Tips For Better Deer Hunting Through Habitat Management: Boots On The Ground (Episode 448 Transcript)

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TOM: This place had had two world record birds taken off of it back in the 70s. First, by size and one by beard length. And we’ve had doubles all the time back in the 80s (Inaudible). And I – and now, I heard three gobbles.

TOM: So, that’s a lot to hit you with, but that’s…

GRANT: No, no, no, no, no.

DAVE: …that’s kind of a run-through. Uh.

GRANT: Well, that’s good. So, let’s talk about…

GRANT: It’s the time of year our nation celebrates Independence Day. The day we declared we were an independent nation.

GRANT: This year, I hope you join the Woods family and not only take time to celebrate and have some fireworks. But, take time as a family to discuss the importance of the decisions those founding fathers made and celebrate and be thankful for the freedoms we have here in the United States.

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GRANT: I recently had the opportunity to travel a couple of hours east of The Proving Grounds and help a landowner develop a habitat and hunting plan for his property. Mr. Free purchased this property a few years ago and based on comments from the previous landowner, turkey numbers, deer numbers and antler size have all decreased over time.

DAVE: Well, the challenges were this wide. Yeah. 80 acres wide. And so….

GRANT: The first thing we did when we arrived at Tom Free’s property was get out some maps and talk about his observations and goals and objectives for his property.

GRANT: Okay.

TOM: You know, Dave and I are big bow hunters. You know, I want to bring my friends and family out. You know, I, I don’t care what they hunt with.

GRANT: Right.

TOM: And, you know. But I’d just like to, you know, in general, you know, improve the deer population so that when you go out there, that you’ve got, you know, a, a better chance to harvest something in the 130, 140 class. You know. If we could get, you know, our average buck to be between 130 and 140, I’d be ecstatic.

TOM: And, of course, with that, you’ll get the occasional flyer that might, you know, push 150. But, you know, the, the big thing is to improve the overall habitat and improve the quality of the deer and at the same time, hopefully, boost our turkey populations.

GRANT: I, I think all of those are very achievable. I think very, very doable. I think the 130, 140 is very realistic and maybe if – and I’m not talking next year…

TOM: Right.

GRANT: …but a few years into the program – I think you can exceed that.

GRANT: Uh. Water is a non-issue. We have ponds; we have a creek that’s gonna at least have some pools and stuff in it. There’s clay around here that holds moisture better than, like, where I live a few hours from here.

GRANT: The habitat at Tom’s property is very similar to here at The Proving Grounds. It’s mainly covered by mature hardwoods, closed canopy forest, with areas where cedars had covered up the native grassy areas.

GRANT: The crown jewels, as I started to say, in this – on this property – early on are right here. And, and what I want to do is gonna sound a little bit controversial to start with, but I beg you to come to my property. You're welcome to.

TOM: Yeah.

DAVE: Oh yeah.

GRANT: You live locally. I want to cut every single cedar tree in here. I don’t want to do it with a dozer.

DAVE: Yeah.

GRANT: I want to leave the cedar trees laying right there. I don’t want them pushed in piles. Because that cedar tree has nutrients.

(Several talking at once)

GRANT: Here’s how it is. Here’s how it is. It’s real simple. You know, in the 30s and 40s, it was what? Cool to smoke. Right?

UNKNOWN: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: Right.

GRANT: We thought clearing land and pushing in a pile was the thing to do. But, now we know those trees are full of nutrients. Those have been sucking nutrients for 10, 20, 30, 40 years.

UNKNOWN: Yeah.

TOM: We want to put those nutrients back.

GRANT: Where they are – we don’t want ‘em all in one pile in a 30 by 30 yard square in the middle. We want to drop every tree where it is.

TOM: Okay.

GRANT: Let it dry. I like for two summers. Not just one.

TOM: Okay.

GRANT: ‘Cause the first summer, it will still be green enough that when you slap the tree, the needles won't fall off. But the second summer, you slap the tree, the needles are gonna drop. And then you drop a match.

GRANT: And it’s an explosive fire.

TOM: Yeah.

GRANT: But it’s controllable. I've done it a bunch.

TOM: I like fire.

DAVE: Yeah, he’s a retired fireman. We have, we have…

DAVE: Okay. Okay. I love what you're saying.

(Several talking at once)

GRANT: And then we’re gonna leave all the nutrients and – now there’s so much more science going on, not just that. Because when we drop every tree where it is.

GRANT: And before I make this solid – don’t worry about this yet. I want to get out here and make sure the native vegetation is there. There’s a few Black-eyed Susans and some big blue bluestem, little bluestem. I’m sure there will be, but I want to see it with my own eyes.

GRANT: And now, we’ll recolonize that area. And, and what I want to do then – when you leave those cedar skeletons right there and let them dry, the really beneficial native species that deer like grow up in those skeletons, but the deer can't eat it too well.

GRANT: So you get a tremendous seed base for a couple of years. It’s like you’ve got utilization cages all over the, that acreage.

DAVE: Yeah. Makes sense. Okay.

GRANT: And then, by that time, you’ve got such a seed base, the deer can have at it.

DAVE: Yeah.

GRANT: And, and I heard you say something. “Well, you know, we need the cover.” Now, you think about this. It can get cold here in the winter. Right? And you get under a shady, wet cedar tree in the winter. You don’t want to be there too long.

TOM: No. Sure.

GRANT: But, when you're in native bluestem; native grasses waist tall or taller, and the sun’s radiant energy can get down to you, but the grass is tall enough that it’s shearing the cold wind off…

DAVE: Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: …that’s the warmest place on the farm.

DAVE: And that’s what we’ve got tons of that bluestem.

GRANT: All the deer are gonna be right there on those cold days.

GRANT: And then, in February, when we get these first few warm days, but nothing’s greening up; the crops aren’t greening up; the native vegetation will.

DAVE: Yeah. Okay.

GRANT: And it’s a tremendous food source from about February – depending on the year – ‘til now when you're cultivated crops will take over.

DAVE: Okay.

GRANT: Okay? So, I can tell you – unless I get in here and find something a little strange and I go, “My gosh, there’s a bunch of exotic species that’s come in and we gotta deal with herbicide,” or something like that – the, the, the best thing we can do on your whole farm and the least expensive thing we do – for bang of the buck – is cut every one of these cedars.

TOM: Isn't that amazing Dave?

DAVE: Well, we talked about that in the very beginning, but I wanted to cut them for, to stop, for the view.

GRANT: Right.

DAVE: When you go up here on this road we’ve got…

GRANT: It’s going to be a stunning view and you – it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be full of – like, my glades right now…

DAVE: We’re in the money if we have to cut cedar to have success.

GRANT: Anyone have a picture of one of our glades on their phone right now?

(Several talking at once)

TOM: I’m very excited at the fact that you say that because…

DAVE: Yeah. Because we’re like, “Doze everything and…”

GRANT: No. Let’s keep the dozer, keep the dozer out of the glades. This is…

DAVE: As of today.

TOM: As of today. (Laughter)

GRANT: You can use a bobcat…

(Several talking at once)

GRANT: …and shear ‘em. Just shear ‘em and leave ‘em lay.

DAVE: That’s – yeah. Just to say, “Cut ‘em down and leave ‘em where they're at and let ‘em age a couple years.”

GRANT: Yeah. Burn ‘em.

TOM: Burn ‘em.

DAVE: Yeah.

TOM: And let that re-do itself. I love that.

GRANT: And you’ll burn it every couple of years after that. But the fires are much easier after the first part. You get a lot of fuel the first time.

TOM: Yeah.

GRANT: And after that, it’s much easier.

DAVE: Okay, so. As we go through, too, one thing we were kind of guessing what you’d say – the under burn on all of the timber…

GRANT: I don't know that.

DAVE: …that big a deal? Okay.

GRANT: Let’s go look at it and see.

DAVE: Okay.

GRANT: I need to see the class of timber you have.

DAVE: Okay. Perfect.

GRANT: After that discussion, it was time to put boots on the ground. Nothing beats boots on the ground for doing a thorough habitat evaluation and developing a plan.

GRANT: The first stop we made was a food plot that had been recently created. This area was covered in timber a few months ago.

GRANT: Unfortunately, right after the timber was cleared, the equipment operator talked Mr. Free into doing a deep rip. Long tines running through the soil, called sub-soiling or whatever. But what that usually results in is destroying or reducing the soil quality and bringing up weed seeds from decades past.

GRANT: The abundance of weeds in this new food plot is one of the reasons I don’t like disking, tilling or any type of massive soil disturbance.

GRANT: So, what we want is a real healthy earthworm population. Earthworms are the perfect tillers. No mechanical tiller can do as good a job as earthworms. So, earthworms allow the exact right amount of oxygen to get in the soil. Their poop is, of course, the best fertilizer, vermiculture you can get. And it’s easy, if you do it right, to get about a million earthworms per acre.

UNKNOWN: Wow.

GRANT: And it’s super quality soil. So, we won’t, we don’t want to do anything that hurts earthworms. Any plowing or tilling kills ‘em by the gazillions.

DAVE: Okay.

GRANT: This is another real bad nasty. This is cheat.

TOM: Hey, Dave. The one thing we’ve done really well is grow bad weeds.

(Laughter)

GRANT: So, what I want to do is spray all of this and then, if you can get on it this year, this would be our best plan. Like, I’m talking, like, by the end of next week, this is done.

DAVE: Done. No problem.

GRANT: Umm. Let’s drill beans in here.

GRANT: Today, we’re visiting with landowner Tom Free and his friend, Dave. And we’re out here in a food plot they just had cleared with timber. Really haven’t done a lot with. And as soon as they cleared it, somebody gave ‘em some, probably ill advice of ripping the soil.

GRANT: And what that did was serve to bring a bunch of weeds up in this area. So, now we’ve got to contend with the weeds.

GRANT: It would have been better if they’d have just cleared the timber, de-stumped it and then we went right into a planting program so we could’ve got on top of the weeds early.

GRANT: Before all these weeds go to seed and it multiplies for the next year – even though we’re here in June – I’ve recommended taking care of the toughest weeds – the thistle behind me here. We’ll take care of the thistle. And then, we’re gonna spray everything with Roundup and the next day, drill in soybeans.

GRANT: Of course, soybeans are Roundup resistant and we’re gonna need to use that for a year, maybe two, to get the weeds under control. Then, we’ll be able to switch to a true Buffalo System.

GRANT: You know, you're gonna have enough acres of food plots when I get done today that, I, I’m spending your money here.

TOM: No. That’s all right.

GRANT: But you're gonna end up getting a no-till drill. I can tell you that. So.

TOM: Well, we’ve already discussed that.

DAVE: We, we’ve talked about a (Inaudible).

GRANT: You can wait two years or you could go ahead and get ahead of the curve. ‘Cause I can tell you that’s gonna happen.

TOM: We’re gonna get ahead of the curve.

DAVE: It came up first.

GRANT: (Inaudible) Now, anyone know what these two bugs are right here?

UNKNOWN: Japanese beetles.

GRANT: Japanese beetles. They like to eat sunflower – or, uh, soybean leaves. Seeing two doesn’t shock me. I mean they're all over.

DAVE: Yeah. Yeah.

GRANT: But, you know, if we were seeing hundreds flying around, I’d, I’d have had more concern.

GRANT: You’ll drill right through this. This is not too rough. Don’t worry about none of that. That’s a non-issue.

GRANT: I wish I’d got here earlier. This is – here’s the bad news. That is going to be a groundhog, coyote, snake pile forever.

TOM: Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: So, I would, I would – if it was my property – you have two options. One of ‘em is really ugly. You could pay a track hoe to come move it out here and burn it. Or you can burn it right there knowing you're gonna kill some of the trees around it.

TOM: I’m losing 20 yards, maybe.

GRANT: You’ll kill; you're gonna kill; yeah, you're gonna kill 10 or 20 yards around it, but you’ll just expand your food plot.

TOM: Yeah.

GRANT: This will be an awesome bean field. I mean, I don’t have any field on my property. I have one field on my property this big that sits level. And we just made it.

UNKNOWN: Wow.

GRANT: As it is, Tom’s gonna need to apply herbicide or multiple herbicides to control many of the noxious weeds growing in this area.

GRANT: We’re in mid-summer. So, I suggested Tom instantly treat with a herbicide and follow up with Roundup Ready Eagle Seed forage soybeans.

GRANT: And Roundup won't touch these.

DAVE: Okay.

GRANT: The best thing to do – and I know it’s labor…

DAVE: Is to come chop ‘em out.

GRANT: Um. Chop them out.

DAVE: Okay. They go over easy. I mean, they're not, they're not hardwood.

GRANT: Or you can, or you can buy some PastureGard and get on your four-wheeler with a little backpack sprayer or a wand sprayer and just, you know, drive this one, drive that one, drive that one. (Inaudible)

GRANT: I think here’s what I want to do, just for the sake of time and everything else. Let’s kill the thistles. That’s job one.

DAVE: Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: Let’s spray the whole field with Roundup or glyphosate – generic glyphosate is fine. And then, any problem weeds we have, like this little bit of sericea lespedeza right there or the Johnsongrass, we’ll spot treat that.

GRANT: It’s more important to get this whole thing killed and get the beans in right now. That’s like job one.

TOM: Okay.

GRANT: If you let this go all summer…

TOM: No.

GRANT: …this is gonna be a horrible mess next year.

GRANT: About August or so, Tom will simply plant Eagle’s Fall Blend directly into the standing soybeans. He’ll follow this rotation for a season or two and if done properly, should be able to suppress most of the weeds and he’ll be out of the herbicide business.

GRANT: As we made our way through the property, we confirmed that cedars were covering large areas that used to be dominated by native vegetation, grasses and forbs.

GRANT: So, now, we’re gonna have a lot more food. Like, look, I’m looking under that cedar right there. How much food could be growing under that cedar where there’s nothing? Well, multiply that times a million. It’s massive.

GRANT: As far as I can see down through there, it’s useless for a deer. Look. Come here and look at this hole right here.

DAVE: (Inaudible)

GRANT: There’s nothing in there. Not – so, you and I walk through here and they're going, “Oh, man. It’s thick. It’s covered.” But get down where deer, quail, turkey live. There’s nothing. It’s a biological dessert. Whack it.

GRANT: You're not going to find deer bedded under there when they can be bedded out here.

DAVE: Yeah.

GRANT: And they're not, like, gonna escape predators under there. They can't run through that quick. They want to be out here where they can sense a predator coming from any direction.

GRANT: Ole turkey hen is always gonna prefer nesting out here versus in that. 100% of the time.

GRANT: We’re gonna expand the turkey population if you’ll do this.

DAVE: That’s all I got here.

TOM: Awesome.

GRANT: Yeah. I am…

TOM: I mean, it’s, it’s caused me to look at, look at these cedars in a completely different light. Like you said. It’s a biological dessert in there.

DAVE: This was all open.

GRANT: Yeah.

DAVE: And all glade.

GRANT: And you talk about better quality deer hunting back then.

DAVE: Right.

GRANT: Well, we can revert that. We can even make it better than back then ‘cause now you guys are passing up young bucks and taking enough does.

GRANT: Back then, shooting a doe was taboo. I was raised in this area. You know, if you shot a doe, you went to hell. It was going on about like that. You know?

GRANT: So, we’re getting over that stage. We’re gonna harvest enough does. We’re gonna pass up some young bucks. We’re gonna have better habitat. And you, my friend, will have much better hunting.

GRANT: Okay. Continuing our tour with Tom and Dave. And common to the Ozarks here – and a lot of this Midwest area – Oklahoma, even parts of Kansas, whatever, are what we call cedared glades. And this used to be bald.

GRANT: As a matter of fact, in the Ozarks, there’s a term Baldknobbers, which were vigilantes during and right after the Civil War. They were bad guys. But the reason they're called Baldknobbers – they would have their secret meetings on these grassy, bald flats.

GRANT: And in that time that’s occurred since then, lack of fire, over grazing by cattle – ‘cause this is where the grass was, whatever. The balds have become cedared glades. So, people nowadays think these cedared glades are natural. That’s not true at all. This is not what the European settlers saw.

GRANT: So, what I’m prescribing is get a crew in here; take a chainsaw. When you cut a cedar tree below the bottom limb, it’s dead. You don’t have to use herbicide. Just cut below – but you’ve got to cut below the bottom limb.

GRANT: And we’re gonna cut acres of cedared glades on this property. And it will be covered with native vegetation, which is great fawning cover, great nesting habitat for game and non-game birds. A lot of, a lot of migrant birds or whatever like that.

GRANT: And much, much better. And remember, 40% of the moisture that hits a cedar tree is either taken into the cedar tree or evaporated back up in the air. It’s not growing forage that deer can eat.

GRANT: So, we’re gonna get rid of all of these cedars on acres and acres of these property. And these natural vegetation areas – they're pretty drought-proof. They're not as good as a soybean field, but they're much more drought-proof. So, it’s a constant food source. Summer and winter.

GRANT: And you know, in February, get a warm day. You notice stuff greening up out here. Well, like this glade – let’s just say it’s ten acres. But, at least half of it is covered by these cedar trees. So, we’ll add five more acres of forage just by cutting these trees.

GRANT: We’re gonna cut them; fell them; let ‘em lay for a year or two until the needles are so dry that when you slap the tree, the needles start falling off; then, drop a match.

GRANT: And that will expose all this to fire. Will generate these native vegetation to growing. There’s native legumes, native grasses, native forbs and this will be a wildlife mecca versus a not so hot a area.

GRANT: Before I prescribed that plan, I took time to walk through the areas and confirm what native species were growing where enough sun was reaching the soil.

GRANT: This is prairie sweet clover. This is a great plant right here. Prairie sweet clover. There’s a lot of great stuff in here. That’s another persimmon right there.

GRANT: I was very pleased. There was a high species diversity, including some really cool plants like sensitive briar which is a native legume and highly preferred forage.

GRANT: Look how quick that is.

DAVE: You know why it does that?

GRANT: Yeah. Because it’s prime deer food and they don’t want to get ate. And, and it makes a – those make a little seed. It’s a legume. Those make those seed which is ideal quail food. Ideal quail food.

GRANT: The Ozarks used to be full of it. It makes a yellow flower.

GRANT: I’m so excited about the variety of great quality forage you have in here.

GRANT: Currently, we’re experiencing a drought here at The Proving Grounds, as are many areas in the whitetails’ range. And I’m so thankful I have acres of native vegetation, which is pretty drought resistant, that used to be covered by cedar trees.

TOM: So, so, you're – this row and the top row will have every cedar gone. It’ll be – this will be open.

GRANT: I’m loving it.

TOM: Is what we’re saying.

GRANT: I’m thinking – what – you know what I’m seeing here, and I’m thinking, “Gosh he may end up with 100 acres of glades,” is what I’m, what I’m thinking here.

DAVE: I would think, at least.

TOM: Yeah.

DAVE: See, between the, between the one…

(Several talking at once)

GRANT: While continuing the tour of the property, we went through several stands of mature white oaks. But, I noticed they weren’t forming acorns.

GRANT: Much different than white oaks at our property.

TOM: What’s different?

GRANT: What do you notice different?

INTERN: Not any acorns on ‘em.

GRANT: Not any acorns.

INTERN: Buds.

GRANT: This is just one tree.

GRANT: Some of the white oaks here at The Proving Grounds are forming acorns and the properties are only about two hours apart.

GRANT: Acorn production is controlled by several factors. But the primary factor is if it frosts when the trees are producing flowers. If the flowers are allowed to mature just a day or two more after the last frost, it usually results in a significantly larger acorn crop.

GRANT: Flowers on oaks aren’t big and showy like a rose. But that’s how they make acorns. And I suspect it frosted a few days later at Tom’s place compared to mine.

GRANT: So, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve toured the property and laid eyeballs on this and walked it and talked about it. But, now we need to actually lay out a plan so we can get some contractors in here and implement some work.

GRANT: So, if you’ll help me here.

DAVE: Yeah.

GRANT: Tom and Dave, his manager, could have spent years cutting all those cedars. So I suggested he do what I have done in the past, hire Flatwood Natives to come up from Florida, whack all those cedars in a week or two and get this project jump started for better habitat.

GRANT: We’re gonna leave a little buffer behind this food plot as a little travel corridor so you can get a bow stand in there. We don’t want grass coming all the way to the edge of your food plot ‘cause you can't get in there and hunt it too good. Right?

UNKNOWN: Right.

GRANT: So, we’re gonna leave a little buffer in here. And you need to flag this really good. Because the cutting crew – yeah you're gonna come all the way to there.

GRANT: They’ve got their head down going tree to tree. They're not thinking habitat management. Their job is to put cedars on the ground.

GRANT: So, you need to flag this. When I say “flag” it, there’s no doubt when you're standing at this flag, you unequivocally see the next flag.

DAVE: Yeah, right.

GRANT: It’s not like you’ve got to go, “Well, I think it’s over there 25 yards.” It needs to be so thick that it’s almost like a curtain hitting you in the face.

GRANT: And, here’s a big hint. Okay? Everyone buys orange flagging.

DAVE: Hmm. Hmm.

GRANT: What if your cutting crew is here in the fall and leaves are turning?

TOM: I buy pink.

GRANT: Blue.

TOM: Oh, blue?

GRANT: Blue is the best in the woods. Nothing’s blue in the woods.

TOM: Right.

GRANT: Blue is the best. Here’s another secret for you. In areas where we’re gonna mark out for, um, food plots. Don’t tie the flag here. The guy’s sitting on a dozer. He’s eight feet up in the air. I reach as high as I can on the tree to tie the flag so the dozer operator can see it. That way he knows where to stop.

GRANT: These plots will not only add a lot more tonnage of quality forage to Tom’s place, but help create some bottlenecks to funnel deer and make it a bit more huntable – one of his objectives.

GRANT: There’s no rhyme or reason for how deer are moving here. But, now they're – once you’ve cut that, there will be.

DAVE: Yeah. That, that’s…

GRANT: This – like I said – I told you it’s gonna be your crown jewel right here, buddy. That’s, that’s the cat daddy.

GRANT: And think about what we’re making now. Look at this travel corridor we’re making. Right now, deer can go anywhere, right? Comfortable. Day, night, whatever. Look at this travel corridor we’re making. That’s – now you’ve got a pinch point.

DAVE: Yeah.

GRANT: Now, you’ve got a highway. Now, you’ve got ag land. Look at this pinch point we’ve got here. Now, we’ve got stuff going on. Whoo, baby! I’m loving that. (Inaudible)

GRANT: In large areas of contiguous forest, patterning a deer can be very challenging. But, by adding a couple of food plots, you can make some corners, edges and bottlenecks and make scouting and stand placement much easier.

GRANT: Man you; you're gonna be in fist fights over who gets to hunt right in here. You’ve got these two major bedding areas; they're gonna travel right through here. This is gonna be a rut corridor right here. I mean a rut corridor.

DAVE: That’s actually a creek and they're already doing that.

GRANT: And because we’re making – and I rarely prescribe this – such a quantum difference in quality food. You don’t have to be mad at does this year. You can probably back off the doe harvest.

GRANT: You can still take enough for meat and all that kind of stuff. But, it’s not like, “Oh, yeah, I gotta get another one.” You know. Because we’re, we’re adding thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds of new food. So, thanks for the opportunity, man.

TOM: Thank you. You’ve really changed the way we view the property and, and, really, we now, we now officially hate cedars.

GRANT: Bing.

GRANT: I am very excited to see what Tom and Dave do on this property. And I hope we have an opportunity to bring you an update in a year or two.

GRANT: Okay. We’ve talked earlier, that the number one thing. The (Inaudible) like to ride around and look at it. I like…

GRANT: I've been working with hunters and landowners for more than 28 years. I really enjoy helping folks reach their hunting and property management goals.

GRANT: There’s simply not enough time for us to go to every landowner. So, we share a lot of tips here through GrowingDeer and help other people learn what we’ve learned, so they can, in turn, pass it on.

GRANT: Is it an opportunity for the small landowner that has a two-acre food plot to plant something; protect the soil during the summer; keep weeds at bay and still provide some good quality food for the critters? Yes.

GRANT: Last week, I had one of those opportunities. The folks from Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartlands sent several of their key agents here for a tour of The Proving Grounds.

GRANT: But deer aren’t browsing it ‘cause it’s that far down in there. And deer don’t want to stick their head down in there. Because when they stick their head from here to here, they can't detect predators very well. So, it’s like a little greenhouse the beans get started in.

GRANT: And when the beans get started in a greenhouse, it’s holding moisture. Right? Humidity is staying in here.

GRANT: We spent the day talking about habitat management techniques, hunting techniques and what characteristics to look for in a good recreational property.

MALE: I want to implement this this fall.

GRANT: Uh-huh.

MALE: What do I start with? (Inaudible)

GRANT: I always prefer blends so I can have different plants take different nutrients out of the soil. So, for this to become a really good, pardon me, slow release fertilizer, I need different plants decomposing – to add that fertilizer for the next drop.

GRANT: I’m gonna have a couple of types of cereal grains in there. I’m always gonna have at least one brassica, if not more. And I’m always gonna have some legumes.

GRANT: Maybe – and I’m gonna have buckwheat in there. Buckwheat’s gonna die off at the first hard frost. But until then, it’s working great and it’s pretty inexpensive.

GRANT: A clover – an annual clover. We had an annual clover in here that worked awesome. And it carried our deer. In the spring, deer go from wanting energy to protein.

GRANT: And, so they had the energy of all these cereal grains all winter and, and when I say spring – late winter – March or so – that, that annual clover just blew up. And it was a super high-quality source of protein until the beans were planted. So, they never, like, went hungry for, you know, thank you, Lord, a few weeks until it, you know, it’s (Inaudible). So, I would have annual clover in there.

MALE: So, when you crimp, does that kill that clover, too? And then, you come back in with…

GRANT: It’s an annual clover, so it’s gonna die off by this time of year. The crimper will damage it, but it’s gonna, it’s gonna die. It’s gonna – you know, clover doesn’t take any heat or stuff like this.

GRANT: It will make the property way more valuable; way more valuable. From a wildlife point of view; from a scenic point of view; from a cattle grazing. Would you rather have cattle in a cedar grove or out here? Cows will get very fat here. This is tremendous habitat for cattle.

GRANT: This grass is lush, high in proteins for cattle and a wide diversity. I don’t want cows on the property. Unfortunately, the neighbor’s cows get on the property quite a bit.

GRANT: Closed canopy forest will produce a couple hundred pounds of deer food per acre per year. A deer eats several thousand pounds of food.

GRANT: So, when it’s lush – someone asked about water. When you have lush vegetation and you're getting plenty of rain and things are happening. Deer are getting pretty much all the water they need for metabolic purposes out of vegetation.

GRANT: In the winter, vegetation is dry, they’ve got to go to free standing water. They’ve got to drink; they’ve got to drink.

GRANT: But, native habitat is critical and probably – everyone talks about food plots – look at food plots – I like food plots. But you can only have so many acres of food plots.

GRANT: So, we can do a presc – this is a; this unit we’re in right here is a 26-acre burn.

MALE: Deer.

GRANT: What is that?

MALE: Deer.

GRANT: Oh, yeah. There’s a little doe running down there, Daniel.

GRANT: That’s kind of the scoop on this. And yeah, I just love this. I just think it’s gorgeous. A: ascetically – and, and from a wildlife point of view.

GRANT: I’m extremely proud of the men and women at Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartlands for continuing their education. I’m confident they’ll be better prepared to help current and future landowners meet their dreams.

GRANT: If you're thinking about buying or selling a recreational property, why not trust the folks at Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartland?

GRANT: With the busy times around Independence Day, it’s easy to forget to slow down and enjoy Creation. But, I hope you do. And most importantly, no matter how busy you are, take time every day to slow down, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.

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