Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the team

The Center Of Attention

Building the “Hit List” for The Proving Grounds every summer is always one of my favorite projects. Familiar faces begin to show up in front of our Reconyx cameras, as well as new bucks that increase our heart rates. My favorite part of the process is building the story with a buck over the years. If we can capture images of an immature buck, uniquely identify him, and follow him until he reaches maturity, then have the chance at putting a tag on him, that’s our dream!

One buck we have followed over the last three years, Handy, is turning into a great buck! Watch the video to hear more about this great buck!

For Love of the Land,


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Deer Hunting Strategies: Ponds

Are small ponds part of your hunting strategy? Grant shows a problem pond then explains how he plans to make it a hunting hot spot.

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Pre-Season Preparation In Timber Country

Deer hunters are busy across the whitetails’ range preparing for deer season. This week we have been trimming out shooting lanes around our Summit Treestands. Here in timber country we have plenty of limbs to trim, but we also have plenty of acorn producing trees. One of the most important pieces of equipment we carry along with our trimming gear is a pair of Nikon binoculars. During this time of the year acorns are visible. It’s important for us to know where the acorns are located before season opens. Our hunting strategy each season revolves around acorn production.

After covering much of the property, we noticed the majority of acorns were on ridge tops! We suspect a late frost occurred in the bottoms during the late spring. Don’t worry, this is good news. When a large majority of the acorns are located on the ridge tops we can hunt more successfully for a few reasons.

  1. The food source is more concentrated
  2. The winds are more consistent on ridge tops
  3. There are more huntable locations and pinch points on the ridge tops

Hunting terrain with sharp elevation changes has its advantages and disadvantages. The common problem is dealing with thermals. The temperature changes throughout a day in areas with terrain change can alter the wind directions. This causes swirly winds – a hunter’s worst nightmare. On the flip side the elevation changes can strongly influence deer travel patterns when compared to flat properties.

For all these reasons we are excited for deer season! With these conditions it is shaping up to be a productive season here at The Proving Grounds. Have you trimmed or scouted your property yet?

Praising the Creator,


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Trail Camera Checklist

July is an exciting month for deer hunters. Antlers are starting to develop, and we’re busy trying to prepare gear, shoot our bows, and trim shooting lanes. This is also a popular time of the year to monitor deer herds with trail cameras. Our Reconyx cameras are in the field picking up potential his list bucks and observing does with fawns to ensure the population is healthy. It’s important that each trail camera is placed appropriately so images are clear, and days are not wasted in the field. It’s very annoying to waste a week of images because you left without aiming the camera and making sure all objects were clear from the field of view.

Important things to check before leaving the camera site:

  • Battery life – Double check that there is enough battery life to run the camera until you return.
  • Memory – Make sure a memory card is in the camera and there is plenty of space to save images.
  • Date and time – It’s simple to check and will give exact times of when animals moved through the area.
  • Turn camera on – It’s a shame how many times we’ve done this, but it’s best to check and double check to see the camera is on.
  • Aiming – Watch the video to see exactly how we aim our cameras.
  • Clear brush – We use weed eaters to clear brush in front of the camera. This helps ensure clear images of animals with no distractions.
  • Attracting the animals – Using an attractant or mineral like Trophy Rock FOUR65 will help lure the animals into view.

Using this check list will help you capture more images as well as higher quality images!

For love of the land and the Glory to God,


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