This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: There’s a lot of excitement this time of year, as hunting season is only a few weeks away. This week, we created a new hidey hole food plot, continued our scouting, and setup a new Redneck blind.
ADAM: You guys still good?
GRANT: A few weeks ago, I shared with you I do a lot of blind bale practicing. That’s simply where I get a quality target, stand just an arrow length or two away and shoot with my eyes shut. I’m totally focused on form.
GRANT: After several weeks of blind bale shooting, I’ve got my form down. It’s time to come out here, practice on a 3D target. But I’m not dot shooting, I’m thinking about putting that arrow in the bottom third of the cavity, right behind the shoulder.
GRANT: I’m always thinking, bottom third of cavity, cause if a deer does anything, they’re gonna drop, so I want to be in the bottom third, right behind the shoulder. Shot placement there is venison on your table.
GRANT: You’ll focus on the bottom third, right behind the front legs. You’ll have the sighting that you need to bring venison home this fall.
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ADAM: Pile everything up. Downwind side of the stand.
GRANT: Small hidey hole food plots can be excellent tools to bottleneck deer. Especially in areas like The Proving Grounds, where it’s primarily timber and it’s tough to find bottlenecks. Selecting a location for such little food plots can be more challenging than establishing them.
GRANT: Adam and I found a spot last winter that’s in between a bedding area and a food plot with several trails kind of meandering through the general area, but right in the center, there was a small opening that had some saplings and weeds in it. So Adam and the interns headed in that area with their chainsaws and tools to create a hidey hole food plot.
ADAM: The thing I like about this spot is it’s so small it’s only gonna take a chainsaw, and a weed eater, and a backpack sprayer, and we’re gonna have it ready to plant.
GRANT: One of the exciting things about this plot is it’s a perfect location to create a mock scrape.
ADAM: One of the first things I noticed when I walked in this opening was these low hanging oak branches, and I immediately thought this deer season there’s gonna be a scrape right here. We’re gonna have this all cleared out, all the brush removed. There’s a great chance there’ll be a scrape here, and the best part – it’s only 20 yards from our Summit stands.
GRANT: With a little elbow grease and some hand tools, Adam and the interns were able to clear out a nice little hidey hole food plot and hang some Summit stands. The next step will be killing any weeds that come up and getting ready to plant our fall food plot.
ADAM: Well, the interns got it all cleared off with the weed eaters. You can see, it looks great. The next step for us is gonna be come back in about two weeks. Everything’s growing back. We’re gonna spray it with glyphosate, kill it off. Then, we’re gonna be waiting on rain and ready to plant. We’ve got this spot setup for a late October, November hunt. Got a lot of trees and limbs around here set up for the bucks to scrape on. There’s a lot of trails cutting through here. Just a great travel corridor. We can’t wait for this fall to come back and see how it looks.
GRANT: Adam and I are very excited about this location, and we’ll keep you posted, once season opens.
ADAM: All right. Let’s set it down.
ADAM: That’s good, right there.
GRANT: Last season, my daughter, Raleigh, shot a great buck out of a Redneck blind in a food plot we call Boom North.
GRANT: It was a great hunt for her and Adam, but it was just seconds away from turning into a heartbreak.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I can’t even see him from here, with the gun.
GRANT: There’s a substantial elevation change from west to east, in this food plot. So if you’re in a ground blind, it’s almost impossible to see the entire plot from any location.
GRANT: Knowing that this has been a productive plot for multiple years in a row, we decided to swap out blinds and put a 10 foot Redneck blind at the west end of the food plot. This will allow us on a north, south, or east wind to approach the plot from the west, go through the timber, enter the blind, and never disturb the area.
GRANT: Once they got the stand in place, they put it together and raised it up.
ADAM: How are you guys?
UNKNOWN: Good. (Inaudible)
ADAM: That’s what it felt like.
ADAM: Long ways to go.
ADAM: (Inaudible) them rocks out of there.
ADAM: All right?
ADAM: Tell me if I ….
UNKNOWN: I’ll come up in a second.
ADAM: All right, Kevin. Your girlfriend’s calling to break up with ya.
ADAM: Nic, you can take a look and then come on down.
GRANT: As soon as it was up, Adam climbed in to check out the view.
ADAM: Now that we’ve got the blind on a 10 foot platform, we’ve eliminated the slope. We can see the entire field. It ought to be a great set, this fall.
GRANT: Is this, see the browse out in there?
GRANT: Our scouting is not limited to sitting at the edge of a food plot during the summer and watching for deer. Rather, it’s always thinking about where deer are gonna use various sources of food, cover, and water, and what time of day they’re moving to each one of those resources.
GRANT: If you live and hunt where there’s acorn trees, maybe you’re in the Smokies, or Florida, or here in the Midwest, you need to know which oaks are producing acorns. You can go from where there’s a whole bunch of oaks that are the dominant tree type to where there’s very few oaks. And depending on where you are in that gradient has a huge bearing on your hunting strategy.
GRANT: Let’s talk strategy and start at this end of the continuum. You hunt in an area where oaks are dominant. They’re omni-present. They’re everywhere. Then, you need to know that the white oaks, typically, are gonna drop acorns first, and the red oaks later. Deer certainly prefer white oak species over red oak species. They’re gonna eat them first. So you’re early season stands need to be based around white oak trees that have acorns.
GRANT: At the other end of the continuum, there are very few acorn trees where you hunt. You’re simply scouting for a tree that has acorns and putting your stand there. Deer love acorns. They’ve been eating them for, literally, eons. So they’re gonna go to acorns, even if there are standing crops around. You find an acorn tree in western Kansas, or somewhere like that, it’s gonna be a dynamite stand location.
GRANT: Deer certainly prefer white oak species over red oak species. They’re gonna eat them first. So your early season stands need to be based around white oak trees that have acorns.
GRANT: As one of the first steps in scouting, we need to be able to tell the difference between a white oak and a red oak tree. Here’s a real easy tip. White oaks always have rounded lobes. No matter what species of white oak, they’re gonna be rounded and rounded on the point. Red oaks – and there’s lots of species of red oaks – always have a bur, or sharp tip, on the end of the leaf. Simply by using that, you can tell the difference between earlier sweet acorns and later bitter acorns. Through the years, I’ve found two items to make scouting for acorns much easier – a good pair of binoculars and a good rest.
GRANT: When you’re on the edge of the forest, like we are now, you can see the low lying limbs, and kind of up in the tree a little bit with your naked eye and tell if it has acorns. But if you’re down in the forest a ways and there’s a lot of competition, there’s not low lying limbs, you need binos to see up in the tree and actually change your focus, go back and forth through the crown searching for those acorns. And that can be tiring, or hard to hold steady, so I found that by taking my rest out there, I can hold perfectly still, zoom through the crown of the tree, and rapidly tell if it has acorns.
GRANT: You know tips about individual trees are handy, but what do you do when everywhere you look there’s oak trees? How do you start scouting? Nobody has the time to scout every tree in the area. So I’m gonna scout where I think deer are traveling anyway.
GRANT: I can see some edges from this point of view, the edge of this power line, the edge of a bedding area over here, and I know deer are creatures of edge. And where there’s more sunlight hitting the edge, typically, those trees will produce more acorns than a tree in the middle of the forest that’s competing with other trees for moisture and sunshine. Adam and I’ve learned that when there’s this many acorns at The Proving Grounds, we’ve got to constantly be scouting and changing locations to stay in the action. We’ll share our tips and techniques throughout the year, as we chase acorns and deer here at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: Here’s an easy way to prepare for deer season – be sure you enter the BloodSport giveaway and have an opportunity to win up to $10,000.00 worth of prizes.
GRANT: Whether you’re scouting, creating a food plot, or simply taking time to go for a walk, do what I do every day and slow down and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching Growingdeer.tv.
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) Watch out. Watch out. Oh my God.