This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Memorial Day was started a few years after the Civil War and was set aside specifically so we could honor our service men. This year, why don’t you do what Tracy and I are gonna do? Before Memorial Day, talk to your children about the reason we have that holiday and take time to appreciate those that have served our country, and especially, those that are serving it now.
GRANT: The GrowingDeer Team has had some great turkey hunts. This week, we want to share a couple more by Seth and Chase.
GRANT: This weekend, we had about five inches of rain, here at The Proving Grounds, and I want to share some very useful tips for preventing soil erosion and improving the soil health where you create food plots.
GRANT: Chase White and Seth Harker had shared some great hunts with us in the past. Last week, they headed to Chase’s farm to team up on some old gobblers.
CHASE: (Quietly) Well, as you can tell, we’ve got some unwanted company this morning.
CHASE: (Quietly) Yeah. Across the hill over here, turkeys are coming out.
CHASE: (Quietly) They seem to like us a lot, cause they’re not leaving.
CHASE: (Quietly) I guess we’re gonna let these turkeys on the hillside feed off and try to make another set on them.
GRANT: Not long into the morning, they had some gobblers responding to their calls.
GRANT: It looked to be a group of toms, and they were gobbling and strutting.
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GRANT: Unfortunately, they could see a few hens with the toms.
CHASE: (Inaudible) took off (inaudible).
GRANT: While they were watching those toms and hens, they heard some other gobblers that seemed a little bit more aggressive, so they shifted positions to chase them.
SETH: (Quietly) I don’t have eyes on him.
CHASE: (Quietly) Looking right at us. He’s alerted.
GRANT: The way their morning was progressing, it was no surprise that that tom crested the hill, and then went back the other way.
SETH: (Whispering) Dag gummit.
CHASE: (Whispering) He saw us.
SETH: (Whispering) How did…
CHASE: (Whispering) Picked us off.
SETH: (Whispering) How’d he pick us off?
CHASE: (Whispering) I don’t know.
GRANT: As that tom was approaching, they could hear another bird firing up, so they changed positions, once again, and headed toward the third sit of the morning.
CHASE: (Whispering) I’m just gonna call. (Inaudible)
SETH: (Quietly) I hope he comes through here.
GRANT: This tom was responding well to their calls, and they knew if they were patient, they’d probably get a crack at him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Is he walking?
SETH: (Whispering) Okay, I see him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Where’s he going?
SETH: (Whispering) See him?
CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah, I just seen a glimpse of him, right to the, where my gun’s pointing. A little bit to the left.
SETH: (Whispering) I see him strutting, too. (Inaudible)
GRANT: With the amount of underbrush in this area, it appeared this gobbler couldn’t spot their Miss Purr-fect hen decoy, so he was kind of searching through the area.
CHASE: (Whispering) Do you see him right now?
CHASE: (Whispering) I just, he’s on the other side of the cedar right there.
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah.
CHASE: (Whispering) I see his fan.
CHASE: (Whispering) Here he comes.
SETH: (Whispering) Where’s he at?
CHASE: (Whispering) He’s walking.
CHASE: (Whispering) Right where my gun’s pointing.
CHASE: (Whispering) Walking right to us.
CHASE: (Whispering) To the right. See him?
GRANT: Setups like this can be a nightmare, when you’re filming hunts. It’s difficult for the cameraman and the hunter to both see the tom at the same time.
CHASE: (Whispering) Here he comes.
SETH: (Whispering) Do you see him?
CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah. 40 yards.
SETH: (Whispering) Oh I got him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Please come on. (Inaudible)
CHASE: (Whispering) You got him, now?
SETH: (Whispering) I got him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Oh, don’t go back left.
CHASE: (Whispering) Oh, he’s gonna see the decoy. He’s going left.
CHASE: (Whispering) There you go. Keep on goin’ around.
SETH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) I’m all over him.
CHASE: (Whispering) All right. Good deal.
CHASE: (Whispering) Come on, buddy.
CHASE: (Whispering) How far is he, right now? 50, 60?
SETH: (Whispering) 40.
CHASE: (Whispering) You think he’s only 40?
CHASE: (Whispering) You think I need to shoot there, or wait for him to come on down?
SETH: (Whispering) You can kill him anytime.
SETH: (Whispering) Dag gummit, no.
CHASE: (Whispering) I can’t shoot.
SETH: (Whispering) Okay.
CHASE: (Whispering) I’ve got a, I’ll be shooting through a bush.
CHASE: (Whispering) Man, can you reach your hand behind you and scratch the leaves a little bit?
CHASE: (Whispering) Oh, here we go.
SETH: (Whispering) I’m all over him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Yeah. I can’t even see him.
CHASE: (Whispering) I’ve got that bush right in my way.
SETH: (Whispering) All over him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Okay.
SETH: (Whispering) You on him?
CHASE: (Whispering) I can just see his fan. I can’t see his head.
CHASE: (Whispering) Is that bush in front of me?
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah.
CHASE:(Whispering) All right. Whenever you’re ready.
SETH: (Whispering) I’ve got him.
CHASE: (Whispering) You’ve got to help…
SETH: (Whispering) Negative.
CHASE: (Whispering) Oh man.
CHASE: (Whispering) You’ve got him?
SETH: (Whispering) No. Negative.
CHASE: (Whispering) All he’s got to do is walk five more steps.
CHASE: (Whispering) It’s a done deal.
CHASE: (Whispering) You on him?
SETH: (Whispering) I’m all over him.
CHASE: (Whispering) Okay. I’ve got a tree right in front of me. He’s got to go five more feet.
CHASE: (Whispering) Here we go.
SETH: (Whispering) Okay. I’m all over him.
CHASE: (Whispering) As soon as he gets in that opening. Three more feet.
SETH: (Whispering) He’s got us, I think.
CHASE: (Whispering) Does he?
SETH: (Whispering) No.
CHASE: (Whispering) He’s behind the tree, for me. I can’t even see him.
SETH: (Whispering) He’s got us.
CHASE: (Whispering) You ready?
SETH: (Whispering) Yes. Take him.
SETH: Yes. Yes. Dag gum. Yes.
CHASE: It took awhile. Holy cow. We got a storm right on the horizon. It is thundering and lightning over there. We literally got 20 minutes left. This bird hung up on the hill. Got him down.
GRANT: This hunt worked out great for them, but if they don’t hustle, they’re likely to get very wet from the storm that’s approaching.
GRANT: How perfect is this? They tagged that tom about 100 yards from an old hay barn.
CHASE: I mean I was already moved. As soon as he got behind that tree, I was perfect. Did you hear me? I said, “Three more feet. Three more feet.” And he come out – he comes out of strut, and you said, “He’s got us.” So I did this deal. Just, just one of these. With a 10 inch beard. Only one. It is day four of our hunt. It has been tough. The birds have been henned up. Seth’s been behind the camera one day; I’ve been behind the camera another. We got this bird down, finally, about 9:00 o’clock this morning right before a big rainstorm. Just so happens there’s this nice hog barn with hay for an interview, 100 yards away. I couldn’t be happier. God has been good to us this morning.
GRANT: While they waited out the rain in the barn, they talked about their morning’s activities and celebrated the hunt.
GRANT: Several days later, Seth was headed back to try to fill his turkey tag.
GRANT: Seth had placed two Montana Miss Purr-fect hen decoys out in the field with the strategy that if the toms made it to the field, they’d see those decoys and come investigate.
GRANT: Even though these toms had hens with them, they couldn’t fight their curiosity and they were coming in to check out the decoys.
SETH: (Whispering) Yes. Yes. Yes.
SETH: (Whispering) I owe that bird and Miss Purr-fect. Yes!
SETH: This morning, we really owe this, this hunt right here, to Miss Purr-fect. If we are calling, especially on the roost in the morning, they’re going the other way with their hen. They’ve already got girlfriends, so I kind of thought they wanted to be right here. So I just sat the decoys out, self-filming. I didn’t want to, uh, make a lot of noise, anyway. And the Montana decoys, they came out, slipped out. They saw ‘em. Just a beautiful morning. We have hunted hard. I have never spent this much time turkey hunting in my life. It has been a challenge for us, this year. Generally, I’m done opening morning. We’re in day…10. We’ve been chasing turkeys hard. Man. He didn’t even flop, either. Wow.
GRANT: What a week for Seth and Chase. Congratulations guys, on two fine looking Missouri toms.
GRANT: During the past few days, we’ve had five plus inches of rain and guys throughout the Midwest have experienced the same amount of rainfall. A lot of guys are talking about tremendous erosion on Facebook and other forms of social media. Here at The Proving Grounds, we’re not experiencing erosion, and the reason is years of good soil management. Good soil management means improving soil health. You’ll grow more deer and more turkey with healthier soil, so what we’re doing isn’t just to conserve the soil, but produce bigger antlers and more turkeys.
GRANT: The finest, or smallest, soil particles are usually the most valuable – the most nutrients. Also, they’re the easiest to erode, either by wind, or water erosion.
GRANT: So, for 13 years, soil health has been our number one factor in developing food plots. And to do that, we never leave ‘em bare. You can see we just no till drilled a crop of Eagle Seed soybeans in here, but we did it right through the standing vegetation. There was wheat and brassicas all through here. We simply used a safe herbicide to kill that vegetation, leave it here as a mulch, drill right through it. And even though we just received five plus inches of rain, you see no sign of erosion.
GRANT: In addition, all this mulch will keep weeds from coming up, hold that moisture in – instead of it being evaporated out by the sun's heat and the wind blowing across here – and create much better growing conditions for the crop we just planted. In addition to all that, there’s another huge advantage that’s rarely talked about. When you have this organic, or vegetative matter, on top of the ground and allow it to decompose slowly versus discing it in, it actually does a better job of providing a slow release fertilizer, releasing nutrients slowly throughout the growing season. When you disc it in, that mixes in a lot of oxygen into the soil, causes an oxidation process, and actually, this vegetation will rot much quicker and not do near as good as leave it on top as a mulch and slow release fertilizer. There are a few hunting properties that started out with worse soil than here at The Proving Grounds – highly eroded Ozark Mountain soil, basically rocks – but through the years, we’ve built quality soil and are now growing healthy deer.
GRANT: By slightly changing the techniques you use to establish and maintain food plots, there’s no doubt in my mind many folks can drastically improve the soil health, and therefore, the quality of critters on that property.
GRANT: If you’d like to see firsthand the techniques we use to establish and maintain food plots, or anything else we do here at The Proving Grounds, join us August 7th and 8th for our annual field event. There’s more information on the left side of the website at GrowingDeer.tv. This year, the Redneck Blinds folks will be here, and they’re offering a special discount to anyone that wants to pick up products there at the field day. Give ‘em a call, to learn more. Even though turkey season is closed in most states, I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy creation this week. But no matter what the season is, I hope you take time every day to slow down and be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.