Protecting Food Plots (Episode 136 Transcript)
This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: This Wednesday is Independence Day, the 4th of July. It seems to me that when I was a child the 4th of July was a little bit more about celebrating the greatness of our nation and the sacrifices that have been made that maybe is occurring today. So I hope the GrowingDeer family joins me in making sure your family, especially your children, know the sacrifices that were made of the nation that literally went to its knee in prayers of our founding fathers that wrote extensively about their guidance for God as they made a choice to fight and give lives for freedom. This Wednesday remember that freedom isn't free.
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GRANT: Oftentime mature bucks just won't use larger food plots except at nighttime. The small food plots, backing cover, give a buck enough comfort that he is libel to step out there at anytime of the day.
GRANT: A negative of small food plots is it's easy for deer to consume all the forage long before you’re ready to hunt or before the hunting seasons over. This is a very small food plot, we've just planted it with Eagle Seed soybeans. It's so small that deer would wipe these out long before season if we didn't protect them somehow.
GRANT: But the easy solution is a Non-Typical Electric fence. You've seen us talk about electric fences in the past, they're the one guaranteed way to keep deer out of an area until you want to give them access to that forage.
GRANT: Won't take long to fence this little area. We're gonna put the fence up, the treestand is already set. Then we're waiting on September 15th.
GRANT: (Whispering) We had a yearling buck come in here, right in front of the Reconyx camera. His face looked kinda odd, I think he'd been..he’d been busted off one antler already. And his face was disproportional, I think it was swollen but his hair was all puffed up, but it was really cold, so he's – he’s healthy. Looks like he'll be fine.
GRANT: (Whispering) Ya'll know I don't like coyotes. So some people might say “Hey, you might ruin your deer hunt” but I look at it as I just saved several future deer hunts. No doubt in my mind that coyote would’ve consumed several fawns in its lifetime and blown a couple of hunts for me.
GRANT: We finished putting up the posts and stringing the wire, the only steps left is put the charger up with the solar panels. The solar panel, of course, activates or energizes this – that keeps the fence hot which keeps the deer out.
GRANT: The fence gets this juice from a simple solar panel connected to a 12 volt battery. The hot zone system, from Non-Typical, uses a little box to convert that 12 volt juice to about 6,000+ volts – is enough to literally keep thousands of volts going through that electric fence all day long and all night long and even through periods where the sun is blocked by clouds for a couple days in a row.
GRANT: I'm super impressed that the Hot Zone fence is putting out over 5,000 volts of electricity and it's so dry, you know we've got a ground rod driven down, but it's so dry that ground rod’s probably not getting good conductivity. But the whole system’s working great. 5,000 plus volts on their meter here. Enough to keep me out let alone a white-tailed deer.
GRANT: It's there. (Laughter)
GRANT: For protecting this forage for hunting later on, right? What's another way we could protect forage? Ya'll got a groundhog in a trap.
JOHN: Do we?
GRANT: You do.
JOHN: Success finally.
GRANT: Success. That's right. We get this done we can go reap your success and if you skin it out Ms. Tracy will prepare a great meal for you.
ANDREW: Awesome. I can't wait.
GRANT: Congratulations. You'd think that was the most wily critter in America way we've been trying to catch a groundhog. I'm pretty..it's not..I don't think it's gonna qualify for Boone & Crocket but it may be Pope & Young. I'm not sure.
GRANT: Roadrunner. An indication of what a dessert we've turned into.
GRANT: Due to the drought stress this year, groundhogs are even having a bigger impact than normal because I had very limited high quality vegetation that I'm wanting to go to those does nursing fawns and bucks producing antlers. Groundhogs will set here in the daylight day after day removing that vegetation.
GRANT: (Whispering) Are you ready?
GRANT: Although I really enjoy hunting groundhogs with a bow or a rifle, traps work all week long while I can be working on other projects.
GRANT: So Andrew and John got an assignment from me to bust out our Duke Traps, coon seasons over and we had 'em all cleaned up in the barn. Put 'em out here where we can trap some of these groundhogs and preserve some of this forage for other forms of wildlife.
GRANT: We're in Tracy's field and just at the other end, 150 yards away, we've had a Trophy Rock station and a lot of Reconyx pictures of a groundhog. But we couldn't catch a groundhog there, so the boys wisely moved the trap closer to the hole, bait it with peaches that Tracy's been skinning to make cobblers out of. First night produced a groundhog.
GRANT: Groundhogs really hurt us on two fronts. These holes can be massive and they're be right out in the middle of the field and when you're spraying or planting and the vegetations up and you don't seem 'em it can really cause some damage to your equipment. Or if you're on a four wheeler you can actually flip a four wheeler over if you hit a groundhog hole wrong. Years like this where drought stress is really limiting the forage production these non-target animals can take more than their share of what you've worked hard to grow for deer, turkey, and other game species.
GRANT: Groundhogs can be pretty tough to catch. But the big secret is getting close to their hole and having fresh bait in there that has a lot of scent. There is no shortage of groundhogs and many hunters have written me recently talking about seeing more groundhogs now throughout the Unites States than they have in the past decade.
GRANT: I hope you have an opportunity to check out some new techniques and either protecting food plots or establishing them or putting up blinds or whatever you're doing this week at your Proving Grounds get out and enjoy Creation. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
ANDREW: June 15th and me and John…John and I? (Laughter)
JOHN: With soybeans in short supply this year one of our assignments is to limit consumers.
ADAM: I like it.
JOHN: With the help of Duke cage traps and a .22 we've been limiting both squirrels and groundhogs.
ADAM: I like it.
JOHN: We're gonna put these squirrels in the freezer. Weigh this groundhog and skin him out and we'll have some dinner for later.