How To Get Deer In Range: Scent Control Techniques

By GrowingDeer,

With hunting season around the corner it’s important to get your hunting gear and equipment ready for action. One of the most important parts of this is removing foreign odors. We want to get the bucks in close without them detecting our scent. Watch to see the process we take to get our gear scent free for deer season. This process has been vital to our past successes when bow hunting and getting the bucks within bow range.

The Center Of Attention

By GrowingDeer,

Building the “Hit List” for The Proving Grounds every summer is always one of my favorite projects. Familiar faces begin to show up in front of our Reconyx cameras, as well as new bucks that increase our heart rates. My favorite part of the process is building the story with a buck over the years. If we can capture images of an immature buck, uniquely identify him, and follow him until he reaches maturity, then have the chance at putting a tag on him, that’s our dream!

One buck we have followed over the last three years, Handy, is turning into a great buck! Watch the video to hear more about this great buck!

For Love of the Land,


Deer Hunting Strategies: Ponds

By GrowingDeer,

Are small ponds part of your hunting strategy? Grant shows a problem pond then explains how he plans to make it a hunting hot spot.

Pre-Season Preparation In Timber Country

By GrowingDeer,

Deer hunters are busy across the whitetails’ range preparing for deer season. This week we have been trimming out shooting lanes around our Summit Treestands. Here in timber country we have plenty of limbs to trim, but we also have plenty of acorn producing trees. One of the most important pieces of equipment we carry along with our trimming gear is a pair of Nikon binoculars. During this time of the year acorns are visible. It’s important for us to know where the acorns are located before season opens. Our hunting strategy each season revolves around acorn production.

After covering much of the property, we noticed the majority of acorns were on ridge tops! We suspect a late frost occurred in the bottoms during the late spring. Don’t worry, this is good news. When a large majority of the acorns are located on the ridge tops we can hunt more successfully for a few reasons.

  1. The food source is more concentrated
  2. The winds are more consistent on ridge tops
  3. There are more huntable locations and pinch points on the ridge tops

Hunting terrain with sharp elevation changes has its advantages and disadvantages. The common problem is dealing with thermals. The temperature changes throughout a day in areas with terrain change can alter the wind directions. This causes swirly winds – a hunter’s worst nightmare. On the flip side the elevation changes can strongly influence deer travel patterns when compared to flat properties.

For all these reasons we are excited for deer season! With these conditions it is shaping up to be a productive season here at The Proving Grounds. Have you trimmed or scouted your property yet?

Praising the Creator,


Trail Camera Checklist

By GrowingDeer,

July is an exciting month for deer hunters. Antlers are starting to develop, and we’re busy trying to prepare gear, shoot our bows, and trim shooting lanes. This is also a popular time of the year to monitor deer herds with trail cameras. Our Reconyx cameras are in the field picking up potential his list bucks and observing does with fawns to ensure the population is healthy. It’s important that each trail camera is placed appropriately so images are clear, and days are not wasted in the field. It’s very annoying to waste a week of images because you left without aiming the camera and making sure all objects were clear from the field of view.

Important things to check before leaving the camera site:

  • Battery life – Double check that there is enough battery life to run the camera until you return.
  • Memory – Make sure a memory card is in the camera and there is plenty of space to save images.
  • Date and time – It’s simple to check and will give exact times of when animals moved through the area.
  • Turn camera on – It’s a shame how many times we’ve done this, but it’s best to check and double check to see the camera is on.
  • Aiming – Watch the video to see exactly how we aim our cameras.
  • Clear brush – We use weed eaters to clear brush in front of the camera. This helps ensure clear images of animals with no distractions.
  • Attracting the animals – Using an attractant or mineral like Trophy Rock FOUR65 will help lure the animals into view.

Using this check list will help you capture more images as well as higher quality images!

For love of the land and the Glory to God,


Finding Patterns Of Hit List Bucks

By GrowingDeer,

July is officially here! This is the time of the year when most hunters are starting to gear up for season! Antlers are really taking shape. At The Proving Grounds hit list bucks are starting to show up on the trail cameras. These bucks are frequently visiting our Trophy Rock mineral stations on the edges of our soybean plots.

Since these bucks are appearing on a regular basis it’s easy to get caught up looking at antlers. Once hit listers have been clearly identified, it’s time to start planning. This is the time when it’s important to begin making connections with these hit-listers. We save and review past images and videos of hit list bucks throughout each season. When we review this information closely, general trends begin to appear in their movement. These trends may reveal preferred feeding and bedding locations throughout a season, location of most daylight activity, and most active scrape used. These preferences are often dependent on the current conditions. The trends found in the data will often suggest the best places to hunt when similar conditions occur this coming fall. Finding these patterns in a buck’s movements before season arrives gives you a huge advantage.

When the weatherman calls for a cold front or even a warming trend, you can now make solid prediction on where to hunt. This simple off season task can be the difference in tagging a mature buck every season. This is valuable information to any hunter! To help look for trends you can search your local historical weather at Weather Underground.  Take the time now to review your trail camera images and find these hidden trends.  Waiting too late can often result in missed opportunities. Be on the front end of this deer season!

GrowingDeer together,


How To Capture Bucks On Film

By GrowingDeer,

We’ve got antlers on the brain! It’s just the start of the summer and we are starting to see a few hitlisters show up. It’s important for us to keep track of the growth progress as well as the health of the deer herd. To do so, we must place our trail cameras in the appropriate places. If your hunting ground is in timber country like ours, it’s important to place cameras on the limited resource in the area. We place our Reconyx cameras near the source of high quality vegetation. This typically means along the edges of a food plot. We also set out Trophy Rock Four65 to provide mineral to the deer herd. Both bucks and does will use these mineral sites heavy during the summer months. This combination usually results in some awesome videos of velvet bucks; you can even begin to develop your hitlist for this fall!

Enjoy Creation,


Better Fruit Trees, Better Hunting

By GrowingDeer,


We all know the attractiveness of fruit trees for wildlife, but it becomes even more clear when they’re spending the night standing in the yard just to eat fruit! Earlier this week I placed a Reconyx camera next to a couple peach trees I suspected deer to be using. These two trees are bearing a lot of fruit and are a great reminder of the advantages to having tree plots!

  • Deer love high quality fruit from a tree plot!
  • Pruning is very important in improving the quality and life of a fruit tree.
  • Tree plots can create a hunting hot spot.
  • Selecting the appropriate species, finding the right location and maintaining the trees are all factors in great tree plots!

For love of the land and Glory to God,