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Grant's Blog

Thoughts from the field

Broadcasting Fall Food Plots

Due to rainfall and hunting schedules we used slightly different techniques for our fall food plots than we have used in past years. We usually plant our food plots with the no till drill. This year the fields were muddy and we had a trip planned. We wanted to get the seed on the ground before heading to Kentucky for the archery season opener. This called for boots, seed broadcasters, and enough energy to cover some ground. Instead of drilling the seed into the ground we broadcast the seed on top of the ground and hoped for rain.

We received a rainfall within two days of broadcasting our seed, but it wasn’t in the amount that we hoped for. We checked our Reconyx cameras and noticed turkeys were in the fields almost every day. These turkeys were most likely eating the soybean and wheat seed (that hadn’t germinated yet) off the ground.

Food plot with great germination after broadcast seeding

A small hidey hole food plot that was broadcast with seed and had great germination.

A lot of times a person who doesn’t have the equipment to use a no till drill on their food plots will use a broadcaster and spread the seed on top of the ground. If it doesn’t rain soon after broadcasting a lot of the seed will be carried off by birds. This is why it’s important to check your food plots after planting to ensure you have a great stand of food. This is especially true when broadcasting a food plot. You don’t want to return to hunt and be upset with your lack of results!

With rain quickly approaching we returned to check our plots and found that a couple of them hadn’t grown as well as we had hoped. So as it rained we broadcast more seed. After having over one inch of rain in 24 hours we’re confident we’ll have a great stand of Brassicas, wheat, and soybeans.

Remember to always check those plots to ensure a great food plot to hunt over throughout the hunting season. If germination was weak don’t be scared to go back into your plot and broadcast again.

Daydreaming of whitetails,

Adam

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Opening Day Challenges!

It’s only a few days before Missouri archery season opens up. Yes, you heard correctly, IT’S LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!! YAY!!! It’s a very exciting time of year for not only the bow hunters in Missouri, but for all the bow hunters across the nation! With bow season opening up soon, it’s time to start thinking through where we’re planning on hunting.

Like late season hunting, it’s about finding the food source. Whether that is a soybean field, a white oak grove with freshly dropped acorns, or an Eagle Seed Broadside blend, these can all be early season hot spots. Here in the Ozark Mountains, we are dominated with trees and not just trees; we’re dominated with oak trees. Red and white oaks are everywhere! Some years over 80% of the oaks can be carrying acorns and dropping them throughout the season. This makes it very difficult to pattern not just mature bucks, but does as well.

When acorns are available, deer prefer them over most other food sources.

When acorns are available, deer prefer them over most other food sources.

That’s why it’s very important to know your property. Are there acorns? Is there a soybean/corn field deer are frequently using? We had a late frost in this part of the Ozarks and thought there wouldn’t be many, if any, acorns this year. We were wrong about that. Grant and I have been watching the acorns form on certain trees throughout the summer. Not all of the oaks have acorns. We estimate only 40 to 50% of them have produced acorns. This means Grant and I will be taking a few scouting excursions trying to find that one oak that is dropping acorns and the deer are hammering! In our area, acorns have been the primary food source since deer populated the area way back when. This hasn’t changed even after highly craved soybeans have been planted across The Proving Grounds year after year. Acorns are king when they’re falling.

With all that being said, Grant and I will be watching the Reconyx cameras and slipping on the LaCrosse boots the next couple of days trying to find a pattern so we can have a successful hunt on Monday for Missouri’s opening day!

Be sure to know the food source in your area so when opening day gets here, you have a plan and you can succeed!

Daydreaming of whitetails,

Adam

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The Importance Of Soil Moisture

It never fails; when the calendar reaches August I have those buddies that call me saying they’re headed to the farm to plant their fall food plots. I usually do my best to talk them into turning around and going back home to sit in the air conditioning. Yes, a huge amount of fall food plots are planted in August, but there are several variables that determine the day(s) you can plant.

A stand of Eagle Seed Broadside that was planted with great soil moisture.

A stand of Eagle Seed Broadside that was planted with great soil moisture.

Before I discuss the variables that we use to help us determine when to plant, let’s first understand that a seed is a living thing. It’s not a dead organism that somehow magically comes to life when mixed with water and soil. If it’s too hot and dry for you outside, it’s probably too hot for the seed as well.

The most important factor with determining when to plant is soil moisture. If the soil is powder and dust you should wait for rain and not stress your freshly planted seeds. The first couple weeks the seed/plant is in the ground are the most important. They’re establishing root systems that will help them survive longer into the fall and even winter; if they’re stressed they won’t produce the healthiest root system they can, which means lower survival rate.

The second most important factor in determining when to plant is future rain forecasts. I’ve made the mistake in the past of having soil moisture and planting my plots only to watch them receive no rain and dry up and die. Watching your extended forecast and seeing rain predicted is a great sign to plant those crops. If the rain chances are high day after day you can plant your crops in dusty conditions knowing that moisture is soon to come.

Planting fall plots on the same day year after year is an error. Planting these crops all depends on soil moisture and future rainfall. This means you could be planting in the middle of August or September. This fall don’t make the mistake that so many of us have done. Understand both your soil moisture and future rainfall and plant the best fall plots you can.

Daydreaming of whitetails,

Adam

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Cooking Deer Meat: My Favorite Marinade Recipe For Venison

How to process your own deer meat

Grant shows how to remove the loin in this video.

I have a confession to make. Before I married Grant I never ate venison. You probably know the reason why. Bambi. That was all I could think about when my mother said that we were having deer meat for dinner. The first time she served it I refused to eat the meat. Guess what? The next time we had it she didn’t tell me it was venison. I probably ate a lot of beef that in reality was venison!

 

There are lots of people that I’ve talked to that say they have tried venison and do not like it. Now, confession number 2. I thought the same when Grant cooked venison for me in the early days when we were dating. There’s the old saying that love is blind, I think it must also affect the taste buds! Suddenly I was eating venison! Then with marriage and managing the budget, I realized that having all that venison in the freezer was a good thing for another reason! I no longer had to purchase red meat at the grocery store!

Venison in my favorite marinade

Marinate the loin for 24 to 36 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

Over the years I’ve tried just about every way imaginable to cook venison. After almost 20 years I have a few favorites that make a regular appearance on our supper table. One of those is this marinade recipe that our friend David shared with us way back when. It’s great for venison, chicken, or beef. I use it primarily as a marinade for venison loin (some people call this back-strap) and tenderloin. I marinate the meat for 24 to 36 hours in the refrigerator, turning the meat several times during the process. Then I broil the marinated loin in the oven or grill it over a low flame. We prefer our meat to be medium well, so I cook the venison until the center is slightly pink. I take the meat off the grill and let it rest for five to ten minutes before slicing.

Do you have a favorite venison recipe? If so, please share it on our facebook page! I look forward to trying something new!

Cooking deer meat,

Tracy

Venison Marinade
1. Dale’s Steak Sauce, ½ cup
2. Lemon Pepper Seasoning, 1 tsp.
3. Minced Garlic, 2 -3 heaping TBS
4. Basil, 1 TBS dried or ¼ cup fresh minced
5. Vegetable or Olive Oil, 1/3 cup
6. Lemon Juice, ½ cup
7. Oregano, 1 TBS
8. Salt (optional), ½ tsp.
9. Worcestershire Sauce (optional) 1 TBS
I’ll pass along the advice that David wrote when he sent us the recipe: “This is the basic recipe. I have added things to it and taken some away over the years to arrive at the right combination for me. Do your own trial and error to see what you like.” Thanks, David!

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