This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
TRACY: What do you think?
ADAM: Yeah, that’s…
GRANT: With warmer temperatures Ms. Tracy’s been out looking for shed antlers and Kable saw something very rare in Indiana.
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GRANT: AJ and I started out the week by traveling to the University of Georgia to attend the annual Southeast Deer Study Group.
GRANT: One of the more interesting papers this year was by some researchers from the University of Georgia where they fenced four 80 acre areas to keep coyotes out, but low enough that deer could jump and noted that does were four times more likely to go in there and have their fawn to be on the outside. Think about the whole area of a does’ home range, and they select the one area that’s coyote proof. What does that tell you about how does react to coyotes?
GRANT: After visiting with fellow deer researchers and managers for a couple days, AJ and I rode down to central Georgia and worked on a new property.
GRANT: This property is owned by Mr. Chick Gregg, and they’ve had it for several years. One of the best features of this property is that it’s part of a 3,000 plus acre co-op. Getting that many neighbors, using the same deer management goals and objectives, is a huge advantage to any property.
GRANT: Mr. Gregg’s property is typical of southern Georgia, primarily pines, with some hardwood (inaudible).
GRANT: I mean it’s all about soybeans and the reason is, soybeans (inaudible) amino acids are little building blocks of (inaudible).
GRANT: We spend a day touring the property and it was easy to see that of food, cover, and water, food was the most limited resource. All the food plots on the property had been browsed down just about to ground level, and they could easily be several weeks away from spring green up.
GRANT: Just going through the property on the tour here and we noticed that everywhere we’ve been the smilax, or catbrier, greenbrier, briers, been – the leaves been browsed up about as high as I can reach, six foot tall or so. That’s pretty tall for deer, so obviously hungry, they don’t have enough food this winter. We’re changing that. We’ve been talking about food plots and right below that, we have a weed species, privet, and they’ve browsed even the wood on it. The leaves and the wood, so when I know deer are browsing privet that hard, they’re hungry and they can’t express their full, either antler production or fawn production, potential. Like a lot of landowners, they had tried a lot of different varieties of forage, but it usually boils down, if you have enough acres, that soybeans, especially forage soybeans, provide the most tonnage during the summer. Literally, more tons of most other varieties and make enough pods to carry the deer herd through the winter.
GRANT: Right. Right.
GRANT: We noticed several old logging decks while touring the property. Logging decks are simply when they’d forested, or thinned, the part of the area, brought logs to one area, cleaned ‘em up a little bit and loaded ‘em on trucks to take ‘em to the mill. We’re gonna propose they clean off these logging decks and restore that soil there, fertilizer and lime, and plant clover in all the logging decks.
GRANT: (Inaudible) Again, it’s easier to add more fertilize and grow more per acre than it is to make more acres and makes your hunting better cause it concentrates the behavior a little bit more, the movement, the activity, so.
GRANT: Well, I know you all are serious hunters, cause anyone that would build a zip line across the deep creeks, strictly for the purpose of going hunting, not for recreation, are serious.
CHICK: Especially for a couple old guys.
GRANT: For a couple old guys, yeah. I love that level of intensity and I believe we’ve now got a great idea of the limiting factors, can go home, develop, plan maps that will put you all on the road to better hunting and bigger antlers.
GRANT: We rode home, for one day, just enough to unpack our suitcases and headed out the next day to Kansas to work with Mr. Bill Bradley.
GRANT: Bill owns three different properties in Kansas – about 20-30 miles apart. This happened to be a spot where they’ve dumped the coal and washed the sulfur off. And it literally had driven the acidity down to two. That’s almost enough to burn the human skin.
GRANT: There was a significant problem on this farm and they all had four legs.
GRANT: Well, we’re seeing some obvious hog damage. I think a lot of our viewers don’t realize there’s hogs in Kansas.
BRADLEY: They, yes, they’ve been, uh, reported across the south line, but in this case, uh, someone in the vicinity has, uh, brought them in illegally.
GRANT: Which is a problem. You know, let me say right now, don’t want hogs in your neighborhood. Definitely don’t bring ‘em in. Report people that do, because they end up doing a huge amount of damage and carry diseases that livestock and humans can get.
GRANT: It’s important to note that hogs are not native to America. They’re feral hogs, really, escaped, not wild hogs, and they’re doing a lot of damage in this area. We strongly suggest that Mr. Bradley work with local government agencies to eliminate this population before they build so large that they can no longer be controlled.
GRANT: We really enjoyed visiting with Mr. Bradley and his friends. All three of his farms have great potential to provide awesome deer and turkey hunting for his family and friends.
TRACY: I wondered, have you checked, uh, Hidden Valley’s card? Have they been…
ADAM: No, there wasn’t much there, ever.
TRACY: Really? There’s usually a lot of activity right here in this bedding area. Look at that rub, right down there. See it just shining? Look, green heads.
BRIAN: Did you get any of it?
ADAM: Yeah, I got ‘em flying off.
TRACY: I’ll just, I’m gonna call and cancel my hair appointment. See, this is an addiction.
GRANT: Tracy loves shed hunting and once the snow got off the ground, she’s out every day she has a chance, looking for antlers.
TRACY: Yes. Good girl. Oh, she’s a goodie. She’s a good girl. Yes, she is. She’s a good one. What do you think, Adam? What is it? Wahoo. What do you think?
ADAM: Yeah, that’s a heck of a shed.
TRACY: All right, he was right here.
GRANT: When Tracy brings a shed in, I’m gonna flip it over first and look at the base and make sure it’s a normal shape, like it just popped off the skull.
GRANT: By comparison, this is a normal shed, healthy. I imagine this deer will be here next year. When I look at this shed, I can see, actually, part of the skull is attached to the base of the antler.
GRANT: This probably was caused by a brain abscess, or a bacteria inside the skull, that actually is very acidic and erodes part of the skull bone and that deer may, or may not live, depending on how severe that erosion is.
TRACY: A little peep of white showing right there at the base.
BRIAN: Yeah, I don’t even see it.
TRACY: Come on up and you’ll see it. So I looked and I saw the little white and I thought, that’s not normal in a bedding area.
BRIAN: You see how clean that is? That means your deer are healthy. That’s what you look for.
GRANT: We also track the location where Tracy finds all these sheds because they’re obviously in late winter food sources or bedding areas, and given the tough conditions, those bucks could be in those same areas in December or January, this coming hunting season.
TRACY: Adam came out and he shot us a photo of one he found and that was just like, that’s it, and now the addictions set in and I’ve, I’ve got to get out and look for antlers, every chance I can.
BRIAN: I know you said today, we only had till one o’clock because you had a hair appointment, and about twelve o’clock you said, “Hair appointment canceled. We’re finding sheds.” So…
TRACY: That’s right. I’m sorry, I had to cancel my appointment, but this was much more important than getting a haircut. (Laughter)
GRANT: We realize there’s snow throughout a lot of the northern part of the whitetails’ range still, and you just can’t get out and look for sheds. And all though it’s been tough for Kable to get out and find sheds, due to the snow, he did have a very rare and cool observation.
KABLE: Just pulled in the driveway and I just saw her run through the yard, so I just grabbed my camera and came out here and, uh, started filming her real quick.
KABLE: She’s staring at me right now at about 65 yards.
GRANT: Piebald are mostly white because of a genetic trait that’s very recessive, or very rare, in white-tailed deer.
GRANT: Piebald deer are protected in some states and legal to harvest in other states. As a biologist, I’d probably err on they should be harvested side because they carry some bad traits; roman nose, scoliosis, bad back, and low reproductive rates. But as a hunter, they sure are beautiful to watch and a couple of piebald deer I’ve seen while hunting, I’ve elected to pass and hope I get to see ‘em another day.
GRANT: Kable feels the same way. He thinks he’s seen the same piebald deer since she was a fawn to now, and he’s given her a pass every year.
GRANT: Whether the ground is still covered with snow, or you’re able to get out and look for some sheds this week, I hope you take time, slow down, and enjoy Creation and most importantly, listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
TRACY: Have been, have been really close.
BRIAN: But we finally got to find some sheds. Okay. (Laughter)