This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: (Gunshot) Oh, man. We began preparing for turkey season this week. Plus, I want to share with you the results of our recent soil test.
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GRANT: Turkey season is one of my favorite times of year, but not just going out hunting. I like everything involved with preparing for turkey season. My techniques haven’t changed in a number of years, but there may be a game changer this year.
GRANT: I had a chance to turkey hunt with the boys from Winchester last spring. They dropped some hints and actually let me try a couple rounds of a prototype load they were working on. I was really impressed with what I saw. Well, that round is what’s now known as Long Beard XR and it’s available to all of us. I’m gonna give it a try today and I’m gonna compare it head to head with my old standard Double X’s.
GRANT: (Shot) Ooo. That’s one dead turkey. Easy to see while I’ve killed a bunch of birds with the Double X over the years. Let’s see what the Long Beard does.
GRANT: (Shot) Oh, man. Wooo. What a difference. I admit I don’t accept change real easily. But after the first shot, that makes me want to change. My gosh. That decapitated that bird. Look at that solid line across there. Too many to count. Way too many to count and that’s Number 5’s. Let alone 6’s. With just my standard choke. I mean, this isn't a fancy turkey gun. This is kind of my multi-purpose gun. That’s uh, that’s amazing. Let’s back up to 40 and see what happens. You know, I, we’ll try to, we’ll try Double X’s and Long Beards at 40, but I’m gonna bet after 40, we don’t worry about Double X’s anymore. We just stick with Long Beard. We’ll start with Double X at 40 yards this time.
GRANT: (Shot) Couple in the spine. Probably a dead turkey. Certainly a blind turkey, but, uh, nothing I’m real excited about. Put a Long Beard in there and see if it brings a long beard home.
GRANT: (Shot) Oooo. Man. I can see that difference from here. Ten pellets just in the spine, not counting everything else right here in the vital zone. 40 yards. Turkey is obviously dead and no flopping.
GRANT: In the past, I’ve limited shots at turkeys to 40 yards with my shotgun. I didn’t want to risk crippling a tom. But the results we’re seeing with the new Long Beard XR, we’ve backed up to 50 – see how it patterns.
GRANT: (Shot) Ooo, that looks good. One, two, three, four, five. And then in the spine – one, two, three, four. Plenty of pellets in here. Bird’s clearly down. I aimed right here. Got many more pellets down here, so at 50 yards, I’m gonna pull up the center head. 40 and below, right here. Dead tom. Do we dare go all the way out to 60? Let’s give it a try.
GRANT: (Shot) Oh, my gosh. I could see that from here. Center head helped a lot. We may have to back to 70 yards. That was amazing. At 60 yards, pellets in the brain, pellets all down the spine. Great pattern. Dead turkey.
GRANT: This has been a lot of fun. We’re gonna back up to 70 yards just to see if it will throw a pattern at that distance.
GRANT: Fire in the hole. (Shot) Dead turkey. This is a great illustration of how advanced Winchester Long Beard XR is. 70 yards with a rangefinder. Two, three, four, five in the spine, one in the brain. 40 yards with Double X, which was a great load, one, two in the spine. None in the brain. You're adding a lot of distance with your shotgun, simply by changing a shell that costs about the same. Winchester Long Beard XR.
GRANT: I am not saying or encouraging you to shoot a turkey at 70 yards. We’re having so much fun, I wanted to check out the gear and just see what this new ammo would do. I think it’s important to note – I’ve got an off the shelf shotgun, not some super tight, high powered turkey choke. I was stunned at how tight these patterns were.
GRANT: I want to share with you my pattern at 20 yards. Notice the bulk of the shot can be covered by my fist. And actually, my point of aim was slightly off – missing the turkey’s neck. Now there’s plenty of pellets to take this tom down to put my tag on there, but with a pattern this tight, it’s real important to have a good scope on your shotgun or sighting device where you can hold your aim perfectly.
GRANT: With these results, I’m already planning on putting my decoys out just a little further – trying to get the tom in 30 or 40 yards instead of 20. Making a clean shot with a bigger pattern and that gives me an advantage to getting away with just a little bit more – not being quite so tight and taking time to enjoy the turkey.
GRANT: I’ve been using a product called Antler Dirt, which is composted and humified poultry litter with a lot of minerals and other stuff added to it, on my food plots for years. And every year I collect soil samples, and I’ve been following improvement from year to year in each plot. This year I was amazed in that most plots have reached such a high level of soil fertility, I don’t have to add any Antler Dirt.
GRANT: Even smells like real dirt.
GRANT: Antler Dirt naturally neutralizes the soil, so I’ve never had to add lime. But as I go through my soil samples this year, plot after plot after plot after plot after plot don’t require any additions this year. That’s a huge value – not only in saving me money, but also ensuring that the deer have maximum quality forage and abundant forage to eat year round.
GRANT: It’s interesting to compare the results from food plots that are very close together. We’re gonna look at Lower 4 and one we call Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove is brand new. You saw AJ and Adam laying out some new hidey hole or hunting plots a few weeks ago. Lower 4 has been a food plot for several years. Look at the phosphorous and potassium levels in Lower 4 versus Cedar Grove. And you can clearly tell which ones had a few years of Antler Dirt and which one hasn’t had anything. This year, I won't need to apply any Antler Dirt to Lower 4, but Cedar Grove is gonna get a good dose.
GRANT: If you’ve watched GrowingDeer for any length of time, you know we have great success with deer and turkey coming to our food plots. Better tasting forage is a huge attraction to white-tailed deer and turkey. And the addition of holding more moisture and producing more tonnage, well, that’s an added value.
GRANT: Earlier this week, Adam, AJ and I went to Oklahoma to work with Daniel who owns a little bit over 100 acres south of Tulsa. There is no row crops anywhere around Daniel’s property. And as a guy that owns roughly 100 acres, he wants to do everything he can to encourage deer to stay on his property.
GRANT: Can you make this property have less coyotes on it than your neighbors and will deer sense that? I absolutely think so. And I think that, you know, you can build food plots, your neighbors can build food plots. You can put out corn feeder, your neighbor can put out corn feeders. What most trapping is, you know, it’s hard work – frustrating work and a lot of people aren’t gonna go to that effort to trap. But you can make your area – I’m not gonna say predator free – but lower in predators and encourage deer to use your area through that technique. And I feel very solid about that.
GRANT: No doubt about it, there’s some hurdles to cross when you're managing a small property. The deer are gonna spend time on a neighbor’s property; they're gonna have an impact on the structure of the local deer herd. It’s easy to spook deer off a small property simply by going to your stand. So, we spent the day with Daniel walking his property and talking about all the options.
GRANT: That’s gonna be a food plot. That’s clearly a food plot location. A good one.
GRANT: We talked a lot about improving his timber stand. TSI – timber stand improvement.
GRANT: Alright. So, this trail right down through here – I’m gonna take out all these trees here. I’m probably gonna save this one and I’m going all around: boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, here, here. I’m gonna leave that tree. I’m taking all this little stuff out through here – all the way over to that one. That will allow there to be native grass and forbes come back up, cause sunshine is getting down now and you’ll convert this to being just a pass-through acorn only area to something deer want to use year round.
GRANT: And that will make a huge difference of whether deer spend time on this side of the fence or neighbor’s side, cause quite candidly, neighbors probably aren’t gonna do that. Of all the properties we’ve toured so far this spring, this may – you, you need this tool. This is gonna be a great tool.
GRANT: Daniel, you picked a great day for us to come out and tour. A couple of my quick observations, a lot of deer sign, obviously. Pretty homogenous. They’ve got some topography, but all the woods are about the same age. Been high graded at sometime in the past. A lot of saplings. And not much food, except acorns, so plan – basically – at, you know, 30,000 foot view, it’s gonna be – we’re gonna do some TSI, timber stand improvement, and the most efficient way here is gonna be hack and squirt like we demonstrated. We’re gonna add a lot of acres of food plots on ridge tops. The wind’s gonna be more stable. These little 30 to 100 foot deep dips here are gonna cause that wind to swirl. We’re gonna make those sanctuaries. It’s where the deer want to be and we want ‘em to be there, coming up to the ridge top to feed and that’s where you're gonna be cause you can get in there with a constant wind direction without alerting deer.
GRANT: We were able to leave Daniel with a couple of projects to start on, but our real work is when we return home and spend a lot of time studying the map and even the neighborhood – put together a plan to utilize all of his property for food, cover, water in such a way that he’ll be a successful hunter.
GRANT: Maybe turkey season is already open where you hunt, or maybe you're going out this week to pattern your shotgun. Whatever the case is, while you're outside, take a little time to enjoy Creation and more importantly, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.