter and land owner, Jim Batten.

GRANT: Cover, but no nutrition.

JIM: Right.

GRANT: And then, ‘bout the time it starts making some nutrition, they're gonna harvest it within a month…

JIM: Right.

GRANT: …so it’s really a narrow feed window.

JIM: Yeah. Yeah.

GRANT: Okay, so each property is unique and Jim’s is no different in that he has about 150 tillable acres right in the center of his property. His dad has a bunch of mature timber on his land and it’s almost a little bit of an island because there’s a lot of cattle pasture around the property. So we spent the day touring the property and really listening to their goals and objectives.

GRANT: You set the planter; you go…

JIM: Right, right.

GRANT: That’d be a powerful tool.

JIM: Yeah.

GRANT: And we’ll develop a plan specifically for them, site specific that allows them to enjoy and meet their goals and objectives for hunting deer and turkey.

GRANT: No matter what portion of Creation you get to play with, whether it’s your grandmother’s back 40 acres or you’re in a hunting club with some of your buddies. Go out and try some of these techniques to improve the deer herd and the hunting at your property. But more importantly, take a moment while you're out in Creation to be quiet and listen to the Creator. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.