This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: This year, I hope you do what Tracy and I do – slow down and take a moment to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Everyone here at GrowingDeer.tv, and my family, wish you a very merry Christmas.
GRANT: Pro Staffer, Seth Harker’s had a great season, so far, with two bucks on two opening days.
SETH: Opening night success. But wow. That is cool. I don’t know. You better watch for it. Here. That’s a sharp knife, son. Oh my gosh. It’s Rambler. Holy smokes. The Lord has been good to me.
GRANT: After Missouri’s gun season, Seth and Chase packed their gear and headed to southeastern Oklahoma.
SETH: Oh. New GoPro.
CHASE: That’s pretty sweet.
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SETH: What the heck?
SETH: That guy has lost his mind. Did you see that?
GRANT: As they approached the ranch where they were going to hunt, they started to realize just how rough southeastern Oklahoma can be.
CHASE: Look at all those horses.
CHASE: Wild horses.
CHASE: Holy cow.
CHASE: Do you think we’re gonna make it?
SETH: Well, you better go on and try it.
GRANT: Once they finally arrived at the ranch, they started having action, as soon as they got up a tree.
GRANT: Seth and Chase were excited to see if there was a buck on the trail with those does and fawns.
GRANT: After about 10 minutes, they heard leaves crunching in the same direction that the does came from.
SETH: (Whispering) Good looking – don’t shoot him, yet. Hold it, hold it, hold it.
GRANT: It looks to be a nice buck, but Seth and Chase are scrambling to determine the buck’s age.
SETH: (Whispering) I don’t know. Let me look at him with binoculars.
CHASE: (Whispering) He’s 115 inches.
GRANT: They decide to pass this buck and hope a more mature buck presents a shot soon.
GRANT: The next morning, they’re in the same spot watching everything come to life.
GRANT: About mid-morning, they looked through the timber and spot something black headed their way.
GRANT: It’s a pair of wild hogs, and they’re fair game in Oklahoma.
SETH: (Whispering) I’m on him. You’re gonna have to shoot.
CHASE: (Whispering) You on him?
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: Chase makes a nice shot, and they hear the hog go down just out of sight.
SETH: They’re different.
CHASE: Whoa. Dude, what is up?
SETH: Shot right there, it looks like.
CHASE: It did get shot, didn’t it? You smoked the pig.
CHASE: These pair of hogs are wanted out of here by the landowners, and he said to pop one, if we saw it, and we had a couple come in this morning and we’re taking home some bacon.
SETH: Got a nice layer of fat on it.
GRANT: It’s a nice size hog, so after Chase gets it dressed, they’ve got to find a way to tote it out of those tough mountains.
GRANT: As the final morning of their hunt ends, they head back to Missouri with a pickup full of pork, but no venison.
GRANT: This week, we rolled down to a food plot we called Tracy’s Field and took down a portion of one of our Hot Zone fences.
GRANT: It’s mid-December and been cold for several days, so I’m sure deer have about cleaned up most of the acorns in the area, and are gonna be looking for an alternate food source.
GRANT: We’re in a food plot called Tracy’s Field, and this summer, the entire field, at the same time, was planted in Eagle Seed soybeans. Throughout the summer, the deer kept the beans browsed down, outside this fence. But inside the Hot Zone fence, the beans were allowed to mature without browse pressure, and you can tell they’ve made a tremendous yield of soybean pods.
GRANT: So, during late August, we planted Eagle Seeds Broadside throughout the beans that had been browsed really short, but just left these to finish maturing, that way, we’d have two food sources, and left the fence hot the entire time.
GRANT: From now ‘til spring, food becomes a very limited resource, in most areas of the whitetail’s range, but we’ve, basically, stockpiled a bunch of food with the fence. High quality, attractive food. So we’re simply gonna open up a gap, make a fence gap, which will do two things: provide a great hunting opportunity and allow deer to have access to this great quality food during the stress period.
GRANT: A lot of hunters are like me and don’t have access to a lot of flat land, or easy places to make food plots, so they’re hesitant to plant beans, because the deer will do what they did outside the fence and consume ‘em all long before the late season. The Hot Zone electric fence changes that equation, allows me to grow beans, and allow them to mature, even in small food plots.
GRANT: Deciding where to open the Hot Zone fence requires just as much thought as it does where to hang a stand. You want to think about the closest bedding area, predominant wind direction, and how you’re gonna access the stand. We know deer are gonna feed on the beans on, probably, the coldest days, which is associated with a north wind. We have a Redneck blind in the south end of this field. So it makes sense to open the south end of the fence. Deer will swing around, providing a closer shot, and just as importantly, if we open the north end of the fence – deer will get in the beans, and they’re so tall, it might obscure a good shot. We want the deer coming out in the open, presenting a good shot, and a chance to observe the deer – come in the south end of the fence, and go to the beans.
GRANT: There you go. Perfect. I like it.
GRANT: The gap is very obvious, and it’d be obvious to deer, too. But it’s really important to note that the rest of the fence has got to remain hot. Deer are gonna take the path of least resistance, and that hot fence versus no fence means deer are gonna cross right here. One characteristic of these beans that really makes this whole concept work is it’s Eagle Seed forage soybeans don’t shatter. You notice all the pods are still on the stem, not on the ground. A lot of commercial varieties will shatter. That’s why farmers are always in a hurry to combine the beans, as soon as they dry out. Having the pods up here keeps ‘em very palatable to deer; they don’t fall on the ground and get moist and swell up, and easy for deer to browse, even when there’s snow on the ground.
GRANT: I love turkey hunting. And this time of year, we can do some pretty important management to help turkey populations. Of course, I’m talking about removing nest and poult predators.
GRANT: The most effective way to balance predator and prey populations is trapping.
UNKNOWN: One’s six foot, I know that.
GRANT: And a lot of good gifts to give away.
GRANT: Fur is a renewable resource. It’s part of what this nation was built on. Still a great trade market for fur. And it’s a great activity for you and your family.
GRANT: One of my favorite traps for removing nest predators is a Duke cage trap.
GRANT: One of the most important things about successful trap placement is location. Predators travel roads, so right here, I have a road. It’s crossing a major creek. The creek happens to be dry, right now. And that’s like a predator interstate.
GRANT: A location for the cage trap needs to be flat, so it’s not rocking around, especially, once the critter’s inside. Just as importantly, we need to think about wind direction. Of course, wind’s important for everything we outdoorsmen do. This is uphill. Water’s flowing this way. The air is gonna flow this way at night, when the predators the most active. It’s probably a substantial difference in the amount of critters we would catch by having the trap on the upwind side of the road versus the downwind side of the road. Remember, most predators find food by their sense of smell, and having it up here, where the thermals will wash that food scent across the road is critical to trap success.
GRANT: Raccoons are opportunists. They’ll eat about anything. But in the winter, they like protein. In the summer, they like sweets – jelly, peanut butter. Those will work in the winter, but a meat smell is much better in the winter.
GRANT: I like to find the smelliest cat food, or dog food, I can find that’s relatively inexpensive for the volume. I use a little to throw across the road, to get their attention, and put more of it in the trap. It’s really important not to just have the food source in the back of the trap. I’m gonna make a little Hansel and Gretel trail, by spreading some across the road, just to peak their interest. And then, put a larger concentration of food in a can. That’s so if it rains it doesn’t dissolve that first night, and put that in the back of the trap. I’ll turn it sideways, so water doesn’t come in. And while they’re working the can around, they’re gonna step on the pan, or the trigger to trap – be waiting for you in the morning. In addition to collecting fur, I’m after nest predators, ‘cause I really enjoy turkey hunting. And one of the secrets to catching nest predators is using eggs. So eggs are like one of the perfect things you can put in your trap. They have a smell, and they’re very visual. I simply toss it in the back, behind the trigger. And oftentimes, I’ll take one and crunch it up a little bit, right out front. That white inside the eggshell is very visible, and it puts the critter walking down the roads eyes right here into the trap for the source of food.
GRANT: These Duke cage traps are the perfect tool for introducing youngsters to trapping. There’s nothing that’s gonna hurt you here. Or if you have a deer lease, or something where you’re only there at the weekends, you can put these, set ‘em, close the door when you leave, open ‘em back up next week, be ready to catch more nest predators.
GRANT: Trapping has made me a much better hunter ‘cause you’re constantly looking for sign in the exact location. You know a deer stand can be 20 yards, or if you’re with a gun, 100 yards off and still be successful, but with a trap, it’s literally down to a matter of inches. We’ll share more trapping tips and techniques throughout the next few weeks, as I’ll be trapping throughout the entire season. I hope you get out and have a chance to set a trap or two, or scout some winter food sources for deer, but most importantly, take time to celebrate the real reason of Christmas. And thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.