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GRANT: Most of our food plots are planted and our Summits are hung. It’s time to fine-tune shooting our bows.
GRANT: Fine tuning for me means practicing from an elevated position.
GRANT: I’ve shared that I started my practice technique earlier in the summer by using blind bale. That’s a great technique to make sure the form is just right.
GRANT: As I advanced, I started shooting a single arrow to put pressure on myself, just like a hunting situation, to make each shot count.
GRANT: These forms of practice are designed to really perfect your form, but that form could be instantly changed if you go from shooting at a position that’s level versus shooting out of an elevated blind.
GRANT: Deer season opens very soon in many states, and I’m in a stage of fine-tuning my practice, and that means shooting from an elevated position. The best way to adapt those changes is don’t change at all but rather bend at the waist. If we bend at the waist, then we keep the same relationship of anchor point and bow arm that we have when we’re shooting on the ground.
GRANT: Not only do I need to practice my form but I want to focus on taking shots at the lower third. The lower third always results in two things – it gives you a safety net in case a deer drops, you’ll still be in the vitals or the kill zone. Oftentimes they may hear something or sense something and drop. They’re not dropping to dodge the arrow. They’re simply dropping to load their legs and get the heck out of there. And when you do hit the lower third, it’s easier for blood to exit the body cavity and leave a better blood trail.
GRANT: Through the years, especially the last eight years when we’ve been filming, I’ve learned how important it is to aim at the bottom third of a deer’s vitals.
GRANT: A big advantage of filming your hunts is you get to replay them in slow motion and see exactly what happened.
GRANT: The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout the years is how frequently deer drop or some people call it jumping string.
GRANT: I’m always shocked at how quickly deer can respond to a shot.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
DANIEL: D/Code. We’ve got field spray, shampoo, bow hangers, broadheads, arrows, extra lighted nocks, Fourth Arrow arms.
GRANT: Do I got plenty of pants? Is this an extra pair of pants?
DANIEL: Probably, yup.
DANIEL: Your arrow should have DeadMeats on ’em and nocks.
GRANT: Recently, Daniel, the interns and I were invited to hunt in Kentucky’s opener with my good friend, Mr. Terry Hamby.
GRANT: We arrived in time to get in the stand that afternoon and have our first hunt of 2017 season.
GRANT: (Whispering) Got a great setup this afternoon. The wind is out of the northwest, and we’re in a hardwood runner that runs pretty much northeast to southwest with a food plot right over here and a bedding area – almost like a hidey hole situation – and a large ag field a couple hundred yards over here. So, various deer are gonna be coming on that bedding area, maybe stopping by that little hidey hole food plot – although it’s getting pretty short – coming through this funnel and heading towards a large ag feeding area.
GRANT: (Whispering) We’ve got some clover planted along the road down in front of us. Mr. Hamby does a great job of managing his property, so I can’t wait to sit back and start the season.
GRANT: (Whispering) But a little reminder, the two things that move the most are our hands and our face. We’ve got all this camouflage on and these white things moving around. So always bring some paint along, darken these areas up so it’s not as obvious when we move for a rangefinder or we go to draw.
GRANT: (Whispering) I like to rub the back of my hand, the back of my hand, ‘cause I don’t care if the inside is dark. This is where I need to camouflage out here. That’s what’s gonna show to the deer side.
GRANT: (Whispering) 24.
GRANT: (Whispering) Is he chasing her?
GRANT: We saw several deer but I never had a good shot opportunity.
GRANT: Finally, we saw a doe that seemed to be headed our way.
GRANT: Suddenly her head went up and Daniel and I knew something had her attention.
GRANT: (Whispering) That does not make me happy. I’ve said this before, I do not like dogs that roam and leave their property.
GRANT: (Whispering) Those dogs do not belong to this landowner. And just spooked that deer. We had the deer behind us; we could hear a deer snorting. I thought maybe someone was coming up the road. Well it was, it was two dogs – not good.
GRANT: I really dislike seeing dogs run wild and trespassing on neighboring properties. I believe people should have enough respect for their neighbors to keep their dogs in such a way that they don’t trespass on neighboring properties.
GRANT: These dogs clearly spooked this deer; stressed her by chasing her; and certainly ruined our chances of helping Mr. Hamby meet his management objectives; and our chances for bringing home some fresh venison.
GRANT: As the week continued, Wes and Tyler had the opportunity to use a Nikon scope and do some long-distance scouting.
GRANT: It’s not that I don’t trust the interns but I want to see what they’re seeing. And that’s easy when we use the iSpotter and attach our phone to the Nikon scope.
GRANT: Reviewing their footage gave Mr. Hamby and I some valuable information on what deer were browsing on, the soybeans, and how they were entering and exiting those fields.
GRANT: Daniel and I selected a different stand for the second afternoon.
GRANT: It wasn’t long after we got settled in that we spotted the first doe.
GRANT: Several deer were using this hidey hole food plot – including a couple of nice-looking, young bucks.
GRANT: Finally, a doe stepped within range.
GRANT: (Whispering) 40 yards.
GRANT: (Whispering) She ducked it.
GRANT: After the shock passed, we watched the footage in the tree and knew that this doe had dropped so far the arrow barely nicked her back.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: Obviously, this doe reacted but I find it most interesting she didn’t start reacting until the arrow was most of the way there. I don’t know if that means it took her awhile to react to the noise or she didn’t pick up any noise until later on.
GRANT: If there happens to be a sound engineer or someone with skills that will allow us to diagnose these events, I’d love to share some footage with you and work on a project.
GRANT: Another technique is have our producer put a dot right where the arrow goes and then replay the footage and put that on the doe before the shot.
GRANT: If you hunt long enough, you probably have similar experiences. And that’s why it’s so important to always aim at the very bottom third of the vitals.
GRANT: You’re gonna start fanning back out about right here.
GRANT: I want you to hit the deer…
GRANT: Many years ago, I helped Mr. Hamby develop a habitat management plan for his property. It’s been fun to watch him implement that plan and watch the quality of the habitat and herd respond.
GRANT: Our host, Mr. Terry Hamby, is a close friend and a fellow hunter.
GRANT: While we were hunting with Mr. Hamby, Tyler had the opportunity to join him and film a hunt from a Redneck blind.
GRANT: As Wes and Tyler had observed, there were a lot of deer feeding in this soybean field.
TERRY: (Whispering) We have, uh, far too many, uh, deer on the property – (Inaudible) carrying capacity. So, this year we have a goal to harvest 75 does and to feed the hungry. Tonight, I’m gonna try to do my part.
GRANT: As time passed that afternoon, Mr. Hamby and Tyler started seeing a lot of deer.
GRANT: Finally, a doe got within range of the blind.
TYLER: (Whispering) (Inaudible) The one walking, try to get on her. The one walking right towards us.
TERRY: (Whispering) I can’t tell if she’s behind the (Inaudible).
TYLER: (Whispering) Alright. Can you get on the one that’s still out there?
TERRY: (Whispering) Can you see it?
TYLER: (Whispering) I can see it.
TERRY: (Whispering) If she turns broadside.
TYLER: (Whispering) I’m on her. Just if you think you can shoot her, shoot her.
TERRY: (Whispering) Let me wait, until she turns broadside.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Wait.
TYLER: (Whispering) Alright, you ready?
TYLER: (Whispering) Go ahead.
TERRY: (Whispering) You ready?
TYLER: (Whispering) I’m ready.
TERRY: (Whispering) That one’s dead.
TYLER: (Whispering) Perfect.
TERRY: (Whispering) That one’s dead.
TYLER: (Whispering) Perfect.
TERRY: (Whispering) Wow. We got out early this afternoon, and we started seeing deer early, and does were coming up out of the woods, and, and deer coming out of the woods into the, into the bean field to browse. And with this cool weather, uh, it’s really been exciting. We saw a lot deer. I just got a good shot on a doe at about 40 yards – my first deer of the year. I’m really excited.
GRANT: Mr. Hamby made a great shot. We all got together after dark; tracked the doe down; brought her back to the skinning shed. Venison number one in the cooler.
GRANT: And I want to emphasis to you on the educational level that your success in life truly will be largely determined – in any profession you go in – in communication skills.
GRANT: While we were in Kentucky, Mr. Hamby graciously hosted a local chapter of FFA, Future Farmers of America.
GRANT: Hunting is incredibly important to our national economy.
GRANT: How about if I told you that without deer hunting in the United States, not a single public school could have classes tomorrow like they had today because there’s a huge decrease in tax revenue if we did not have hunting.
GRANT: So, our gut is about 33 feet long and we all have canines but we’re all made to be eating some meat and some vegetables – just the way we’re made. So, what we want to do is get a way out of production ag from being totally chemical dependent to using more natural systems that are time tested and proven over and over and over again to give us higher yields, more nutrients in the crop. It’s really not – our thinking’s been kinda off. It’s not how many bushels of corn we can produce per acre. It’s how many nutrients we can transfer to wherever we’re feeding humans or cattle or deer or whatever.
TERRY: We’ll line up down each silo. Moms and dads too, I want you to get a big handful of this.
TERRY: Smell of it. Smells like dirt.
GRANT: Smell it. Feel it.
TERRY: Really good dirt, really good dirt.
GRANT: Didn’t smell like what you thought. You thought it was gonna be gross, didn’t you? Tell the truth.
GRANT: Again, we kinda think about soil being inert. But it’s alive – it should be alive and living and lots and lots of moving parts. And when you have that structure, it’s super healthy and you get awesome looking beans. And when we disc, we’re not only physically breaking up that structure, but we’re putting so much oxygen in the soil, and, and over-oxygenated soil kills the good bacteria we’re talking about, and promotes the bad bacteria.
GRANT: There’s always ways to improve the soil. And these may include using compost – like Antler Dirt, adding minerals through Trophy Rock Grow, and minimal tillage systems. But we got to remember that our greatest natural resource – our ability to feed the planet – is dependent upon our soils. We all should learn better techniques for soil improvement practices.
GRANT: All this nitrogen is evenly dispersed all through this soil and Mr. Hamby doesn’t have to pay to put more nitrogen in soil.
GRANT: Has anyone here ever just pulled a raw soybean open and eaten it? You know if I had never eaten a soybean in my life – and especially I’m thinking about going in ag – I’d be eating soybeans.
GRANT: It won’t hurt ya. If you throw up, do it on the bus. Okay?
GRANT: About 100 more yards. Come on. Don’t stare at the camera. Just look natural.
GRANT: When I went to school – I’m a wildlife biologist and I work with deer. I’ve always worked with deer. Man, when other grad students were out trapping turkeys or shocking fish and it was on a Saturday, I wasn’t going to the football game, I was going with them. And I want y’all to learn this principle – please learn this principle – you’re lack of responsibility, 100% of the time, becomes someone else’s responsibility because responsibility never goes away.
GRANT: There’s a lot of issues with clover. I have clover on my farm too. And it’s a pain in the tush. Is that not true Mr. Hamby?
TERRY: Yes, sir.
GRANT: And Andrew – who’s the guy actually taking care of it – would probably go, “I wish we never had any clover on this farm.” But at a time of year – two times a year, actually – before those beans, before the soil is warming up for beans to germinate and grow, the deer need a really good source of protein. And clover is a great source of protein. And deer will just be lining these roads eating clover, won’t they Andrew?
GRANT: Turkeys and deer and rabbits just – you drive through here. How many might you see on a good day, Andrew? Stem to stern.
GRANT: Yeah, 40, 50 deer. In the, out of 1,000 acres, they’re in a few acres of clover – maybe 10, 12 acres of clover, something like that.
GRANT: It’s a lot of responsibility on Andrew to keep this looking good for a short, relatively short benefit. The beans are feeding deer months out of the year. This, not so much but it’s critical.
GRANT: I believe the classroom alone is not enough experience for any profession. That’s why I’m a huge believer in internships, tours, volunteer positions and other ways to get our students out in the field and involved with their chosen profession.
GRANT: The following day we drove to a property near Nashville to help a landowner with his habitat management goals.
GRANT: And will you – I hear bow hunting. Will you bow hunt and gun hunt? I’m just looking at the design of the property.
WESLEY: We do.
GRANT: You hunt all the seasons.
WESLEY: We do.
GRANT: Mr. Finch’s goals were pretty simple. He wanted to increase the quantity and quality of deer and turkey using the property so he and his daughter Ryleigh would have some great hunting opportunities.
GRANT: He shared with us some of his trail camera pictures and it was obvious there were some nice deer already using the property.
GRANT: I’m gonna say when he hits the ground – 165 – taking off some velvet – this, that and the other.
WESLEY: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. He’d be pushing 170.
GRANT: Yeah, somewhere in there. Well, let’s put some boots on and take a ride.
GRANT: After we reviewed the maps, it was time to hit the trail, put our boots on the ground.
GRANT: From studying the maps and touring the property, it was obvious there were several large hayfields along the creek.
GRANT: All these fields were in the valley and it will be great feeding fields but may not be optimal for hunting situations, especially bow hunting.
GRANT: As we started touring the ridges, I started identifying different areas he can make hidey hole food plots on top of the ridges. I’m confident that deer are travelling these ridges to get to these larger feeding fields in the bottom and we can shortstop them on the ridge top where the wind is much more constant than in the bottom where it’s likely to swirl.
GRANT: 100% browsed. If we put food on here, it’s gonna totally be a game changer.
WESLEY: Hmm. Hmm.
GRANT: Beautiful morning in Tennessee and we’re walking a property with Wesley and Ryleigh. They purchased this property not long ago.
WESLEY: About a year.
GRANT: And really interested in developing it for better deer and turkey hunting. Ryleigh loves to hunt.
RYLEIGH: Yes, sir.
GRANT: Yeah. So we’re gonna help ’em out with this plan.
GRANT: We’re on a ridge top here. It drops off, oh 100 or 200 feet on each side. And it’s a pretty narrow ridge. So, right off the bat we’ve identified a great place for a hidey hole food plot or a small food plot. It’s narrow right up here, a little wider here and narrows right behind us. So, we’re gonna make maybe a quarter acre or half acre food plot. We could actually leave a few of these bigger trees ‘cause we’re getting some sunshine in here throughout the day; take all the smaller trees out – these smaller ones on the edge. Like leave this larger oak over here for a tree stand and larger trees. We don’t want to go so far that we don’t have tree stand placement, obviously.
GRANT: Great travel corridor. They’re gonna walk this ridge top. It’s easier. Just like you and I said, “Boy, we don’t want to go through that valley here.” Same way with deer. And we’re gonna plant this with fall food only. We’re not worried about summertime here.
GRANT: This is a fall hunting thing.
GRANT: We’ll lay out exactly what we’re gonna plant. We get down there and we can write some notes and stuff. Don’t need to have to remember all that here.
GRANT: And this – I think this would be a dynamite food plot right here. I’m, I’m, I’m already excited about this one.
GRANT: I’ve shared with you in the past I often look for ice cream plants or indicator species that tells me the balance of the number of deer versus the amount of quality food on a property. One of those ice cream plants I detect on the property is Smilax or Cat Brier.
GRANT: Gosh, look at this Smilax here or Cat Brier. And almost all the leaves are gone. They’ve browsed down to an eighth inch or so. And, and bigger in some places. But, it’s beautiful; some big, mature, white oak timber. He and his family love it. It’s, it’s stunning. It’s almost park-like. So, what we’re gonna do is create more food plots; get maximum sunshine to the forest floor; create more tons per acre. Instead of doing TSI and have a few hundred pounds per acre, we have concentrated areas of food where we’re getting tons per acre and a series of hidey hole or feeding food plots. That’s gonna be a better prescription for his family’s goals and objectives.
GRANT: So, we’d rather create smaller food plots where we get tons of forage per acre than mess up these steep hillsides with tractors and skidders removing the logs. So, in this situation, a series of food plots is more desirable for the landowner’s objectives.
GRANT: No matter what system we use, we clearly need more food. Deer are hungry here but we’re gonna turn that around by adding a series of high-quality food plots.
GRANT: The existing hayfields were primarily in fescue and Johnsongrass, and neither of those species are attractive or nutritious to deer.
GRANT: We know that we need to maximize food. We’ve got water everywhere; it’s a non-issue. And the steep valleys and the, and the ridge sides are gonna be your sanctuaries ‘cause you just can’t effectively hunt ‘em, hunt them. And, and I want you to monitor food two times a year. I want you to think about late summer and late winter.
WESLEY: I know that the Roundup type sprays is not the best for the Johnsongrass or especially for the lespedeza.
GRANT: It’s not gonna kill lespedeza. It, I’m, I’m gonna say you’re gonna get a 50% kill at best out of Johnsongrass. But let’s see if the Buffalo can out-compete it. Starve it a little bit and see where we are in the spring. If we need to spray it in the spring, you’re gonna need to use – it’s, it’s pronounced Imazapyr, but it’s spelled Im-a-zapyr. Sericea – if you’re growing Roundup Ready beans – in a year or two, you will, you’ll stress it and then you’ll end up killing it with Roundup. You just don’t get it all the first year.
GRANT: But if you’re growing Roundup Ready beans each summer – between them shading it out and the Roundup – you’ll, you’ll get on top of it. I had some fields that had pretty bad sericea that I got – I finally terminated after a year or two with just using the glyphosate.
GRANT: By terminating the grass species and those hayfield bottoms and planting much better quality forage and creating some hidey hole food plots, there’ll be tons and tons of more forage on the property which will result in a more productive deer and turkey population.
GRANT: Just as I followed the progress of Mr. Hamby’s project, I look forward to following along with the progress at Mr. Finch’s property.
GRANT: It’s a time of year when someone at GrowingDeer is hunting almost every day. If you want to see what we’re doing and follow along with our techniques on a day-to-day basis, check us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
GRANT: If you’ve watched GrowingDeer very long, you know we’re all extremely busy. In fact, I travel portions of about 30 weeks a year giving seminars, helping fellow landowners or going huntin’. But even in that rat race, for me it’s extremely important to slow down and enjoy Creation and more important to find quiet time every day to listen to what the Creator is saying to me. I hope you’ll join me in seeking the Creator’s will for your life. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.