Early Season Deer Hunting Strategies (Episode 302 Transcript)

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

GRANT: Early September’s a great time for deer hunters. Most of us have already planted food plots. Deer season is open in South Carolina and opens in most the states within the next week or two.

GRANT: Here in Missouri bow season opens in about a week and with all the excitement and preparation, Adam and I wanted to slow down and see how the food plots that we planted two weeks ago are doing.

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UNKNOWN: It’s kind of amazing to me how well it’s carrying.

GRANT: Oh, it’s stunning. I’m thrilled with that.

UNKNOWN: I hear you. There it is.

GRANT: That’s better there.


GRANT: That’s better.

UNKNOWN: That’s all just …

GRANT: Deer season starts in two weeks, so Adam and I want to take a little time to share another review of the Whitetail Thicket, before we get busy in a tree stand.

GRANT: We’ve shared a lot of footage out of this field of a buck we call Chainsaw and some other great bucks, so clearly, it’s had a lot of use throughout the summer.

GRANT: Whitetail Thicket is a group eight soybean. One through eight just means relative maturity. One being the shortest, plant it and it matures quickly; eight being the longest. These beans have been selected to have such a long growing season, they usually stay green and putting off new forage all the way into the fall, until it frosts two or three times, but the biggest thing I like about Whitetail Thicket that’s proven successful to me, this year, is even in a small food plot like this, it can outgrow the deer herd. It allows me to plant soybeans in very small food plots and have the benefits of large agricultural areas.

GRANT: We used a no till drill and drilled in the Broadside blend throughout this portion of the field. Even though I went through all that, the Whitetail Thicket is putting off brand new leaves; there’s still quality forage and making flowers. It’s gonna make pods in this portion of the field, so we’ll have a winter blend coming on. We’ve still got soybean leaves to feed on and it’s making soybean pods. It is the ideal food plot.

GRANT: The few beans that are damaged – they’re gonna decompose on top – adding very valuable organic fertilizer. They’re suppressing any weed growth, so we don’t have to use as much herbicide; no fertilizer. This is a system that can be applied on any food plot throughout the whitetail’s range. For years, I’ve been tweaking on the Broadside blend. There’s two objectives: to improve soil quality, and of course, to attract deer. Hence the name – I want to see that buck 20 yards broadside.

GRANT: So I’ve got soybeans in here – just a few. Nothing is more palatable to deer than a first soybean coming up, so in the fall, you’ve got a six inch tall soybean. You know deer are gonna be eating there. That gets ‘em nuzzling around in the food plot, and then, the radishes come on. Radishes are easy to identify, because you can see the real jagged, or curvy, edge of the leaf. Radishes don’t have to wait ‘til a cold snap to mobilize sugars, like turnips. Deer eat ‘em quickly. Then, we have a forage wheat. Simply means it stays in the blade shape much longer than the stem. You notice deer don’t eat the stem of wheat. They love this blade, or grass shape. And then, there’s two brassicas – one makes a bulb, and one doesn’t. Great for the cold season and storing nutrients that were in the soil. If you don’t have that cover crop, they’re gonna leach too deep, and the new crop next year won’t have a root system large enough to extract those nutrients. Having a cover crop can really improve the quality of your soil and put that buck broadside.

GRANT: We love going through the cards from our Reconyx cameras, this time of year. There’s so much to learn – not only about hunting, about the herd’s health on your property.

GRANT: Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails with pictures or questions about bucks looking pretty rough on hunters’ land. In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about. Deer are simply shedding their summer coat. This time of year, the short reddish hair falls out and it’s replaced by much darker hair that will get longer, as the season progresses. Deer shed their coat during the spring and fall, and during the shedding process, they can look really rough.

GRANT: Most hunting strategies take into account how deer use food, cover, or water.

GRANT: This time of year, most hunters are trying to figure out where they’re gonna hunt on opening day. We often can look at simple biology, just like deer shedding, and they’ve got a winter coat coming on, but it’s still warm outside. Use that to our advantage, and we know deer are gonna be bedding in an area where they can cool down; typically, on a north facing slope or by a stream. If it’s been really dry where you hunt, hunting over a known source of water could be the key to tagging an early season buck.

GRANT: Here at The Proving Grounds, we’ve had a wetter than normal summer. There’s water everywhere and deer love to drink out of small puddles. I think it has something to do with the predator avoidance behavior. When you’re at a small puddle, you still can sense everything around you and escape in any direction you want. So when there’s puddles everywhere, deer tend to drink whenever they’re thirsty at the closest puddle versus going to a permanent water source. Guys that successfully pick a stand year after year consider all the variables. And a big variable, where most of us hunt throughout the whitetail’s range, is acorns. Here at The Proving Grounds, we’ve got a large crop of white oak acorns coming on.

GRANT: That red – that taller red oak right there, it’s just loaded with acorns.

GRANT: Adam and I have already been scouting here at The Proving Grounds, and we’ve found several white oak trees that are already dropping acorns and scat beneath those trees.

GRANT: Unless something changes drastically in the next week or so, I suspect Adam and I will be hunting close to a white oak that’s dropping acorns, on opening day.

GRANT: We’ve teamed up with our good friends at Redneck Blinds to give away a new blind this season. This sweepstakes ends September 30th. Simply click on the link below, and you can enter to win a Redneck Blind. I hope you’re hunting out of a Redneck soon.

GRANT: Whether you’re scouting for blind locations or checking out food plots, I hope you take time every week to enjoy Creation, but most importantly, take time everyday and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.

ADAM: A lot of people ask what …

ADAM: It’s (Inaudible) in here.