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GRANT: This 4th of July, the Woods family and families all throughout the whitetails’ range will celebrate Independence Day. You know, it’s a time when we celebrate, get together as families, cook out and go fishing and all the fun stuff. But this year, take time to think about the huge cost of our independence. Think about great men like George Washington, Ben Franklin, Adams and others. Read their books. Think about what they're really thinking and most importantly, go find a veteran or many veterans and shake their hand. There was a huge price for our independence and those men and women are the one that paid it.
GRANT: Adam and I out checking food plots this morning during late June and there’s some obvious difference between the soybeans and the clover. So, we took the opportunity to see not only what was growing and producing well, but what deer and other forms of wildlife were using.
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GRANT: Our first stop was a food plot called Gobbler Knob. It’s about an acre in size on top of a ridge in a forested area. And the road going to that food plot and through the food plot, we’d cleared out about 30 feet wide or so and planted the whole road with clover. I like this comparison because this is about a one acre field of Eagle Seed beans and a long stretch of road of clover right here that’s about an acre. So, about the same amount of food potential. The fertilizer truck spread this field on the exact same day, same time it spread this strip of clover with Antler Dirt. Obviously, the same amount of rain and it’s growing in the same rocky soil. But the shocking difference is – almost every bean out here has been browsed on and we can barely find a clover stem where the clovers have been removed by browse. That’s certainly not to say deer don’t like clover. But deer are extremely selective feeders and clearly at this time of year when does are providing milk for their fawns and bucks are producing antlers, they prefer the protein rich and highly digestible forage of a soybean over clover.
GRANT: It might be on your farm the only thing you have is a couple small clover plots and they're wearing it out because it’s all hardwood trees around there. And that’s great. And it’s important for all of us deer managers to realize that deer are extremely selective feeders. They're gonna eat the best food in the neighborhood. But if I had the option, clearly, I’d rather have soybeans than I would clover.
GRANT: That’s not to say clover shouldn’t be part of your tool bag. I like about ten percent or so of my food plot acreage in clover. In the early spring, before it’s warm enough to plant soybeans or they’ve germinated or produced any forage, clover is lush, growing rapidly, providing a lot of tonnage and deer and turkey love it. But don’t dedicate all your food plot acres to clover, because there’s a better forage crop throughout most of the growing season.
GRANT: It’s a neat comparison. I happened to find this four leaf clover, but, so it’s a little bit more than average, but if we look at what a deer wants to eat – of course they want to eat the leaf surface tissue. That’s that best, most digestible tissue. So on a clover plant, we’ve got all that energy in a stem and a little bit in a leaf. And what a deer really wants is just that amount. All that energy – just that top. And a soybean – you take that and that and that. Lots and lots of forage. Big bites where they're just getting lots of nutrition in one bite. You’ve seen where Adam’s filmed in the past. And they just take off two or three leaves – especially these new green leaves coming on top – just super rich in nutrients. And all of that, if I can hold it in my hand, you can tell you're getting a lot higher ratio of digestible, good quality forage to stem. But if the beans weren’t there, I suspect they’d be using the clover hard. So our goal as managers is to provide the best food for each situation. And at my place, I’ve got enough acreage where I can have great clover food plots – about ten percent of my acreage. And before we plant soybeans in the spring, it’s up and lush and deer and turkey are using them heavy. But come the main growing season, they clearly prefer soybeans.
GRANT: In addition to providing quality forage which is roughage and protein, we want to make sure deer have ample trace minerals so they can express their full potential of antler growth and fawn development.
GRANT: It’s easy for guys who’ve got a lease or absentee land owners to not notice their Trophy Rocks have been totally consumed by deer before they check ‘em come hunting season. We consider it just as important to make sure we’ve got a great source of natural trace minerals, like Trophy Rock, out as we do taking care of our food plots. So, throughout the year we check our Trophy Rock stations; make sure they don’t get any smaller than this; put a new rock out, keep those antlers growing.
GRANT: What makes me even more excited is knowing that bucks love Trophy Rock throughout the growing season. So I love checking my Reconyx cameras and looking at those pictures and seeing how the antlers are developing week by week here at The Proving Grounds. I prefer Trophy Rocks because they're mined in the USA, they're 100% natural and Trophy Rock includes over 60 trace minerals.
GRANT: It seems like a lot of hunters start to get a little more serious right after the 4th of July. I hope you're already outside working with food plots, putting the Trophy Rock out, but most importantly, when you go outside every week and enjoy Creation, but be still and quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: (Inaudible) …we did that and you're thinking of thousands and thousands, literally of Christmas trees dry.