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GRANT: February 14th and Adam and I try to get out and show a little love to the coyotes and hogs this week at GrowingDeer.tv.
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GRANT: We had our first measurable snow a couple days ago and you hear it dripping off the barn now, as it’s 50 degrees and back to an abnormally warm winter.
GRANT: Last week, I asked for some help naming a buck that showed up during our post season trail camera survey.
GRANT: We had over 300 suggestions on our Facebook page with very creative names for this buck.
GRANT: Adam and I went through and really reviewed the names, thinking about how we use ‘em, and whispering back and forth in a treestand, and what’s practical, and we really decided that Josh Mills had a great name, ‘cause he come up with 8ball for this new buck. Josh’s suggestion of 8ball really made sense to Adam and I because he’s blind on the right eye, so at nighttime, you see a big ball on one side, shining back at the trail camera and he had a typical, mainframe eight rack.
GRANT: Next August, when we do our pre-season trail camera survey, I’m really looking forward to the GrowingDeer Team helping us out with some creative names.
GRANT: Adam and I had a chance to go hog hunting on a friend of mine’s place, about an hour and a half from here, today, but when we got there, the wind was dead opposite of what the weatherman predicted. That, with the unusual high temperatures, didn’t give me much confidence we were gonna see a hog, so I took the opportunity to go out and inspect his food plots.
GRANT: In this particular field, he planted four or five laps around the outside with Eagle Seed beans and the middle with conventional beans. Eagle Seed forage beans have been hand pollinated, or hand bred, for literally 40 plus years, selecting for certain traits, maximum forage, drought resistance, where conventional beans are selected primarily only for yield production and to mature at the same time, so the combine can be put in the field at the same time and harvest all the beans.
GRANT: Now this is a preferred option, if you got 50, 60, or 500 acres of beans that you want to harvest with a combine and be done before Thanksgiving ‘cause they ripen so early, but if they’re allowed to stay in the field late, they tend to shatter. When they shatter, it means all these pods are just hollow. The beans have fallen to the ground. They’re nothing available for the deer, or turkey, other forms of wildlife to eat this time of year.
GRANT: Where an Eagle bean has been bred to hold these pods, they’re still holding pods right now. Tremendous amount of pod growth, the pods are viable, not on the ground where they can mold, easily accessible to wildlife.
GRANT: Just a neat comparison on this conventional soybean, almost all the pods are twisted, and have shed their beans, or spilled them, or they’ve molded, or rotted, or rodents have eat them, versus a seed inside an Eagle Seed soybean pod is still viable, great color, no mold. You know the food value for a deer or turkey in these are incredible. Really high in protein, really high in oil, which is energy, or fat, for this time of year, and then the pod itself is really high in digestible fiber and of course, fiber is critical for a deer digestive systems, so protein, energy, and fiber; almost the ideal diet. So the forage in the summer, the seed pods in the winter, make it the ideal, year round, right timing, food crop for white-tailed deer.
GRANT: To finally have a two acre food plot, like at my place, I’m getting this much more tonnage of forage. You see the height difference. This much more drought resistance and more pods holding on all the way through the winter. I’m getting way more food per dollar than I would ever get out of a conventional bean.
GRANT: That’s why this year, I’ll be planting almost entirely Eagle Seed forage soybeans at my place and recommending them to my clients, also.
GRANT: Tracy’s chomping at the bit to get out in these mild temperatures, and the fact that the last week of our trail camera survey, we had very few Reconyx images of bucks with antlers on. Most of the bucks we identified had just bald spots on their head. About 80 percent, I estimate. So those antlers are on the ground, at least here at The Proving Grounds. They probably are at your place, too, and it’s really time to get out, do some shed hunting, scouting, and enjoy the outdoors.
GRANT: There were a few that were just showing one side, which is really kinda odd.
GRANT: When I was a graduate student at University of Georgia, we would often, this time of year, have big adult bucks and all the feed they could consume in captivity, fighting one day and the next day, the looser would have shed his antlers and the reason is, that antlers get let loose, if you will, off a buck’s skull when hormones drop below a certain level. But if a buck gets injured, or quality of forage is really low, or something happens this time of year, or even earlier, and those hormones drop below that threshold, those antlers are coming off, usually within 24 hours.
GRANT: So it’s a little odd for a buck to hold one antler several days when the other ones already shed, because once the hormones are down, both of ‘em should release. It’s certainly possible those bucks had an injury on one side due to fighting, or something going on, or the picture was taken right when they’d shed one antler and hadn’t quite shed the other one. Could just be yards away from the Reconyx camera site.
GRANT: In either case, there’s plenty of bone on the ground for Tracy and Crystal to be finding, and as soon as this rainstorm passes, you can bet they’ll be walking the hills, tallying up more antlers that they find.
GRANT: Whether you’re scouting or shed hunting, I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy Creation this week. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: If you find some good sheds, post ‘em on our Facebook page so we can all see the time and date where deer are shedding throughout the whitetails’ range.