Hunting Food Plots | Life Lessons (Episode 457 Transcript)

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GRANT: It’s great to be back at The Proving Grounds. As many of y'all know, I had a kidney transplant 26 years ago. My sister, Alice, donated me a kidney and gave me the gift of life.

GRANT: Because of that gift, I've been able to live a very active and blessed life.

GRANT: (Quietly) You nailed it!

GRANT: Earlier this year, during an annual checkup at the Mayo Clinic, the doctors informed me that that kidney was finally failing, and I’d need another kidney as soon as possible.

GRANT: My wife, Tracy, was not a match. But, my oldest daughter, Raleigh, who is 19, felt led to be tested and she was a good match.

RALEIGH: Are you good?

GRANT: Yeah.

RALEIGH: Okay. I’ve grown up in a household knowing that there’s a transplant patient in the house. Like, we cook with less salt for my dad; we all wear a lot of sunscreen because he’s a big sunscreen guy. If you haven’t noticed by the big hats and everything he always wears.

RALEIGH: Typically, like, if you have a transplant, um, like, earlier in life, you might need another one to continue to live, like, a normal life span as someone else. So, that’s always in the back of my mind.

RALEIGH: Um. And so, for the past few years, like, we’ve known your – his kidney function was slightly decreasing as everyone’s does as you get older.

RALEIGH: He went to the Mayo for his yearly checkup, um, and the news was not so good. So, he gives me a call and just kind of let me know. And I was, like, (Inaudible) on the spot. Like, “All right. Like. When can I be tested? What can I do?” Because you have to be 18 to donate.

RALEIGH: He started crying; I started crying. I’m driving. Um. And I was just like, “No. I need to get tested. Like, let’s, let’s get this thing rolling. Like, we don’t have time, so let’s now, let’s just go.”

RALEIGH: Um. We went up to the Mayo Clinic which is an amazing place. Um. Just full of, like, very wise people and, like, very experienced doctors. And I’m not a huge fan of hospitals normally. But, like, it’s a cool place, actually. Um.

RALEIGH: So, we go through three days of multiple testing. Um. Anything from urine tests, to blood tests, CT scans, renal function tests.

GRANT: Over the next few weeks, my family started preparing for a kidney transplant surgery. And unquestionably, the toughest part of that preparation for me was knowing my daughter, Raleigh, would have to have surgery to give me the gift of life. It shouldn’t be that way. Fathers are meant to protect children, not children saving the life of their father.

GRANT: (Flashback) What do we always do when we go hunting?

RALEIGH: (Flashback) Um. Snickers?

GRANT: (Flashback) Eat a Snickers. Every time we go hunting, we eat a Snickers.

RALEIGH: So, like, people kind of ask me, like, “Why are you doing this?” I’m like, “The simple answer is, like, my dad has given me my whole life; taught me so many things – how to hunt, how to shoot, how to work hard. Um. How to enjoy being yourself and just, um, so it’s the least I could do to give him a small part of me, so he can have a bigger part of his life. Because you only need one kidney to survive. Why do I need two? Like (Inaudible) sense to me to have two when someone else needs one of mine.”

GRANT: Are you scared?

RALEIGH: Um. People keep me asking me if I’m scared or nervous. So, no, I’m not scared. I am prayerfully hoping and praying, obviously that it works. ‘Cause sometimes it doesn’t. So, that’s my, like, biggest concern. But.

GRANT: After extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic, Raleigh was not only a good match, but deemed to be in a perfect state of health and a great candidate to be an organ donor.

RALEIGH: As of right now, everything matches extremely well, which is incredible. Like, one of the best matches you can get. So, scared? No. ‘Cause I think it will be kind of interesting to see how it goes.

RALEIGH: I kind of like scars so they tell a story. So, I’m not, like, scared of that or, like, scared of the hospital. ‘Cause, like, the whole, like, vertically or horizontally. Like, most women want it, like, um, horizontally so, like, it hides it. I’m, like, “No. Like. Put it on there vertically. Like. I want to see the scar. It tells a story.”

GRANT: During that period of preparation, all the way up through and including the surgery, Raleigh taught me, and many watching our family, the true meaning of love.

GRANT: I and my entire family wish to thank everyone that prayed for us from the bottom of our hearts. Those prayers were overtly answered to the point that neither Raleigh or I had any anxiety going into surgery.

GRANT: In pre-op, we were joking and laughing and comparing hospital gowns and our IVs and right before they took Raleigh down for surgery, she says, “No. Wait a minute. I gotta give my dad something.”

RALEIGH: I’m giving you a gift. Now you have multiple to choose from in case mine doesn’t work. (Laughter)

GRANT: Kidney beans. Very appropriate. (Laughter)

RALEIGH: You can read that later. It’s kind of long. There you go.

GRANT: Thank you, baby.

RALEIGH: You're welcome.

GRANT: I love you very much.

RALEIGH: Thank you.

GRANT: I’ll see you – we’ll be together in pre-op.

RALEIGH: Yes.

GRANT: We’ll be side by side in pre-op. So, I’ll see you in a little bit.

RALEIGH: Um. Do I… (Fades Out)

NURSE: Are you gonna walk in?

RALEIGH: Yes.

NURSE: Kinda short for you, but I’m right behind you.

RALEIGH: Left or right? (Inaudible)

NURSE: Right.

RALEIGH: Okay. (Several talking at once)

NURSE: You doing okay, Ral?

RALEIGH: Yeah. You want me to slow down?

NURSE: No. You're fine.

GRANT: Raleigh recovered quickly. We had surgery about noon on a Friday and that night about 9:00, she came walking in my room pulling her IV pole to check on me.

UNKNOWN: Oh, my goodness. Look whose here.

GRANT: You look awesome, baby. You're walking.

UNKNOWN: Certainly setting an example here.

GRANT: Do you feel okay?

RALEIGH: Umm-hmm.

GRANT: No more nauseous?

RALEIGH: Oh, I threw up one more time, but.

GRANT: You feel okay now?

RALEIGH: Oh, yeah, yeah.

UNKNOWN: You know, Raleigh, part of him feels 19. (Laughter)

FEMALE: Part of him is 19.

RALEIGH: Yup.

GRANT: You look great, baby.

RALEIGH: Well, thank you.

GRANT: The day after surgery, Raleigh’s finals in online Calculus and Spanish were due. And she made As in both classes. The doctors and myself were amazed. Raleigh was dismissed from the hospital that Sunday – just a few days after surgery. She’s now back at the University of Arkansas and doing great.

GRANT: Raleigh’s gift was a great illustration of Christ’s love and gift of His life for us. And that resonated with many, many people. I can't tell you how many people were considering giving an organ to a family member or a friend and reached out to us asking for explanations or how we felt or what the steps were in the procedure.

GRANT: Raleigh’s gift of life to me was clearly a huge blessing to me and a great example to many others.

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GRANT: Recently, it rained for several days straight here at The Proving Grounds. We were like many in the Midwest and been in a wicked drought all summer. So, the rain was welcome and a huge blessing.

GRANT: These late summer rains have come at exactly the right time as we’re preparing to plant our fall food plots.

GRANT: Most fall food plot varieties should be planted about 45 to 60 days before the first average frost.

GRANT: We never know what day it’s gonna frost on any given year. So, the best we can do is look up the average first frost of the fall date and use that as a guide of when to plant.

GRANT: Here at The Proving Grounds, the average date of the first frost here in the fall is October 15th. Backing up about 60 days puts us to start looking at planting about August 15th – from August 15th on, whenever there’s adequate soil moisture.

GRANT: Having adequate soil moisture is just as important as the date. Without adequate moisture, the seeds may not germinate, or the seedlings may not survive.

GRANT: Hidey hole food plots are some of my favorite stand or blind locations. You don’t have to have big equipment. Hand tools, chainsaws, hand saws, rakes, hand sprayers and a broadcast seeder can be all you need to establish a hidey hole food plot.

GRANT: My favorite places to put hidey hole food plots are just 100 or 200 yards away from a larger feeding area or bedding area. These make great staging or transition zones.

GRANT: Through the years we've had a lot of success tagging mature bucks at these locations.

DANIEL: We've got the herbicide and the seed out. And we’re gonna take care of this plot and it’s gonna be ready to go in just one afternoon.

DANIEL: We created this little hidey hole several years ago because it’s situated in between a large bedding area and a feeding area and it’s just a great place to hunt this travel corridor.

DANIEL: This area was already a great travel corridor before we put in the hidey hole plot, but we made it even better because now there’s food; things are sneaking through. We've created a bottleneck. We've got a lot of good things going in this plot.

DANIEL: We actually decided to leave a few trees and low hanging limbs where we can put Code Blue scrapes later on this fall and this is gonna be a dynamite spot.

DANIEL: We’ve got the herbicide and the seed out. We’re gonna take care of this plot and it’s gonna be ready to go in just a few minutes.

DANIEL: The forecast says there’s more rain coming in the next few days, so it’s a great time to be getting seed out.

GRANT: When it’s time to plant the fall varieties in these small hidey hole food plots, we terminate the weeds with glyphosate and then broadcast the seed with an over the shoulder spreader.

DANIEL: We really like to broadcast right before a rain or even during a rain. That helps the seed get great seed-to-soil contact and there’s a lot of moisture for that seed to germinate.

GRANT: Glyphosate is ground neutral. That means once it reaches the ground, it’s pretty much neutralized. In addition, it’s designed to only impact growing green leaves.

GRANT: It’s not gonna impact seeds. So, we simply spray; take the backpack sprayer off; get our seeders and start spreading seed.

DANIEL: When spraying with glyphosate or Roundup, you can simply spray and plant in the same day. The seed that germinates isn't gonna be affected.

DANIEL: Always go at a little heavier rate because there’s gonna be some squirrels and turkeys that come in here and eat some seed. So, we go at a little heavier rate to compensate. That way we get a great stand in this food plot.

GRANT: Another great strategy for this plot is to hunt it during the pre-rut or rut. Bucks are almost always cruising downwind of that bedding area and often will scent check that little hidey hole food plot.

DANIEL: On these small plots, I’m only opening up my spout just a little and I’m zig zagging both this way and this way – sometimes multiple times. If I open up my spout all the way and just start cranking, I’ll go through a lot of seed. So, I want to conserve seed; get the appropriate rate for this size of plot. That way I’m not wasting seed and this plot will be good to go.

DANIEL: So, one great thing about these little hidey hole food plots is you can spray and plant in the same day. The herbicide – it’s not ground active; you spray; knock down the weeds; and we can come in and just broadcast. Great for Saturday work or Sunday afternoons – getting into your hunting spot and making these little hidey hole food plots.

GRANT: Stay tuned throughout the fall as we’ll be sharing the techniques we use week by week to approach these hidey hole food plots and the success we have of hunting over them.

GRANT: (Whispering) Are you on it? Are you on it, Daniel?

DANIEL: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: (Whispering) That is a good deer.

DANIEL: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

GRANT: Last season, we had several successful hunts out of Redneck Blinds.

GRANT: (Whispering) He’s still coming. He’s behind that dead stick. You see him? Just about two more steps.

GRANT: (Whispering) I got brush, but I’m on him. If he gives me a clear shot, I’m taking it.

DANIEL: (Whispering) Okay.

GRANT: (Whispering) Get ready; get ready.

DANIEL: (Whispering) Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: (Whispering) You ready?

DANIEL: (Whispering) Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: He’s down. Head Turner’s down! Can you believe that?

GRANT: Through the years, we’ve positioned our Redneck Blinds in great locations and have success year after year.

GRANT: 70 yards in front of us. My goodness!

GRANT: Because we use the blinds year after year and through the summer scouting for bucks and shooting groundhogs and whatever, we take time before deer season to go clean each blind.

GRANT: These blinds are located out in the middle of our property, so we simply take a small Yamaha generator; plug in a shop vac; and sweep it all out so it’s perfectly clean for the coming season.

GRANT: Redneck knows that hunters want to see, so they developed a special spray to clean the windows with that not only cleans it but keeps them from fogging.

GRANT: We often leave all, or at least most of, the windows closed in our Redneck Blind, depending on time of year, temperature and a lot of other factors – wind direction. So, it’s important that we have a very clear view out the windows.

GRANT: Labor Day is coming up soon and it reminds me how thankful I am of all the men and women that work every day to make this country functional and great. I’m extremely thankful for all workers and I hope everyone this Labor Day not only gets out and has a safe time, but slows down, finds a quiet place and listens to what the Creator is saying to them.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.