Category: Whitetail Habitat Management

How To Create Cover For Wildlife

By GrowingDeer,


Last week we discussed how the use of prescribed fire in the timber can increase the amount of native vegetation available to the wildlife. This week we dive deeper into what prescribed fire can offer. We use this tool to increase both poult and fawn survival rates. Native vegetation provides a canopy of cover that poults easily walk underneath. This shelters poults from the many predators from above. Removing the duff layer exposes small insects, bugs, and grubs. This allows poults to feed and move safely in these areas. Deer live their lives between ground level and the three foot mark. The vegetation in the burn unit is already several feet tall, making these areas much more attractive to fawns and mature deer. What was an area of limited productivity is now converted into habitat that will benefit many forms of wildlife in multiple ways.

GrowingDeer together,


The Ultimate Food Plot Transformation – Episode #341

By GrowingDeer,

Watch how we transform our largest food plot in GrowingDeer episode 341.

New Video

This week we’ve rolled up the sleeves and gotten to work transforming our largest food plot! What was once a fragmented plot has now become an extremely huntable location. Watch to see how we strategically improve this food plot for better deer hunting this fall.

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Deer grooming one another in a clover plot

Short Clip:

Deer behavior is a fascinating thing! Watch as the Reconyx caught these does grooming one another in a clover plot!

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Native vegetation after prescribed fireNew Weekly Video Blog: Creating Native Food Plots

This is why we use prescribed fire in our timber! Watch as Matt discusses the benefits of creating a native food plot with fire.

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Adam prepares to trim a tree stand location.

Tip of the Week:

The trees are completely leafed out, that means it’s time to trim! Get into your Summit stands and prepare your shooting lanes for bow season!

Creating Native Food Plots

By GrowingDeer,


When the conditions allow for a prescribed fire, we burn! During the late winter, we use prescribed fire in our timber areas. These fires burn slow and remove the duff layer on the forest floor. Throughout the spring, the sunlight hits the ground floor and germination of native early successional vegetation begins. This vegetation is ideal, full of nutrition and diversity. Prescribed fire during the right time of the year creates a native food plot in our timber! To get the most out of your land requires maximizing every acre!

GrowingDeer together,


Better Soil Equals Healthier Deer

By GrowingDeer,


First things first, we must understand that it all starts at ground level. Healthy soil contains essential nutrients and minerals. These elements are taken up by plants through their root systems. Plants transfer those nutrients and minerals to deer that consume them. Our Eagle Seed soybeans are transfer agents for those elements contained in the soil. Poor soil will limit the amount of genetic potential a deer can express. This is why we take soil samples each season to continue improving our soil, ultimately growing larger antlers and healthier deer.

GrowingDeer together,


Didn’t make it to field days? Watch this video! – Episode #333

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode 322 to see highlights from Spring Field Days 2016.

Grab a pen and paper! This episode is loaded with information!

Watch and learn as the tips and techniques are shared by industry leaders and the GrowingDeer Team at our Spring Field Days event. We cover strategies for food plots, tree plots, bow hunting setups and habitat management practices. Plus the latest insider information on ammunition, broadheads, filming accessories and game calls.

Click here to register for our next Field Days Event: August 12th and 13th, 2016, here at The Proving Grounds! Come meet Grant and the GrowingDeer Team, tour The Proving Grounds, and talk everything whitetails! This event will get you pumped for deer season.

This Week’s Blog: Matt gives 5 Tips On How To Tag A Tom During The Late Morning

A hunter waits to take a shot.Tip of the Week:

Patience pays off: Don’t give up on a gobbler. He may work in silently to your location. Wait him out and take the shot!



Improving The Hunt: Spring And Fall – Episode #331

By GrowingDeer,

We share tips on how to improve your hunting land in GrowingDeer episode #331.

Spring is a great time to improve the quality of native grass and forb bedding areas! We will show you how we use hot, fast moving head fires to improve this habitat type!

We’ll also share some tips about turkey hunting strategies! Check these out now so you’ll be ready to tag toms soon!

Recently we shared the first step in creating a staging area next to an existing food plot. Watch the second step of that process as we move closer to hanging some Summit stands and preparing for deer season!

Tip of the Week:We maintain our equipment with Howes Lubricator products.

Get your food plot equipment ready!

Hook up your implements, grease fittings, and lubricate moving parts! Planting season is almost here.





Warning: This video contains information about prescribed fire which is a management tool for trained professionals using the appropriate tools for the situation.


50 Acre Burn How To – Episode #326

By GrowingDeer,

Watch a 50 acre burn how to in GrowingDeer episode #326.

Spring green up is on its way, so it’s time to drop a match. First we will show you the steps we take to ensure safety and success. Watch how our timber ground is improved for hunting and habitat. We increase the amount of native vegetation while reducing the tick habitat. It’s a win win for our deer management plan!

Deer co-ops make your hunting better. Get your neighbors together for food and fellowship. Then learn to manage that trigger finger! Watch footage from the recent Branson Deer Co-op meeting and see how neighbors working together can make everyone’s hunting better!

Register for the Spring Field Days here!

Tip of the Week:Wild turkey

Prescribed fire is a great tool for drawing turkeys.

Fresh food, bugs, and strutting zones.

What’s not to like?

** Avoid fire during nesting season!

Warning: This video contains information about prescribed fire which is a management tool for trained professionals using the appropriate tools for the situation.

Hogs and Habitat – Episode #325

By GrowingDeer,

Hog hunting action from Oklahoma

This week we’re headed to a western Oklahoma property to review one of Grant’s habitat management plans. This property is looking good, but there’s a BIG problem. Adam, Matt and the Winchester are going to take a shot at a solution. Oh, man, there’s bacon everywhere. Watch this episode to see the results of removing 1,000s of pesky cedars on this Oklahoma property.

Attention Outdoor Enthusiasts! For an opportunity to see several different habitat and hunting techniques, join us April 1st and 2nd for our next Field Event! Come visit with Grant, Adam, Daniel, and Matt, along with several special guests, such as Clint Cary from Tactical Trapping Solutions and James Harrison, who just won his fifth Grand National Owl Calling Contest at the 2016 National Wild Turkey Federation Convention!

Prescribed Fire Demonstration

Tip of the Week:

Want to learn about trapping, turkey hunting, food plots, and more? Come to the Proving Grounds April 1 & 2. Click to register!



Why Do We Burn Before Growing Season?

By GrowingDeer,
Prescribed burn area

The results of our recent burn show promising signs for spring green up in this block of timber.

Do you hunt timbered ground? The Proving Grounds is dominated by timber. That means we have a lot of timbered ground that we have to manage. As often as we can, we choose to manage our land in the most natural way possible. This helps to keep our land progressing in its intended fashion.

One of the best ways we chose to manage our timbered acres is by burning each year before the start of the growing season. This accomplishes many goals for both of our habitat and deer management plans. The intention during each of these burns is to remove all the duff or leaf litter on the forest floor. These leaves or fuel have built up over a few years since the previous burn was completed. During this time of the year on days when the humidity levels are low, we begin our prescribed fire!

Each burn unit has set fire lines that have been blown days in advance. This allows us to act fast when the weather conditions turn favorable to burn. These prescribed fires we conduct within the timber are slow backing fires. We do not set a head fire in our timbered areas. Our goal is to remove all the leaves, exposing the soil. We do not want to damage our large hardwood trees. When we remove the leaves from within the timber, the soil is then exposed. When the growing season begins, sunlight and the warming soil temperatures allows for germination and new growth to spring up. These burned areas are quickly converted from simple leaf duff to a “timbered food plot”. Deer are natural browsers, so with the diversity of vegetation that begins to grow, this area becomes highly attractive to them. Turkeys also frequent these areas as they will consume earthworms and grubs that are exposed by removing the leaves. They will make a return when the new vegetation begins to sprout out of the ground.

Burning is not just a management tool that benefits your timber; it also creates additional forage for wildlife. We are looking forward to spring green up so we can provide you with updates on the progression of our prescribed burns.

GrowingDeer together,

Matt Dye

Warning: This blog contains information about prescribed fire which is a management tool for trained professionals using the appropriate tools for the situation.

The Number One Tool For Better Hunting – Episode #324

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode #324 to learn how we use prescribed fire.

Click here to register for Spring Field Days 2016!

What’s our best tool for better hunting? Fire is probably the #1 way to make most properties more attractive to deer and turkey. Watch as we prepare to manage hundreds of acres of timber and native grass using ​prescribed fire! WARNING: This might get you so excited you’ll want to run out and drop a match – please don’t. Get some training first.

Preparation for turkey season has begun! Bow hunting for turkeys requires changing your practice techniques. We will show you how we prepare for those close range strutters.

Tip of the Week:Shed hunting

Where to find shed antlers?

Concentrate efforts on travel corridors and late season food sources.

After a fresh rain is a great time to find sheds. Antlers are shiny, leaves are dull.


Warning: This video contains information about prescribed fire which is a management tool for trained professionals using the appropriate tools for the situation.