Food Plot Pests: Armyworm Invasion (Episode 46 Transcript)

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WOODS: Boy, one thing you don’t want to find is bald spots that are spreading in a direction in your food plot.  Because that’s probably Armyworm.  And I dug just a little here and you’ll find your evidence where the wheat; they like small grains – wheat, rye, oats, whatever – were clipped off about ¼ inch or ½ inch above the ground.  And these are strong rascals.  I just dropped one, and man, they’re strong.  And here’s more here and more here.  They’re just clipping it off and they’re more active at night.  We had to dig under the soil about ¼ inch to find these, but, feel just, you know, the plot.  Just down the way here, a couple hundred yards, Brad just sprayed, because if you don’t get on top of Armyworms and see which way they’re moving, they will wipe out all forage in a matter of a day or two.  And we got a hint because I had emails on GrowingDeer of a guy in Louisiana, a guy in Oklahoma and then a guy right north of me here in Missouri talking about losing his whole food plot in a couple of days to Armyworms.  So, I called Brad.  I was traveling.  I said, “Brad, better check our plots.”  Sure enough, found the actual worm in one small plot just; they just kind of ate it off.  So, we think we’re ahead of them.  We think we’ll be able to save most of our plots, but we’ve got to spray.  They multiply by the gadzillions and they can wear out your food plots.  You’ve got to spray an insecticide.  A real common insecticide is Sevin.  It’s about 50%.  We’re using a more, a stronger insecticide that’s rated about 80% to try to get the population under control.  So, if you’re seeing bare spots in your food plots, get on it quick.  Because you have a day or two to act.  We try to bring you this current, good information here at

ANNOUNCER: is brought to you by Reconyx, Barnes, Eagle Seed, Muddy Outdoors, Trophy Rock, Antler Dirt, Nikon, and Gallagher.

WOODS: It’s October 5th and it’s cold this morning.  You can still, still probably see some of my breath coming out, even though I’m in the full sunshine.  And we’re going to check out several things this morning.  I’ve been hunting.  Had a great hunt, uh, with the Heartland Bowhunter guys.  Had a good hunt in Kansas.  And here I’m back at The Proving Grounds getting ready to hunt, but before I hunt, we’ve got to keep doing our management work and keep this deer herd tuned up, so I’m checking out the food plots and I am stunned at these Eagle Seed beans.  It was cold for the last couple mornings.  They’re still dark green, lush and look at the pod production.  I don’t know if you can see it or not, but just huge pod production on here.  Just, gosh, there’s, I can’t count how many beans are up and down through here.  And so, it’s really a two season food plot.  Now, I want you to remember: we had a 15-week drought this summer here with one major rain event in the whole 15 weeks.  And the beans got to looking pretty rough.  But, now, gosh, they’re chest tall on me and full of pods.  Really, a two-season crop.  They’ve been eating the green forage all summer and they’ll eat the pods all winter.  And if we take the pods and, and you just rip off a handful real easy, that’s how a deer consumes them.  They just grab it and pull them all off.  So, they eat the hull, the sheath and everything.  If you take all that and grind it all up; do an analysis on it, it’s about 27% crude protein and about 11% fat.  Great deer food.  So, man, if you can plant a forage variety Eagle Seed bean, it’s indeterminate.  It keeps growing until a really hard frost or a freeze.  Because I bet in most agricultural areas or if you planted a conventional bean, your beans are already brown and the deer have backed off of them.  And you had your bow stand hung there and they’ve changed patterns and you don’t know where to go now.  But, you may want to check out forage soybeans next year if you didn’t take advantage of them this year.  And I want to remind you that I had a 15-week drought here at The Proving Grounds this year.  We had one major rainfall event in a 15-week span and the beans were looking pretty yucky to tell you the truth.  And I was really worried they weren’t going to set many pods.  But these late, indeterminate beans come on super, super strong once we got that rain.  So, thrilled with our Eagle Seed beans and looking very forward to hunting right here soon.

WOODS: We’ve had this ground blind up since the Field Day or early August.  And the reason why I put my ground blinds up early is so deer can get totally acclimated or conditioned to them.  You know, some guys put the ground blind up Friday and want to hunt it Saturday and they put a bunch of brush around it and call it brushing it in, but a brand new brush pile can be just as alarming to a deer as the ground blind.  “Why is that brush piled there?  It wasn’t there the day before.”  So, I like to have my ground blinds up early.  Weeks before I hunt ‘em versus trying to brush them in.  Just let the deer get totally acclimated to them and the smell and everything else.  Now, ground blinds are great tools for hunting with a camera or children or me that’s fidgeting all the time, because you’re really blocked off a lot and you’re right on eye level.  That hunt last week with Heartland Bowhunters was thrilling out of that ground blind.

WOODS: And the reason we have this ground blind here is this is a really small food plot and we’ve got this Gallagher fence protecting beans in an area for the past four years we weren’t able to grow crop because it’s so small in a relatively high deer density area that the deer would wipe it out well before hunting season, so we were able to successfully protect beans and get ‘em up.  And we’re going to open up a bit of the fence here and make the fence gap.  We’ve all hunted a fence gap at some time or another.  And my dad or my children or myself, depending on timing, will be able to come in this blind.  The deer are totally conditioned to it.  The deer are patterned by that time – to come into this fence gap.  We’ve all hunted a downed fence where a tree has fallen over it or something and we have a great hunt.  So, not too long in the future, we’re going to be bringing you a hunt probably from right here.  We’ll call it the “Old Fence Gap Stand” and see how it works out together.