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GRANT: If you are like Adam and I, you’ve probably always wondered how a two foot tall electric fence keeps deer out of a desirable food source. Well, we solved part of that question last week by using our Reconyx cameras.
KYLE: You want it in this hole?
GRANT: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
GRANT: A couple of weeks ago we put up our Hot Zone electric fences to protect some beans from being over browsed so we’d be sure we had pods in critical places for late season hunting. It’s easy to tell by looking at the outside of the fence, where the beans are heavily browsed, versus the inside, where no leaves are missing, that the fence worked. But the question remained, why does the fence work?
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GRANT: Soybean pods are full of energy and they're a very desirable food source, especially during the late season. In small food plots soybeans may get browsed so much that they don’t mature enough to make pods.
GRANT: During past seasons, we’ve had great results using a Hot Zone electric fence and protecting soybeans right in front of our stands allowing them to mature, so we’ve got a source of soybean pods to hunt over during the late season.
GRANT: We try to locate our fences in areas we know are hot spots for deer, especially during the late season. You may recall that last year, my daughter Raleigh took a nice buck at a food plot we call Boom Pond Powerline. So that was an obvious choice to put a fence this year and protect the beans right in front of those stands.
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay. Got him Raleigh. Whoo.
GRANT: We know the deer tend to use this food plot year round, but when there’s a lot of acorns on the ground they back off the soybeans. So, protecting the beans until after they’ve cleaned up most of the acorns is a great strategy.
ADAM: ‘Cuz he’s a good buck.
GRANT: I’m always curious how the fence works. I mean, it’s only two feet tall and even I can jump it. How is it keeping deer out? Especially when there’s this much browse pressure on one side and three feet away the beans are doing good. So, we put this Reconyx UltraFire camera up, looking right down this line of fence, hoping we’d catch some kind of encounter.
GRANT: It didn’t take long for us to get some cool video and a pretty good understanding of at least why some deer learn to avoid the fence.
GRANT: You’ve probably watched deer check out new food sources or maybe even where you’ve walked with their nose. Deer tend to check out everything new in their home range with their nose first.
GRANT: So, imagine the moist nose of a deer comin’ in contact with a hot electric fence.
GRANT: There’s no need to feel sorry for the deer. In fact, Adam and I have bumped into various fences across our property throughout the years. It doesn’t knock us to our knees or anything like that. But it certainly lets us know we got a little close and we don’t wanta touch that fence again.
GRANT: The fence has been up two weeks and it’s easy to see how well it’s working. On this side, every single bean is browsed and it looks pretty tough. Still providing food for the deer, they're still getting nutrition but they're obviously not gonna make pods. On this side of the fence – inside the fence – boy, they're making a full crown, the leaves are coming off and, no doubt by season, this will be the place deer want to be. It will be fun to watch the difference in the growth of the beans outside versus inside the fence throughout the summer. But not near as fun as opening up the fence this fall and hunting this location when these are the best beans on the ridge.
GRANT: It’s about two and a half months until deer season opens up here in Missouri and we’re busy getting ready. But that includes more than maintaining our food plots and our deer blinds. It also means testing out all of our gear.
GRANT: If I’m going deer hunting – besides a bow and a gun – the one thing I always want is a grunt call. But which grunt call? Gosh, you go in the store and there’s a bunch of ‘em on the rack. Do you just pick up the one with the fanciest packaging? I don't think so. Boy, my days in the field are limited. I want to make sure I’ve got the best tools available.
GRANT: There’s a lot of difference. Some calls are more of a plasticy sound. Some are too high. Some are too low. Some are sensitive. You put much air through there and when that buck’s out there 300 yards and they blow out and squeal.
GRANT: We just need to know what number so we can make notes.
GRANT: The best way to know which call to put in your pack this fall is play with it ahead of time. So, this morning, we got out here early; we’re gonna be in an environment like where we’d really use the grunt calls and see which one all of us like the best.
ADAM: So, I’ve got the interns and Grant. They're back about 200 yards. Got all our grunt calls up here; gonna hit ‘em with the loud ones first. See if they can tell the difference.
GRANT: We grabbed a lot of grunt calls Adam and I had accumulated over the years and also had three or four new ones that we’re trying out to see which one sounded the most like bucks we’ve recorded during past times.
ADAM: All righty. Hopefully, they're taking notes. We’re gonna step up; we’ve got some soft grunters; we’re gonna see if they can tell the difference and pick out which one they like best out of those.
ADAM: Number one.
GRANT: The four one turns away. I can't even hear it. Four.
ADAM: Number two.
GRANT: Two. Okay.
GRANT: I think two sounds pretty good. What do y'all think?
ADAM: Number three. Number four.
GRANT: Adam and I took turns using all our different calls. We tried ‘em at 50 yards, 100 yards, 150 yards, even 250 yards. We didn’t let the guys listening know which call we were blowing. We just gave it a sequential number. That way we’d have a true and fair test.
INTERN: (Inaudible) stop (Inaudible).
GRANT: Just stop a second, Adam.
INTERN: Were we just repeating that?
GRANT: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, four, four’s sounds like a duck. I agree with that. Three was quiet, but I think had the best tone.
GRANT: All right. Give us one through four again.
GRANT: We’ll probably go out a couple more mornings during July so we’ll know which call we want to stick in our pack come fall.
GRANT: It’s important to know that every deer sounds slightly different. Just like turkeys sound different or humans sound different. But there are some similarities such as cadence, rhythm and volume that can be used to pick the best call.
GRANT: Four blows out with medium pressure.
GRANT: We shared with you last week that a mature buck showed up that neither Adam and I were familiar with. But we asked your help naming this buck. Go to our facebook page; check it out; offer a name and we’ll announce what name we selected next week here at GrowingDeer.
GRANT: Whether you're testing your gear or just getting outside and enjoying Creation, I hope you take time to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.