This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
ADAM: Well, this is an exciting time of the year for us. Antlers have really started developing. It’s mid-July. We’ve been doing a little bit of experimenting at the family farms and each weekend Matt and I try and head up there and see the results. That’s where we’re headed today. Hopefully, we’ll find some good news.
ADAM: The countdown has begun. We’re now less than two months away from bow season opening up here in Missouri. It’s crunch time. So, we’re out this week preparing with a new technique.
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CHAD: How many years have we plowed and disced this field?
ADAM: I don’t even want to talk about those days. And probably six years of hard plowing, discing, planting. It just makes me sick thinking about all those years of plowing it.
MATT: Well, that’s why you do experiments like this.
MATT: Just to see what happens.
CHAD: Because we didn’t know any better.
ADAM: Well, I’ll say this much. If we can improve it from a 5, 5.0 pH and get it to where it needs to be just by cover crops in the spring and fall…
MATT: …planting the right species. Yup.
ADAM: And, and we build the pH – and we build. I mean if you look at that soil sample, there’s like no phosphorous and barely any calcium which are both huge in antler growth. It makes you go, “Oh, well, at least the only, the only positive out of that is there’s only one place left to go and that’s up.”
UNKNOWN: That’s up. That’s up.
ADAM: Here at my family farm – it’s a working cattle farm. And there’s a lot of guys that can relate across the whitetails’ range. We have limited resources. We don’t have a no-till drill. So we’ve got basic tools and equipment to try and plant successful food plots.
ADAM: Sixteen years ago we planted the first food plots here at the family farm. We used conventional methods of plowing, discing, broadcasting the seed and throwing a bag of general fertilizer out and assuming the food plot was ready for hunting season.
ADAM: Looking back, we couldn’t have been more wrong. We were doing more harm than good. So, moving forward, we don’t have a no-till drill. We know that plowing and discing are harmful for the soil health. So, how can we create a successful food plot? That question, alone, is what a lot of deer hunters are asking themselves as we look ahead to fall food plot season.
ADAM: In this food plot, we experimented with some of the most basic tools and techniques available. We used last year’s fall food plot to serve as a cover crop.
ADAM: We came in this spring, broadcasted the seed with a simple hand spreader, came back in with a roller and laid last year’s fall food plot over to serve as a mulch and conserve soil moisture and also protect those young seedlings and the results are clear.
ADAM: I mentioned we used some of the most basic techniques available. Ideally, we would have came in beforehand and eliminated the weed competition with the herbicide. But rain was coming so we went ahead and planted, rolled, but we still had great results.
ADAM: We planted this food plot with a blend of seeds. Of course, we started out with Eagle Seed GameKeeper. We also included some millets, some sudan grass, some buckwheat and even cowpeas. This blend is feeding the deer herd as well as improving soil health.
ADAM: I’m excited boys. If this is just a, just a fraction of what’s to come. Oh.
ADAM: Here in southwest Missouri it seems we’re always four days away from a drought. So, in this small food plot, we wanted to increase the amount of beneficial vegetation, protect the soybeans, and offer a variety of species for the wildlife.
ADAM: By protecting those soybeans, there’s a chance that we could have standing grain during the late season even in a small food plot.
ADAM: However, if we’re experiencing a wet growing season, we want our Eagle beans to express more potential. We’re simply gonna come in with a herbicide terminating everything but the Roundup Ready Eagle beans, allowing them to put on more forage, and ultimately, more pods.
ADAM: Diving in further to this food plot, the benefits are outweighing the cost. In addition to the Eagle Seed soybeans, all the other species we used in our area cost less than $1.50 a pound. But, they're improving soil health, conserving soil moisture, and also providing a lot of forage for the wildlife.
ADAM: If you're a deer hunter and you're looking for ways to create food plots, but you don’t have the no-till drill and you don’t want to use a plow, follow along this fall as we continue to use basic tools and techniques to create successful food plots.
ADAM: Matt and I are very excited to continue monitoring these plots and sharing with you the results from the small food plot.
ADAM: Fall food plot season isn't far away and you can bet we’re gonna be trying this technique out in our small, hard to reach hidey hole food plots.
MATT: This week, the interns and I traveled to south central Missouri to set up a few Redneck blinds and establish some hidey hole food plots for one of our clients.
MATT: After traveling around the property, we’ve located a staging area just off a newly created food plot.
MATT: Yesterday, after just a little bit of scouting, the interns and I found this staging area just off a bean field. This is gonna make the perfect location for a hidey hole. Deer are naturally coming to this area, so we’re gonna clear out this vegetation and get ready to plant it in late August.
MATT: Once you’ve located one of these staging areas, your next step is to figure out exactly how to hunt it.
MATT: With this specific setup, we’re entering from the north. We’ve already got a trail cut in from a existing road. We’ve got a bean field off to our west and deer are mostly traveling from east to west. So, it will be coming in from the north; we’ll hunt it on a south wind – never be detected as we enter, hunt and leave the setup. This makes for an awesome place to intercept deer as they're moving from feeding to bedding or bedding to feeding. This will be a dynamite location.
MATT: When we create a hidey hole food plot, step number one is scouting. We accomplished that yesterday.
MATT: Step number two is coming in, clearing out the vegetation. We use a simple chainsaw, weed whacker and a blower to do that today.
MATT: Step number three – in August, we’ll come back, use a herbicide, remove all this vegetation.
MATT: Step number four – hopefully there will be a rain in the forecast. We’ll come in and broadcast the broadside blend in this area.
MATT: Step number five may be my personal favorite and that’s coming in and hunting the location.
MATT: We’re hopeful for our client. I can’t wait to get some kill pictures from him this year. This is gonna be a great location to intercept those big bucks this fall.
MATT: In just an hour and a half’s time, we converted this staging area into an awesome hunting location – intercepting deer as they're traveling from feeding to bedding or bedding to feeding.
MATT: This was a great trip to take with the interns. We established a new location for both bow hunting and rifle hunting for years to come.
ADAM: As we all know, in the heat of the moment, poor form, rushed shots and bad arrow placement can occur. Taking the time now to practice and prepare can help make those shots count this fall.
ADAM: The middle of the summer is the time we all start getting really serious about practicing for the upcoming deer season. And that includes shooting our bow.
ADAM: It’s important that when I shoot, I’m shooting with purpose. So each time I’m headed out to shoot, I start and finish with blind bale.
ADAM: Blind bale is the foundation for all my shooting. This is where I’m working on holding the bow the exact same way for every shot. I’m using the same anchor points. But, I’m also training my muscles to draw the bow, hold the bow and follow through with the release.
ADAM: Intentionally practicing these techniques will result in more consistent form, but also produce more accurate shots.
ADAM: If you’ve shot a bow long enough, you may have developed some bad habits. I’ve certainly done it. So any time I start to develop a bad habit, I get back to the fundamentals – start shooting blind bale to correct the problems.
ADAM: Blind bale is not about shooting the dot on the target. All I’m working on is form. So, I’ve got my hand positioned right, my grip’s where it should be. I’m gonna work on drawing the bow. I’m settling on my anchor points – string hits me right at the tip of the nose / corner of the mouth. I’ve got my finger just resting on the trigger and I’m gonna work on my follow through.
ADAM: I get the best results out of blind bale when I close my eyes through most of the shooting. Once I attach the release, make sure my grip’s right, I go ahead and shut my eyes for pulling the bow back. Eyes are still shut and I’ll find my anchor points with my eyes still closed. I’ll open ‘em back up for a second just to make sure I am shooting right to the target. Close my eyes back for the follow through.
ADAM: The great thing about blind bale is I can shoot inside my garage, even in the middle of town. One thing I will advise is using a high quality target – making sure you're gonna stop that arrow. I’ll use the blind bale technique throughout the remainder of the summer and even through hunting season – always ensuring my shots are accurate and lethal.
GRANT: Raleigh and Rae are competing in the SCTP National High School Trap Championship this week. I’m told over a million shots will be fired this week. It’s a great time to see youth out shooting, practicing safety and enjoying the great outdoors. I’ll keep you posted with the results next week here from Ohio.
ADAM: A special offer for all the Field Day attendees. RTP is offering free shipping to anyone who purchases a Genesis No Till Drill at Field Day. Come join us August 12th and 13th.
ADAM: Whether you're out preparing for food plot season or hanging a few treestands, remember to do it all for the love of the land and the glory to God. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.