AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisement

Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the
GrowingDeer.tv team

Life & Deer Hunting

Life and deer hunting have a lot in common. One similarity is that to have repeated success one must pay attention to the little things. My friend and fellow deer hunter, Andy Andrews, has a new book about the little things.

Andy Andrews with a good buck he harvested during 2017.

It's not another book about deer hunting tactics or based on a one time wonder of tagging a monster buck. It is a brilliant collection of principles that can be applied to deer hunting and all aspects of life.

Want to have a better year during 2017 than you had during 2016?  Take a positive step and read Andy's new book, The Little Things.  Order it here.

The book, “The Little Things” was written by fellow hunter Andy Andrews.

Enjoy creation,

Grant

Link directly to this post



Fire, Habitat and Hunting

Deer season is over and turkey season is just around the corner. That means the work is just beginning.

We have several large prescribed fires planned for the week. Right now, I am sitting in the office catching up on several tasks while the interns mix fire fuel and pack the leaf blowers in the Yamaha. Today we plan to burn several large bedding areas. These areas are designated sanctuaries for our deer herd.

Leaves on fire, starting a prescribed fire

Prescribed fire is a great tool for habitat management.

Last fall Flatwood Natives Habitat Solutions sprayed all the hardwood saplings in these areas. The saplings have had several months to die and dry before the prescribed fire. Our goal today is to burn the native grasses and forbs, encouraging new growth this spring. The saplings may remain standing but fire will make them even more brittle and assist in a timely decomposition.

As a wildlife manager and hunter I am very excited to burn these areas. I can’t stop thinking about turkeys. Burned areas make for great bugging areas for turkeys. The terrain is open and turkeys can watch for predators and find great food sources. This can make for some great spring turkey hunting.

Turkeys are on my immediate radar but I cannot forget about the deer. Within a few months these burn areas will serve as great fawning habitat. As new tender grasses and forbs pop up over the next few weeks, these burn areas will also be a great food source for deer. Of course, the hunter in me will be looking for sheds and trails trying to figure out which deer are in the area and how they are using the terrain. These prescribed fires make for some great late season scouting!

We will be very busy today and during the next few months with prescribed fires. Each fire brings a great reward – improved habitat and better hunting. I hope you get the chance to work on your Proving Grounds soon and can enjoy the fruits of your labor come hunting season.

Enjoy Creation,

Daniel

Link directly to this post



The Late Winter Stress Period

We have been blessed with a mild winter at The Proving Grounds. Even so, the local deer herd seems hungry. Late winter is a stressful time for whitetails across most of their range. Lack of food, cold temperatures, and months of hunting pressure create a potent mixture of hardship. During this time, deer are trying to regain the weight lost during the rut. They must also start preparing for the spring fawning season and period of antler growth.

During this time of year, there is often a shortage of the forages whitetails need to sustain a healthy weight throughout the winter. This period of deficiency is intensified in times of drought. In many areas, most native forages have been browsed to exhaustion which brings up the importance of food plots during late winter. As you may have noticed in some of our recent images, the forage in the food plots at The Proving Grounds have been heavily browsed. We tagged more does during 2016 than during previous years due to the drought and increasing deer population. This spring we plan to establish a few more acres of food plots. Our objective is to reduce stress and increase the health of the local whitetail herd during the annual winter stress period.

In addition to establishing and maintaining food plots, we are using prescribed fire to improve the quality and quantity of native forage. Stay tuned, watch our progress and see how the deer herd responds!

Enjoy creation,

Tyler

Link directly to this post



Trapping Predators Boosts Nest Success

Tuesday marked the end of a successful trapping season at The Proving Grounds. We’re excited to have removed 41 predators from the property by trapping daily and using a variety of baits to bring them into our Duke traps. That means most likely more turkey poults, quail chicks, and fawns will survive!

Eaten Turkey Eggs

Nest predators can cause serious damage to a turkey population.

The GrowingDeer Team has been trapping predators consistently for seven years in an effort to balance the predator and prey population. We’re serious about trapping because studies show that racoons, opossums, and skunks are intense nest predators. Turkeys are especially susceptible to predation because they nest on the ground for approximately 28 days and then roost on the ground for approximately two weeks until the poults can fly.

It almost always rains at least once during the nesting season and wet hens have an odor even humans can easily smell. This makes it very easy for predators to find turkey nests and consume all the eggs and even kill the hen at times. Researchers used to call this the wet hen theory but it’s not just theory.

Last year The Proving Grounds had a high turkey poult survival rate compared to the statewide average. This was in part because of the serious effort the team has put into trapping. As land managers and hunters, we want a healthy turkey population! By trapping predators, we are one step closer to a successful turkey season.

Enjoy Creation,

Jessica

Link directly to this post