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GRANT: Last week, we had the opportunity to go to Kentucky and hunt with our good friends, Mr. Terry Hamby and Gene Price. We saw a lot of deer, and even some mature bucks, but I didn’t seal the deal, even though Gene tagged a nice five and a half year old.
GRANT: As we were preparing to go to Kentucky, rain was in the forecast here at The Proving Grounds. We need to plant several acres quickly. There’s really no quicker way to plant a lot of acres than spreading it by hand with a shoulder seeder. That’s much quicker than driving a tractor around the plot, backing up, getting straight, and going again. So – Adam, Daniel, and I loaded up the truck with seed, grabbed our shoulder spreaders, and took off one morning, see how many acres we could cover. We worked all day and got the seed spread.
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GRANT: When we returned from Kentucky, Adam and I couldn’t wait to go check our food plots and see the results of our work.
GRANT: We really want to see if the seed we broadcast over these standing beans has germinated and if it’s gonna be productive.
GRANT: This year, the food plot is narrow and covered by the canopy of trees – pretty shady, so the beans don’t get quite as tall. So I wanted to convert this area to a clover wheat field. When I look at this, I didn’t want to destroy it to plant the clover, cause see all the pods on here? Be a great source of food during the late winter. So rather than destroy this crop I simply walked and broadcast seed into the standing beans, counting on the rain to help me get good germination. When I get down and look amongst the beans, there’s a great amount of clover and wheat germinating in this plot. This is gonna be a tremendous feeding area – with new clover and wheat coming on to provide green, which deer like in warmer days during the fall, and a lot of pods ripening, which they love on those cold days, getting energy out of soybean pods.
GRANT: A little energy, walking, and broadcasting the seed saved destroying a perfectly good food source, and allowed us to add an additional food source this fall and next spring. The clover is really strong at coming on and providing quality forage before the ground is warm enough to plant soybeans.
GRANT: There’s a slightly different scenario where the Eagle Seed beans have been heavily browsed. Still making pods – and again, we didn’t want to destroy it – so we planted a different blend here.
DANIEL: (Inaudible) over right by the trees up here.
GRANT: You finish out, and I’m gonna start zig zagging.
DANIEL: All right. Sounds good.
GRANT: It’s made new leaves throughout the summer, more than the deer herd needed to feed on. So it’s provided quality forage, but it’s set a large number of pods. We’re gonna have 10/20 bushels per acre out here, but add to that green forage coming in it here – giving us another ton, or two, of forage. Well, now, you’ve got tons per acre of super, high-quality food.
GRANT: In addition to providing a buffet throughout the year, I want to build the soil. I want to make it better and cut down my fertilizer bill. The nutrients that are in the soil tend to want to leach down to get deeper and deeper in the soil profile. But if you’ve got actively growing plants – you’ve got brassicas, and wheat, and stuff reaching deep in the soil, grabbing those nutrients, pulling it back up into the vegetative part, earn those big tubulars on radishes and brassicas – it brings the nutrients back up. That’s called mining, or recycling nutrients, and that’s what built the great prairie. Having a variety of plants – they blend the plants, growing as many months out of the year as you can, never leaving the soil exposed, so wind doesn’t blow the finer parts away in the neighboring property, or the neighboring state. In areas where the soybeans were taller, we know we’re gonna get a good yield of pods. We certainly didn’t want to drag the no-till drill through there, messing up part of our crop, to get a winter crop in.
GRANT: This is a food plot we call Tracy’s Field, cause my wife really likes this area. But you can tell the deer do, also. They have literally browsed the soybeans almost lip high, everywhere in this field, except where it was protected inside the Non-Typical Fence. So we brought the no-till drill in here and drilled Broadside blend all through the field, and that’s especially amazing, given that this is basically a gravel pit. If you look closely, it looks like someone’s gravel driveway, and we’ve got good forage growing in here, and that’s because we never clean the table. We keep mining whatever nutrients are there, bringing ‘em back up to the root zone, up where other plants can get advantage of them. And we use organic fertilizer, Antler Dirt, on this area. It doesn’t leach through the gravel as quickly as standard N, P & K.
GRANT: It was obvious, we had great germination and already producing a lot of pounds of forage in this plot. I was even more excited to pull a card out of a Reconyx camera and note the deer were in one of our Broadside plots, every afternoon, just like clockwork. In fact, I’m so excited about the pattern of deer coming into that plot, Adam and I are getting out of here, cleaning up, and heading up the mountain to hunt that field, right now.
GRANT: I hope you have a chance to go hunting this week, but whatever you do, take time to get outside and enjoy Creation, and most importantly, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
ADAM: Old school cameras, right here.