Your Adventure Starts Here
The first fishing rod I spent my own money on I purchased from Bass Pro when they were located in the back corner of a local store. I still have that rod and I still purchase my hunting and fishing gear from Bass Pro! Bass Pro was started by an outdoorsman who had firsthand knowledge of what sportsmen wanted in quality and service. That knowledge has served Bass Pro well. They started in the back corner of a local store and now have their own stores in most states! Knowing hunting and hunters, being one of them, that‘s what makes Bass Pro the place I go to grab my hunting gear. For 30+ years my outdoor adventures have started at Bass Pro. Start your next outdoor adventure there too!
Avian-X decoys have incredible detail and durability. Our favorite setup is the HDR Hen and the Quarter-Strut Jake to bring gobblers in for the shot. The HDR Series provides interchangeable heads for both submissive and aggressive postures so you can customize your decoying strategies. We use realistic Avian-X decoys for our turkey hunts.
The Bleeding Edge of Accuracy
I’ve shot Bloodsport arrows for years. They are hand-selected and highly accurate with unmatched penetration. I’ve shot through boars and deer and reused the arrow to tag other critters! At my next shot opportunity I’ll be counting on a Bloodsport for accuracy, penetration and ruggedness.
The World’s Easiest Deer Drag
The Buck Cuff cable is easy to use! Just slip it around the antler, hooves, legs, or any other limb of your harvest. Then grip the handle, secure the velcro strap to your wrist and pull! The Buck Cuff Deer Drag optimizes your strength to make your hunting experience easier. It is what the GrowingDeer Team uses after a successful hunt!
Find What Matters
Hunting is more than a hobby, it’s a way of life! Burris Optics has been living that motto since 1971 and they have been the leader in optics innovation ever since. They design, engineer and manufacture everything from red dots and riflescopes to binos and bow sights in Greeley, CO at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. All of their products come backed by a Forever Warranty, but don’t worry you won’t be needing it!
One Multi-tasker deserves another.
At The Proving Grounds we are always working on projects to improve habitat and hunting opportunities. Efficiency is key. Case IH tractors have the same goal. Their tractors are tough, reliable and versatile no matter the project. Whether it’s planting food plots, maintaining roads, erecting blinds, etc., let Case IH help you improve your proving grounds.
From one deer to one bottle.
It seems most hunters fear a deer’s sense of smell. I use it to my advantage by using Code Blue scents to attract deer to mock and real scrapes and rubs! Code Blue scrapes have been a huge help in getting trail camera pictures and patterning bucks! They are simple to use and have proven effective for the GrowingDeer Team!
Tested. Proven. Effective.
D/Code was recently proven by a major university to destroy seven major types of human odor-causing bacteria. In addition, it works in all types of weather. Safe and effective, it helps the GrowingDeer Team get close to mature bucks.
I really enjoy chasing deer and listening to and hunting turkeys. This is ample motivation to actively trap coyotes, raccoons and other predators! I use Duke Traps to remove excess predators and allow my family and I to have more opportunities to watch and harvest deer and turkeys. If the predator/prey relationship is out of balance where you hunt, join me and use Duke Traps to balance the predator/prey populations where you hunt!
If you are looking for the heavyweight champion of food plot crops, Eagle Seed is it!! The folks at Eagle Seed have spent literally 40+ years selectively breeding soybeans for forage and pod production. They are unequivocally the forage quality and quantity leader, proven by bunches of university trials. Almost any soybean can grow leaves and pods, but Eagle Seed Beans grow them bigger, faster, and longer. When most all other production soybeans have dried up and stand dormant in the field, Eagle Seed beans keep right on putting out new leaves until frost occurs. If producing tons of irresistible green forage late into the hunting season isn’t enough, the beans themselves are a highly preferred and nutritious food source during the winter. Likewise the folks at Eagle Seed have selected a couple of wheat varieties that are the most productive for food plot forage. Check out our videos from past hunting seasons as the “little” Ozark deer here at The Proving Grounds had fat and racks on them that rival deer in Iowa! (Which means some good meat for our table and more work for the taxidermist!!) Watch my testimony – I’ll continue planting Eagle Seed food plot crops at The Proving Grounds!
Fourth Arrow all started with a pair of Michigan entrepreneurs, a manufacturing guru, and a couple of dedicated engineers. After 5 years of videoing hunts, a team sat down to start Fourth Arrow. Their goal was simple – begin the brand by creating three simple points of perfection that trumped every current arm system out there. #1 – Portability. As a hunter you don’t want to struggle hauling around bases for camera mounts. #2 – Affordability. A repeatable base system for every treestand is a must. #3 – Adjustment. Any branch, sideways limb, or double tree should be able to handle a camera arm set up without limits. We use Fourth Arrow Camera Arms – the ultimate camera arm system!
Designed To Hunt
I’ve used G5 broadheads for years now with great results! The Montec broadhead is a solid piece of stainless steel that can be used, re-sharpened, and then reused again. It was the first broadhead that was individually checked for straightness to guarantee field point accuracy. G5 doesn’t just make products identical to those already available, they make them better. Stronger materials, sharper blades, and increased performance. This attention to detail has continued with the devastatingly sharp and durable Deadmeat 3 blade expandable broadhead. The Deadmeat has proven results for both Daniel and I. The GrowingDeer Team will be shooting with M3, Striker and MegaMeat broadheads this year.
The two most important things we look for when purchasing a game call is realism and quality. Hook’s Custom Calls have managed to deliver both while coupling them with exceptional customer service and affordable prices. This is an outstanding value! We use Hook’s Custom Calls because they are the most realistic, user friendly calls available. Whether we are standing on a ridge as the sun begins to rise letting out that first hoot of the day or pleading to a gobbler with hen yelps, we have complete confidence because we use a product that gives us the very best chance for success.
It’s often said that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” For a hunter, preparation often means using saws, pods, and knives. I use Hooyman saws to trim shooting lanes, paths to stands, etc. While scouting and during hunting season, I use Bog Pods to stabilize my binoculars, scopes, and guns. Once I take a stable shot, I use Old Timer and Uncle Henry knives to process the meat. This gear helps me turn preparation into fresh venison!
Every serious deer manager and hunter knows that having a boot for your specific project is a must! That’s why we use LaCrosse Footwear! Whether we’re climbing into a deer stand in sub zero temperatures, preparing food plots during late summer’s heat, or chasing those weary, old gobblers in snake-infested country, LaCrosse Footwear has the perfect boot for our needs! Comfortable, waterproof, and lightweight! The days of uncomfortable walks into the woods are over!
For 25+ years Morrell has been supplying archers with quality archery targets at an affordable price. Morrell takes pride in their products and they are made right here in the USA! For 20 years Morrell Manufacturing has been voted #1 in both consumer and dealer contests. These are just a few reasons why we say, “When you buy Morrell Targets you’re not just buying an archery product, you’re buying so much more.” They guarantee it.
THE #1 GPS HUNTING APP
Know where you stand with the most trusted and accurate map data. Use onX Hunt as a fully functioning free GPS on your phone. View private and public land ownership maps, hunting units, roads and all trails, US topographic maps and more! Turn your phone into the best free hunting app with offline maps, location tracking GPS for hunting, and more.
The engineers at G5 have a mission to provide the most accurate bows on the planet! Prime bows were developed to correct cam lean. We don’t always have perfectly consistent shooting form or favorable surroundings. Shooting a Prime bow leads to more quality shots because they are more forgiving. As an archer, I trust Prime bows to make my shots count. Made with the best and strongest materials and backed with a lifetime warranty. Prime bows, designed with performance in mind. Accuracy. Strength. Balance. Control.
See What You’ve Been Missing
What have you been missing? I can say with a high degree of confidence that we haven’t been missing much at The Proving Grounds because we use Reconyx cameras to do our scouting. We’ve been able to pattern our bucks and know when they are moving because Reconyx trail cameras always work, have the fastest trigger speed in the industry, and don’t spook deer. I have literally gads of images of bucks bedded in front of a Reconyx. Reconyx is truly the best value in the trail camera market. Get a Reconyx trail camera and finally see what you’ve been missing!
The characteristics I look for in an elevated blind are safety, quietness, and comfort. Without those features, elevated blinds can be hazardous and/or inefficient for hunters. Safety means great materials and construction so I never worry about my family falling. Comfort not only means a warm and dry structure, but that the windows operate quietly, are the right height for all sizes of hunters, and that the hunter or hunters can easily see all around them without needing to move more than their head. That’s exactly the definition of Redneck Blinds! The same quality of design and craftsmanship is obvious in the Redneck feeders! They are built to last and designed to feed deer while protecting the feed from the weather and non-target critters like squirrels and crows. Like so many good products, I was first introduced to Redneck Blinds by a client. Then multiple clients and hunters kept telling me about Redneck Blinds. Do what I did, check out a Redneck elevated blind and see the quality for yourself.
At RTP Outdoors quality is apparent in everything they do. Their success comes from supplying great quality equipment and by listening to their customers. They forge strong relationships with customers, built on trust and respect. Innovative design, craftsmanship, and heavy-duty construction make their products the standard of quality in the marketplace. They build what hunters need – machinery that performs well, saves time, and offers value. The Genesis no-till drill is food plot management at its finest.
Like all equipment, your bow requires regular maintenance. Scorpion Venom is a uniquely crafted line of innovative cleaners, lubricants and coatings. Their products are easy to use and apply, odor free and waterproof. We use Scorpion Venom to enhance bow performance. Don’t take chances – use Scorpion Venom bow lubricant.
The folks at Summit Treestands truly live up to their motto, “Hunting Elevated.” The engineers at Summit have worked to create treestands that are the most silent, secure, comfortable, and concealed hunting treestands on the market. They have elevated the safety and quality of all hunting stands by developing safety innovations that are now used on all treestands. Additionally, they have elevated their own treestands to rise above the competition with uniquely designed features like: SummitLokt, Dead Metal Sound Deadening, QuickDraw Cable Retention, and RapidClimb Stirrups. So the next time you have plans to elevate your hunting experience, check out Summit Treestands!
Tactical Trapping Services specializes in reducing predator populations. Their equipment, baits and lures are designed to make every trapping program, weekend or month long, successful and enjoyable. Their products have been proven time and time again. We’ve been very pleased with Clint and the entire team at Tactical Trapping Services!
BORN IN THE WOODS
Their mission is to build performance driven clothes and gear that hunters trust and rely upon. THLETE consistently finds a place in my pack and on my hunts. They make gear that not only meets but exceeds my expectations. If you like innovative fabrics and designs, high performance and functional gear, try THLETE.
I began hunting turkeys when I was 14 years old. The first box of “turkey loads” I purchased was a box of 25 Winchester 3” Super X in #6 shot. I missed one gobbler out of that box of shells. That was because it was about five yards away and my pattern was probably the size of a golf ball. I watched in disbelief as the gobbler stood there. I had never missed a turkey with Winchester shells before. That miss was clearly my fault. Decades later, I’m still shooting Winchester ammo in my shotgun, rifle, and rimfire firearms. In fact, both my daughters use Winchester ammo for all their hunting trips! My ride with Winchester continues!
Since 1866 the Winchester name has been a leader of firearms innovation. With that legacy, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company continues the work of designing and building some of the most proven firearms on the market. The first “high powered” or “center-fired” rifle I owned was a used Winchester 670 in 30-06 caliber. I still own that rifle and it’s still incredibly accurate! I’ve tagged dozens of deer with that rifle. The GrowingDeer Team has harvested many whitetails, wild hogs, turkeys, squirrels, etc., with our Winchester rifles and shotguns. Join us and use a legend – shoot Winchesters!
Every hunter needs quiet, reliable transportation to and from their hunting spot. Yamaha delivers with comfort, room for gear and the versatility to go anywhere. I’ve owned and used a Yamaha for 13 years. Sun up to sun down, hunting stand to skinning shed – I’ve used my Yamaha and it’s proven tough.
Product/Service Only Partners
Insuring The Outdoors
Whether you own a large tract of land or you belong to a hunt club you need peace of mind. Outdoor Underwriters can provide the insurance you need to protect your investments and they have the experience to back it up. I insure The Proving Grounds with Outdoor Underwriters because they understand the insurance needs of hunters.
The Future of Deer Hunting
I have been actively involved with The Quality Deer Management Association since its inception. It is a national, nonprofit, wildlife conservation organization and the leading advocate of the QDM philosophy. The QDMA’s mission is to promote sustainable, high-quality white-tailed deer populations, wildlife habitats, and ethical hunting experiences through education, research, and management in partnership with hunters, landowners, natural resource professionals, and the public. If you are not already a member, take a few moments to review their webpage and get involved to make a difference in the future of deer hunting!
Quality, Dependable Analytical Services
If nutrients are not in the dirt, plants can’t transfer them to deer! The availability of nutrients in the dirt directly impacts antler and fawn production. To ensure the food plot crops at The Proving Grounds and my clients’ properties can transfer enough nutrients to deer for them to express their full potential, I collect soil samples annually and trust Waters Ag to analyze the samples and give me accurate recommendations and counsel to produce nutritious crops. Using the recommendations from the soil scientists at Waters Ag is a very important tool I rely on annually to produce bucks that express their full antler growth potential.