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Winter Food Plot Combinations That Work (Episode 275 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

GRANT: The low temperatures, snow, and ice are not only wicked on deer, the roads are so bad, we can’t even make it down the mountain to film in front of the barn where we normally film this segment of the show.

GRANT: These brutal conditions during the late winter can have a huge impact on whitetails productivity in the year to come.

GRANT: Most of the deer will survive here in the Midwest, but up in the Great Lakes states, there’ll probably be some mortality this winter.

GRANT: One of the biggest factors in deer coming through such brutal conditions is a good food source.

GRANT: This is a perfect opportunity to explain the difference between region wide deer management and site specific deer management.

GRANT: Most state agencies are best equipped to do region wide management because they simply don’t have enough personnel. About 16 states have DMAP, or Deer Management Assistance Programs, that allows them to write a management plan, or work with individual landowners, or deer management cooperatives.

GRANT: We’re just now starting a neighborhood deer co-op, but for years, we’ve been planting high quality food plots and establishing good quality native vegetation.

ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, ScentMaster, Dead Down Wind, Antler Dirt, LaCrosse Footwear, Whitetail Properties, BloodSport Arrows, Outdoor Edge Knives, Flatwood Natives, Caldwell, Prime Bows, G5 Broadheads, Hook’s Custom Calls, Montana Decoys, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.

GRANT: A couple of days ago, Adam, Daniel, and I spent some time checking out some different food plots here at The Proving Grounds and determining which forage type was benefiting the wildlife the most during these brutal conditions.

GRANT: Early last fall, we showed you how we broadcast Eagle’s Broadside blend right over the top of standing soybeans.

GRANT: You can see these beans only made it about a foot tall, due to the browse pressure. We’re right near the end of the field. Deer worked the field going this way, so this gets the most browse. Even though they’re browsed off, they made pods, but underneath here is turnips and wheat. That’s part of Eagle’s Broadside blend, providing deer a lot of different types of forage to eat in one location. They’ve got the heavy carb load inside the bulbs of the turnips, the greens on top, which are very nutrient rich, and of course, the pods, which are high in oil and energy necessary to stay warm in these conditions. Just as important as feeding deer is taking care of the soil, and having a crop grow in between the standing beans, those roots recovering nutrients, pull them up to the top where deer can consume ‘em, or that vegetation rotting on top and releasing fertilizer next spring, is critical to maintaining the health of your food plot.

GRANT: So, even though the beans were browsed hard during the growing season, they still made enough pods to feed ‘em during these harsh conditions. In between the beans, we’ve got Broadside growing. We’ve not only taken care of the deer, but we’ve taken care of the soil, making it in great shape to plant a plot when the conditions are warm this spring.

GRANT: We’re about 100 yards on up in the field and, obviously, the deer haven’t browsed as hard here during the summer, and even yet, during the winter.

GRANT: There are tracks all through the snow here and I can tell deer are using this. I can see where they used it in the summer, browsing off some, and certainly, pods are missing, but plenty of food left throughout the winter.

GRANT: We’ve talked about this before, but a amazing thing about Eagle Seed forage soybeans is they produce a lot of pods and the pods don’t shatter. If these pods had already shattered, like most commercial beans, and they’re six inches below the snow and ice right now, they wouldn’t be doing deer any good, but standing up here above the snow makes a perfect feeding opportunity for deer in these brutally harsh conditions.

GRANT: For a comparison, we’re at a food plot we call Clover Mountain and it’s been planted in clover for a couple of years. As you can see, there’s hardly any break in the snow, except for our four wheeler tracks. There’s no deer tracks, no sign where they’ve been pawing. It’s basically a biological desert this time of year. Clover’s a great forage for deer and wildlife management, but during this time of year, it’s not providing any nutritional value.

GRANT: Even if I paw down through the snow as hard as I can, there’s simply nothing to eat. And that’s because clover moves all its energy down into the root system to survive these winter conditions and be able to bust out strong when it warms up this spring. Typically, I like about 10 percent of my food plot acreage in clover. That’s because during the early spring – before it’s time to even plant soybeans and all the pods have probably been consumed – the clover will be producing lush forage, providing high quality nutrition for does carrying late term fawns and bucks producing antlers. Clover plays a perfect role in filling the gap between when the Broadside’s mature, the bean pods have all been consumed, and it’s not yet warm enough to plant more beans.

ADAM: Whoo! I like it already.

GRANT: With turkey season not far away, Adam and I were super excited to get in some new Hook’s turkey calls and a couple of Winchester shotguns.

GRANT: So, during the brutally cold day – when even I didn’t want to work in the field – we headed up to Bass Pro and had the scopes taken off a couple of our old shotguns and put on our new Winchesters.

GRANT: Cold, snowy day in the Ozarks. Not a better place to be than Bass Pro Shops getting my turkey gun ready for turkey season. Just got a brand new Winchester Long Beard shotgun. Jerry was good enough to help me get my scope on there. Jerry, we’re ready to go?

JERRY: You’re ready to go. You should be fine.

GRANT: So, Adam and I will run home here in a day or two, do some actual patterning on the range, be ready for that opener here in Missouri.

JERRY: (Inaudible) grid. Just hold it up against the light and look up through it. See the little grid in there?

ADAM: Oh yeah. Yeah.

JERRY: Of course, the scope magnifies that.

ADAM: Yeah.

JERRY: And, uh, all you do is put your crosshairs in the center of that grid, and then, it’s bore sighted.

GRANT: By having the pros at Bass Pro bore sight our shotguns, it saved us a lot of shells, when it comes time to pattern these new Winchesters.

GRANT: A great way to save a few shots when it’s time to pattern your shotgun, is check out Winchester’s new patterning board app. It’s a great way to try different size shells and different size shot at different ranges, to see which ones fit your hunting situations the best.

GRANT: Show me the gun.

GRANT: Obviously, Adam and I are very excited about turkey season. And here’s a cool chance for you to win an all expense paid trip to hunt turkeys with Adam and I at the famous Redneck Farms. Simply go to Redneck Blinds, or GrowingDeer.tv, and register to win a free, all expense paid hunt.

GRANT: Even though the conditions are harsh, it sure has been beautiful outside, and every day is a reminder to be thankful for the Creator and to take some time and listen to what He’s saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.