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Grant's Answers

Here are Grant's answers to hundreds of viewer questions on deer hunting and management, food plots, and deer biology. At one time, viewers emailed their questions which Grant answered and posted the replies here for all visitors to read. Over time, Grant has found that his Facebook page is actually a better vehicle for answering your questions. Please feel free to browse through the Q&A below or use the search feature to enter your question. The search feature will find Grant's previous answers to similar questions. Visit Grant's Facebook page if you have a question that is not answered here or just to join the conversation with other serious deer hunters and managers.

Where do you send your coyote hides for tanning?

Great information on skinning out a coyote.  Unfortunately, you did not suggest any places that you guys send your hides for tanning.   I want to do the same thing to use as gifts and such but most of the tanneries are $80 and they have to be mount ready.  Which means I have to flesh it out really good.  Please give me some ideas of where I can send my hides to.

I use Moyle Mink & Tannery (http://www.moytown.com/). The quality of work is excellent and prices are reasonable.

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When do bucks shed their antlers in NY state or Ontario, Canada?

When do bucks shed their antlers in NY state or Ontario, Canada?

Jim

It’s common for bucks that are healthy to hold their antlers until mid March or so. There’s so much ag in eastern Kansas that I suspect the bucks are very healthy in your area.

Bucks, does, and fawns will use licking branches (the branches overhanging scrapes) year round. In addition, female fawns often become receptive when they reach about 70 pounds. There are probably some receptive fawns causing bucks to display rut behavior in your area.

After the majority of rutting behavior is over and the testosterone level of bucks begins to decrease they often get together in bachelor groups and will remain in these groups till they begin shedding their velvet next fall.

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Is it normal for the bucks in eastern Kansas to still have antlers in early March?

I noticed that a lot of bucks are still holding their antlers here in eastern Kansas and there are still active scrapes. Is this common to have active scrapes this time of year? The bucks are running in packs like a bachelor group, is this also common?

It’s common for bucks that are healthy to hold their antlers until mid March or so. There’s so much ag in eastern Kansas that I suspect the bucks are very healthy in your area.

Bucks, does, and fawns will use licking branches (the branches overhanging scrapes) year round. In addition, female fawns often become receptive when they reach about 70 pounds. There are probably some receptive fawns causing bucks to display rut behavior in your area.

After the majority of rutting behavior is over and the testosterone level of bucks begins to decrease they often get together in bachelor groups and will remain in these groups till they begin shedding their velvet next fall.

Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

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What crops are good for growing deer in southern Ontario, Canada?

Hi, I hunt a property that has a farmer farming the land and he usually plants either corn, millet bird seed and the odd time he’ll plant soybeans. I was just wondering, are these good crops for growing deer? I live and hunt in southern Ontario,Canada, if that would have anything to do with it?

Sounds like you have permission to hunt a good farm! Corn and millet are both great sources of energy for deer (and other species of wildlife)! However, they don’t provide much protein for deer. A combination of soybeans and corn (on different parts of the farm) would be great – with the soybeans providing protein during the growing season and corn providing energy (carbohydrates) during the winter. If some of these crops (odd corners, etc.) were left standing during the winter, they would be a great feeding and hunting area! You might consider trading the farmer work days during the off season for him leaving a bit of grain standing for hunting during the winter. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

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Wondering what herbicide do you use in your hack and spray tree elimination?

What herbicide do you use in your hack and spray tree elimination?

Easton

The herbicide used depends on the species of trees to be treated. Glyphosate will work on several species and Tordon RTU works well on locust. Glyphosate doesn’t work well on maples. I suggest you Google “hack and squirt” and the type tree to be treated – like “hack and squirt maple” and find information from your area. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

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How can I increase the population of deer on the property and get them to come out in daylight hours?

Hi, my name is Tanner and I am 13 years old. I hunt on a 26 acre property in New Jersey and we have a big problem. We have been trying to get a deer for two years now. We go hunting every weekend ever since we started two years ago. But we see nothing weekend after weekend — no deer. We know they are on the property because trail cameras pick up to 36 deer in one night and some decent bucks too, like 10 and 12 pointers. But they never ever come out in daylight hours. How can I increase the population of deer on the property and get them to come out in daylight hours? It is so bad that I can have over 300 pictures and not one of them are in daylight hours. I love hunting but it is starting to get old going out and sitting through freezing temperatures and seeing nothing day after day. Thank you!

Tanner, it can get tough when hunting a lot and not seeing deer! When I help folks improve hunting on properties that are similar in size to the one you hunt I always try to determine where the best food, cover, and water sources are in the neighborhood. Deer will certainly use neighboring properties so understanding where they are using food, cover, and water during different times of year and weather conditions is very important. Once I get a better handle on where deer are using food, cover, and water I see if I can create the preferred location for one of those resources on the property where my clients hunt. Second – I always have at least 4 stand/blind sites – one for a north, south, west, and east wind. Just as importantly I plan an entrance and exit route for each of those wind directions. It’s easy to alert every deer on 26 acres by simply walking to the stand with the wind at my back and letting every deer know to avoid the area while I’m there. Sometimes this means walking around the outside edge of the property or entering from the opposite side to ensure I don’t alert deer to my presence. By determining where deer are using food, cover, and water, and approaching, hunting and exiting stands/blinds without alerting deer should allow hunters to punch their tag no matter where they hunt! Finally – I often share with folks to not do the same thing and expect different results. Too often deer pattern hunters more than hunters pattern deer. Remember there are several factors that may impact deer besides the hunter – such as coyotes, bears, or hunters on neighboring properties that alert deer. I look forward to hearing about your results after you try some new strategies!

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What do deer eat when there’s snow on the ground?

I love watching your weekly shows. I have a rather odd question. Where snow accumulation gets real high, 15″ or better, do you suppose turkeys will ingest deer droppings? I told you it was odd! I know there is odd forage above the deep snow that turkeys may resort to. I have a debate with a friend, he thinks they do. I know where deer have dug deep to find corn, can the turkeys still manage to find something left behind? I also know turkeys have fat stored, I believe it is 2 weeks they can go without food and 5 days max without water. If the trap line is slow and the deer hunting has ended, do a segment on turkeys in deep snow!

Nathan

I’ve never seen or read about turkeys consuming deer pellets. Deer are efficient at removing food value through their digestive track and there wouldn’t be much nutrient value in their droppings. However, if a turkey was starving they’d probably try anything! Turkeys certainly consume a very wide variety of foods – from small snakes to lots of types of vegetation! Wicked cold weather and frozen deep snow that they can’t scratch through has certainly been reported to cause turkeys to die. Let’s hope the brutal conditions change soon!

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Do you field dress the deer or do you make it a practice not to do it in the field for a reason?

 I noticed when loading the deer your father killed it was not field dressed (gutted). By the way, God bless the times you have with your father. My father has passed and I miss the times we had together. Congratulations to him on his hunt! So I was wondering, do you field dress the deer or do you make it a practice not to do it in the field for a reason? I always field dress not far from the location of the kill. Thanks for your advice on this subject. Take care and have a wonderful new year! Be safe! Rich 

I truly enjoy such spending time with my dad! We really enjoyed that hunt!!! My house is just up the hill from where we were hunting – so I took the buck to the house to weigh, etc., and have a clean source of water to dress and remove the meat. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv and stay warm!

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What can I do to either bring the bucks closer to my stand(s) or bring in more bucks to the property?

I just love watching your shows. I pretty much learn new techniques from every show that I do watch. I am 17 and an avid bow hunter. I only took the rifle three times this season. I hunt on private land that my family does not own, but I am allowed to put out feeders, attractants, food plots, etc. I am a deer manager myself, I pass up small bucks and small does all of the time. We only have about 350 acres of land, so there are not many big bucks (maybe 3 or 4). With other guys hunting with rifles (making it easier for them) what can I do to either bring the bucks closer to my stand(s) or bring in more bucks to the property? I’ve never shot a buck before and I have only killed one doe before and I would really love some advice and tips on bringing them in.

Thanks for reading and paying attention, Nathan

It sounds like you have a good property to hunt. However, it’s tough to pattern mature bucks anywhere! I always study the preferred sources of food, cover, and water throughout the seasons/varying conditions and use that information to pattern bucks. Just as importantly, I study where I can place and how I can approach stands without deer patterning me! I consider being able to enter, hunt, and exit the stand without alerting deer just as important as the stand location itself. I enjoy hunting does and providing that natural meat to my family. Don’t hesitate to take a few does if there are plenty of deer in your area and enjoy hunting while patterning the local deer herd! Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv and may God bless you with great 2014!

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What greens would you recommend planting in our food plot?

Hi Dr. Woods, I emailed you in early October about why we were not seeing mature bucks. Our luck changed as the season went on and we had multiple encounters with some very good bucks. I alone have spent over 100 hours in the tree stand this year trying to put some antlers on the ground. As hunting goes, some things happened and we just couldn’t close the deal. This year we intend on planting about 3 acres of forage soybeans, but we want some short greens next to the beans closer to our stand set ups. This way we have an area for shots. We are avid bow hunters. What greens would you recommend?

Curtis

Check out the current episode at www.GrowingDeer.tv (Watch GDTV 215 here) – you’ll see several bucks gorging on Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend and my dad tagging a buck! I tagged several deer this year by placing stands so I could hunt food plots planted with Broadside. The blend of forage varieties in that blend has worked VERY well for me! May you be blessed with some great hunts during 2014!

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