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GRANT: Earlier this week, I went to New York to work with one of our habitat clients while Adam visited a friend of GrowingDeer.tv about an hour away.
GRANT: Mark has a Redneck Blind overlooking a patch of Eagle Seed soybeans and Adam took the opportunity to go up and film some bucks coming into Mark’s hunting spot.
ADAM: (Whispering) As you can see, we’re up at the Redneck. It’s about 8 o’clock. Settled in, we’ve been here about 30 minutes. We’ve got the sprinkler running on the Eagle Seed beans. Mark tells me that the deer have been coming out about 8:30 every night, so we’re gonna sit here, settle in. Hopefully, we’ll get some action.
GRANT: Adam had a great time filming with Mark, but as usual those more mature bucks slid in right at dark, right at last camera light.
GRANT: Just once again showing those more mature deer are tough, no matter where you are.
GRANT: I’m a huge believer in setting harvest goals and objectives, before the season starts, so you know how to make a good decision, at that moment of truth when a buck’s out in front of your stand.
GRANT: Back at The Proving Grounds, we’re just finishing cleaning up some damage from a big wind storm that dumped a lot of tree tops in our roads and food plots. Cleaning up storm damage is always an unscheduled task, but it can have its rewards also.
GRANT: For those of you that are like me and the property where you hunt recently had some storm damage, and knocked some acorns on the ground, don’t get too excited. That’s a good scouting tool for acorns that are still left on the tree, but these acorns on the ground aren’t gonna ripen, or mature fully. They’re not like taking a tomato off the vine three days before it turns red and puttin’ it in your window sill. These will probably not mature to a state that deer will want to consume them.
GRANT: But it does allow, just quickly walking through the property, and telling us whether there’s a white oak acorn crop, and a red oak acorn crop, and this year, we’ve only found red oak acorns of any quantity. No white oaks, which is huge information for my hunting strategy this fall.
GRANT: Knowing that deer prefer white oaks in early season more than red oaks, I’m gonna locate my stands near white oak trees. Because that’s where the deer are gonna be foraging and concentrated, versus red oaks, and that’s an important point, when you’re out scouting right now for the opening of bow season.
GRANT: So, just to summarize it briefly – if you have red and white oak acorns available during the early season, concentrate your hunting effort on white oak acorn patches. But if you don’t, if reds are the only thing available, deer will go ahead and consume them. Get out and see which acorns are available and hunt accordingly. No matter where you are in the deer hunting continuum, we all like seeing deer, and this information can be a great tool to help you and your family see more deer this fall.
GRANT: Last Lick is a very small, maybe an eighth of an acre, food plot tucked in the woods, next to a major bedding area. Because this food plot is so small and tucked back in the woods, I would have no chance of growing quality forage here if I didn’t protect it somehow, and limit the browse pressure, until I’m ready to hunt.
GRANT: The easiest way to do that is with this Non-Typical Hot Zone electric fence.
GRANT: Even though this is a very rocky, porous site, these are the best beans at The Proving Grounds this year, simply because this electric fence has kept all the browse pressure off these beans and allowed them to focus totally on growing, and not re-growing from where deer have removed the vegetation.
GRANT: I am thrilled with the productivity of these Eagle Seed forage soybeans, given we’re literally in one of the driest years in recorded history – 118 years. Look at the size of these leaves and the production, but only in this plot, where they were protected by the Non-Typical electric fence, because the drought is so harsh, there’s no native vegetation that’s really good quality right now and deer are hammering the other food plots. But if this continues, and we can keep a pesky groundhog from burrowing under, we’re gonna have a great hunting location here at Last Lick.
GRANT: You may recall we filmed here a few times in this creek crossing when the College of the Ozarks van got stuck, and it was flowing about a foot deep in cold, and we had to change a tire right here. And then last week, after we had a three inch rain, and had a lot of runoff. Even though we had three inches of rain, the drought is not over here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: We’re just a few weeks away from the Second Annual Land and Wildlife Expo in Nashville, Tennessee, paired up with the Quality Deer Management Association’s National Convention. It is a great time to hear seminars and meet the speakers, talking about all different subjects of wildlife: ducks, deer, turkey, hunting strategies and management. So if you’re into hunting, or managing wildlife, this is probably the largest gathering of experts, and landowners, like myself, sharing ideas, thoughts, new techniques, and old strategies to improve your success wherever you hunt. It’s held at the fabulous Gaylord Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, which is super large, so we can stay inside on those hot days during August. But if you’re like me, and you don’t mind venturing outside during a hot day, come join me, as I give a coyote trapping demonstration outside to show how I remove predators here at The Proving Grounds. All this at Nashville, Tennessee, August 9th through the 11th. Check out the link below. Register, so you can come visit my family, and the GrowingDeer team, at the Second Annual Land and Wildlife Expo.
GRANT: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I give that a ten in the Olympic sport of jumping.