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WOODS: Brad and I are hustling trying to plant some corn today because there’s rain predicted and as you can just tell, it’s, it’s been wicked dry, dusty dry here at The Proving Grounds.
One conservation measure we use to conserve moisture, because it’s always dry at The Proving Grounds. It’s rocky soil, water drains out quickly, is no-till drill. Our system is we spray the crop, and you can see the wheat is, is dead or dying rapidly. Clover is more resistant to the Glyphosate. It’s still green, but dying. And then, we fertilize with Antler Dirt and we no-till drill. You see these lines coming through here. Instead of discing and churning all this up, the no-till drill, simply has a cutter that makes a little slit and another apparatus that drops the seed right in the ground at the right depth. You adjust that for the right depth.
Now, there’s huge advantages here. A: We spray this; it just falls over as mulch; and that can serve as soil moisture. If you disc all this up and expose it, moisture evaporates rapidly. And we don’t want to lose an ounce of moisture here. B: As this falls over, it keeps weeds from germinating, just like mulching your garden or your flowers or something and then if you disc this up, it exposes more weed seeds that are years and years old down in the dirt. Brings it to the surface where they can germinate. But a big, big factor is soil compaction. When you disc, all the weight of that disc is on that narrow slit of each disc blade. Down in there five or six inches, just packing that soil together. Packing. And it makes what we call a hard pan, so roots and water and nutrients can’t penetrate through there. It’s a bad, bad thing, and it’s really expensive to undo the creation of a hard pan. But with the no-till drill, we’re just going an inch or two deep, depending on the seed we’re planting. We’re not putting all that pressure down in there five or six inches. So, rain and insects and other natural elements will bust up this minor hard pan we create here on the top. It’s not down deep and pressing all together. No-till drilling, mulching, is a great system for all ag, especially food plots.
WOODS: (Whispering) Call him back over.
WOODS: (Whispering) Now he’s out of my view. He stepped out. He stepped out, Scott! Look! Okay. Wait!
WOODS: He’s down! The Proving Grounds does it again, Scottis!
SCOTT: That was a great hunt right there. It wasn’t your typical, well I guess what most people would want to have in a turkey hunt. It was windy. A little misting rain.
WOODS: Now, how many years have we been hunting together, Scott?
SCOTT: I was thinking about that driving down. Uh, I’m thinking the first time we went, we first met each other, what, in ’85. 1985. And we went out to a property in Texas County. And I think that was our first hunt. What? Right?
WOODS: I think so.
SCOTT: And every year since then, we’ve kept the streak going.
WOODS: So, we’ve hunted together from…
SCOTT: ’87 to…
WOODS: ’87 to 2010.
WOODS: 23 years.
SCOTT: We’ve had a lot of, lot of good times.
WOODS: This is our first time we’ve ever hunted a blind together.
SCOTT: That’s correct.
WOODS: 23 years, we’ve always been cut and run hunters. But, now we’re getting to be old and grumpy, so we hunt in a blind.
SCOTT: We’ve put a lot of boot leather on those hills and rocks. I’ll tell you. We’ve hunted a lot of places and covered a lot of miles and had good, good times every time. Every year.
WOODS: So, now, tomorrow, or this afternoon or the rest of the day, you get to film me.
SCOTT: That sounds good to me!
WOODS: You get to be cameraman!
SCOTT: I’d love to do that.
WOODS: All right. Let’s go check this big rascal out!
SCOTT: It looks like a two year-old bird. We think…
WOODS: Big old nine or ten inch beard, though. Good old full beard.
SCOTT: But he put on a pretty good show for the video. I mean, that’s the first time I’ve ever done anything in front of a camera like this, so all in all, it was a, it was a real nice hunt. Any day you’re out turkey hunting, it’s good. I don’t care if it’s windy, raining and especially with the blind here, even if it did rain today, we were, we were sitting pretty.
WOODS: This is the blind Scott and I were hunting in this morning. And, and it looks like you’re about to fall off the hill, because you are about to fall off the hill. You know, at The Proving Grounds, if it’s flat, we’re growing crops there.
WOODS: (Whispering) 27th of April. And it’s just getting light. Scott harvested a nice bird yesterday, so it’s my turn today. Scott’s first day behind the camera. Yesterday was his first day in front of the camera. We had a great radio interview yesterday on “Sport” up in Springfield, Missouri. The Sport channel, radio channel, in-studio. It was great fun.
WOODS: …bigger antlers. And the other thing that happens. When you have an out of balance adult sex ratio. You got more does, adult does than you got bucks. Not all the does get bred when they should.
WOODS: (Whispering) But now we’re out here and there’s a turkey gobbling off the roost. He’s on the ground now. Maybe, I don’t know. Two or three hundred yards from us. We’ve heard a couple of hens yelping, so. We’re set up where we saw some turkeys yesterday. My wife, Tracy, was driving in front of us and after we; I had her come take some pictures of Scott and I with his bird. She left before we did and saw some turkeys in this brand new food plot we just dozed out last winter. We’ve sprayed it and fertilized and we’re getting ready to plant. So, turkeys love open ground, especially during rain. We’ve been getting some rain because earthworms come up and turkeys love worms, so turkeys are feeding in here. We’ve got what we call “Lucky Boy” out. This decoy has seen four turkeys die within a few feet this year, so we’ve got him out a few yards in front of us. Got my new Mathew Z-7 right here. It’s all tuned up and we are ready to roll. So, stay tuned. Let’s see what happens on April 27th.
WOODS: (Whispering) Turkeys are real close. Be careful.
Focus, focus, focus.
Are you on him?
SCOTT: Another one!
WOODS: Got him! Woo hoo! The Z-7 put it down! Man, I am so pumped! The first hunt with the Z-7, within an hour! Death! Big bird! Missouri at The Proving Grounds. And the Z-7 put the hammer down! You can tell I’m excited!
WOODS: (On the phone) I was shocked when the editor called me and told me my first arrow clipped the decoy. It’s amazing what the naked eye sees when you’re so excited in hunting and what the HD camera can pick up when you really slow it down frame by frame. Hit the decoy. Hit the gobbler, but the broadhead had obviously partially deployed, it cut feathers and didn’t penetrate. The bird is clearly stunned. As a matter of fact, it hit the bird hard enough, it broke a couple of ribs I discovered when I dressed the bird out. Wisely, the cameraman, Scott, said, “Grant, shoot it again.” I love shooting my Mathew, so zipped another arrow out there at about 20 yards and everybody’s happy.
WOODS: The decoy just worked perfect! Now, here’s a little; we put the blind up yesterday just, it’s, when we turn the camera around in a second, you’ll see it’s right in the open. And Scott and I are not blind hunters. We’ve been cut and run hunters our whole life. So we strapped this blind up, right here in the middle of nowhere and, of course, turkeys, that’s the great thing. They don’t care about that. As long as it’s not moving, they don’t care.
We need to take some pictures, now, Scott. Light’s perfect. I’m pumped!
WOODS: It’s April 27 and, boy, we just harvested a great turkey this morning, but more importantly, we’re thinking about planting food plots. We’ve got some soil moisture, but when I take my little soil temperature probe, it’s just a little bit after 8:00 a.m. and the soil cools all night long. It’s about it’s coldest between 8:00 and 9:00. So, it’s a little bit after 8:00 and I can see it’s about 58 degrees, or less than 60. Now, 55 or up, I want to plant corn. Below 62, I don’t want to plant soybeans, because the ground is so cold, the bean won’t really open and fungus and disease can set on the soybean and weaken it for quite a while, so I want to wait until the soil temperature between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. is 62 degrees or higher before I plant soybeans, so they’ll come out fast and strong and make me good, strong plants throughout the duration of that food plot season.
A soil probe is what I use to make sure I’m planting at the right time of year.
WOODS: This was such an awesome week so far and it’s only Tuesday. I just want to reflect a little bit. I mean it’s… there’s turkeys gobbling in the background and the temperature’s great and it’s just, you know, God just blessed us with a tremendous week so far this week.
And I’m thinking about it. Scott and I met back in 1985. I was a programmer at Bell Telephone and Scott’s the only guy I met, and I’m sure there were more that really liked to hunt and fish and talk country and we put an extra syllable where you shouldn’t and maybe skip one every now and then, so we kinda hit it off and shared lunch a lot of days. And Scott and I have stayed friends, so 23 years later, since we started hunting together, I’d come back from Nevada and we started hunting together, we’ve never missed a season. 23 years of getting up early and disappointment and excitement and success and sharing…children being born and a kidney transplant and death of family members. Those relationships are really cemented when you hunt together, so Scott and I have that relationship and when you have these moments, it’s good to sit down and reflect a little bit. And I’m sitting here. This bare dirt will be a food plot in a month and my family’s healthy. Life is good. And I’m blessed. So, next time you’re out hunting, whether you have success or you just come home breathing and standing up right, you had a successful day. Think about why you had success and, and how blessed you are and how blessed we are in this country and what we can do to make it better.
WOODS: Thanks for sharing this hunt and thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
WOODS: Waco, this is Grant. I was conducting some scientific research this morning, and I have confirmed that the Z-7 will penetrate an adult Ozark gobbler. I wanted to bring you up to speed on that most recent, critical scientific research. Have a good day.