This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
>>GEORGE: This program that you have me working, this is the very first time that I’ve had a food plot that I can say I’m extremely proud of.
>>GRANT: 35 years?
>>GEORGE: 35 years.
>>GRANT: We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about The Release Process™ and how it improves the soil’s health, reduces your cost to establish food plots, and provides quality forage.
>>GRANT: This week I wish to share a success story that I believe illustrates how The Release Process™ can be used to improve food plot quality anywhere throughout the whitetails’ range.
>>GRANT: In addition, we’ll be sharing the next steps of The Release Process™, what you need to do to plant your fall food plots so you have some great forage to hunt over this fall.
>>GRANT: Last summer I created a habitat and hunting improvement plan for a property in East Texas, and if you’re not familiar with East Texas, it’s primarily pine trees and very sandy soil. In fact, that soil reminded me of granular sugar.
>>GRANT: Some of the food plots at that property had been established for years. When I got to walking around and looking at the soil, feeling the soil, I knew The Release Process™ was the perfect solution to increase the quality and quantity of forage produced and provide this landowner with much better hunting.
>>GRANT: Though he was skeptical, George purchased a no-till drill. He’d been disking that deep sand, probably made it more sandy, and last fall planted the diverse blend. Of course, that’s cereal rye and some other small grains, some annual clovers, let that grow. And then this spring planted the Summer Release directly into that crop.
>>GRANT: George has been so excited about the progress of improving the plots at his property. He’s been giving me updates all summer, got me excited. So, I had to go down there and take a look myself, and also it was a great experience for the interns to check out the habitat and learn more about The Release Process™ in East Texas.
>>GRANT: I remember coming here.
>>GEORGE: Do you?
>>GRANT: Yeah, I remember this.
>>GEORGE: I mean, that is – that is truly amazing.
>>GRANT: I was super impressed with the work George had completed. He’s made tremendous progress in just one year – or a planting season and a half.
>>GRANT: Let’s say we’re about halfway through the summer growing season in that part of Texas. So, that fall crop carried through the winter and then the crop he planted this spring, and it’s looking great. If George continues like this, he’s going to build soil, increase the soil’s capacity to hold moisture – which can be critical in those sandy soils – and suppress weeds, all while providing much better-quality forage and more tonnage from the plots that were already there.
>>GRANT: I’m in east Texas today with my friend George, and I met George last year, and he called me up and said, “Boy, my food plots aren’t doing too good, and I think our deer herd used to be better than it is now.” We hear this kind of story a lot.
>>GRANT: And George was kind enough to bring us down, and we laid out a plan. And I describe this kind of new-fangled view, I think you’d say, George. Man, we’re gonna – we need to get a no-till drill. We want to stop disking. We want to plant a blend of species. Want to grow something in the summer.
>>GRANT: All these things that were kind of different to what George had done for a long time as a successful manager of land. And so, he had us back down this summer. And I’ve got to tell you, George, I’m so impressed. I mean this is the Summer Release blend, and I see all the different species, and we’ve been seeing deer. Saw some fawns riding around.
>>GRANT: George, just – just really, just tell us your impression of the change I asked you to do, and what’s happened.
>>GEORGE: Well, like – like you said, I was not a believer. And I did not want to get rid of my disk or my bush hog or my drag. And I wanted to broadcast seed, and now this – this process is amazing, really and truly. The no-till drill is – has allowed me to do it much quicker.
>>GEORGE: You spend about 630 hours planting all these food plots. Now I can get away with about 90 hours, a third less seed, and you can see the food plot is incredible. I’ve never had food plots like this. I have food plots where before food plots wouldn’t grow. So, it’s – it’s been amazing, and – and this blend is – is – is working, and the deer are in it. It’s just amazing.
>>GRANT: Yeah, and when I got here last year, we had a shovel. We were digging around. Soil just didn’t smell good. It’s what farmers would say it had soured, and it was weeds about yay tall. I don’t know if you remember walking around. It was just weeds and now, we’re, I mean, it’s literally a garden.
>>GRANT: Of course, this is sunn hemp and sunflower. I have soybeans and peas and collards and, of course, a lot of buckwheat. Look how tall the buckwheat is.
>>GEORGE: I – I never knew that buckwheat would grow over a foot tall, and we have buckwheat that – that is, you know, up the chest high in some places.
>>GEORGE: Just amazing.
>>GRANT: And tons of food and coming on at different times. It just – we’ll show you more, but it’s just awesome. And so, my prescription for George is – and he had some brand-new food plots. I mean it was trees last year. We’ll show you some of that.
>>GRANT: And so, there’s some weeds in there; not many in here but in there. So, probably use one application of glyphosate after everything matures really good, what-not, and then just drill right through this with the fall blend. And in this plot not a lot of weeds – maybe laced where we are. Probably just drill through here with the fall blend, but, of course, we’re in Texas. So, you’re not planting until like the first week of October, so, right?
>>GRANT: So, I mean just think about all this food – peas and beans and collards and buckwheat and sunflowers are getting ready to ripen up. Deer are just gonna be munching in here.
>>GRANT: And, of course, you remember the news media. Texas had that big freeze.
>>GRANT: It was horrible. Oaks were setting flowers. There’s not gonna be hardly any acorns here this year at all.
>>GRANT: And even when we drill through here, all this seed is going to be available just, you know, at the ground level. The drill will knock a lot of it down – all the milo and all the sunflowers. It’s just like a giant feed patch. So, we’re going to have grain, seeds, and then the new greens coming up. It’s gonna be awesome.
>>GEORGE: It really is. The – the fawns have had a great place to bed and – and hide and everything’s just flourishing. The turkeys love it. Unfortunately, we’re – we got a lot of pigs here in Texas, and, which, we’re working on them. But the food plots – I – I – I told Grant I just didn’t believe it – his program would work. And here I am, if anybody wants to find out if it works, take a look. It works.
>>GRANT: Man, I’m super proud of you for taking the gamble because it was a big change. I mean basically going from, you know, disking. I think you told me you made like seven passes.
>>GEORGE: Right. Right.
>>GRANT: Seven passes. Think of all the, you know, diesel and wear and tear on the tractor and time you could’ve been fishing or whatever to doing this system. And it’s super productive. I mean, man, super, super productive. So, we’re gonna get out and look around a little bit, but I wanted y’all to meet George and hear his testimony, because George was a – he was a non-believer, to say this politely.
>>GEORGE: Very much so.
>>GRANT: It was a little bit tense a time or two riding around the farm because “I don’t know if that’ll work, Grant. You know, that’ll work where you are, but.” And I hear this all over. I hear this exact line. “It will not work here. It will work where you are. It may work where your other clients are, but it won’t work here.” And – and I think you would agree in your decades of doing this.
>>GEORGE: Started in 1985.
>>GRANT: Yeah. From ’85 to now, that’s 35 years. This is the best food plot you’ve ever had.
>>GEORGE: Absolutely, not even close. I’ve – there’s one food plot we’ll show you that I’ve never had a food plot flourish or even cover the whole – whole place, and it’s one of the best food plots we have. So, I’m a believer.
>>GRANT: Hey, we’ll take a look around. Y’all stay with us as we learn more about George’s experience. And he’s not going back now folks. I promise you. We’re going forward, and I promise you in – in three years; the soil’s already changed. We’ll look at it in a little bit. The soil’s already changing, and in three years, we’ll call this place Little Iowa in Texas.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, RTP Outdoors, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>GRANT: One of the most impressive things George shared with us that I don’t talk a lot about as part of The Release Process™ is the amount of time and expense it had saved. George shared that time he disked or double disked and did all the stuff he was doing, it took about 600 hours of tractor time to plant all of his plots.
>>GRANT: But this year simply no-till drilled right through there and then crimp some of them, and he was down to 90 hours total. I mean that’s a massive savings of time, fuel, wear and tear on your tractor, compression on the soil. All these factors weigh in to having a better crop and a more enjoyable experience.
>>GRANT: Should also share that George reduced his seed cost. He didn’t need the volume of seed because he used a no-till drill, which more precisely places the seed versus broadcasting where you need to use a higher volume because turkeys, squirrels, crows, and other creatures will remove a portion of that seed before it germinates. So, that’s another savings, fewer seeds to get the same or better crop.
>>GRANT: When we were here for my first visit here last year, and I said, “Man, how come you’re not planting this?” And you said, “Well, nothing will grow here.” It’s pretty much what you said.
>>GRANT: And you called it, I think, Big Sandy?
>>GEORGE: Big Sandy.
>>GRANT: And gosh, now I’m looking around. This looks good.
>>GEORGE: Well, it is good. Started trying to grow white-tailed deer – deer here back in ’85. This is one of our original food plots. We were never able to get a good stand to grow here simply because the deep sand.
>>GRANT: So, it just – it would dry out, is what you’re saying.
>>GEORGE: It would dry out. I never had a food plot that would go from each side, north or south, east or west. It would never cover it. And 60% if you were doing good. And, but it would only last very short time, and it’d die off. And so, not a lot of pressure. We never hunted it because there were no food plots.
>>GRANT: Right, right.
>>GEORGE: Well, this program that you have me working, with the use of the no-till drill and this blend, this is the very first time that I’ve had a food plot that I could say I’m extremely proud of.
>>GRANT: 35 years.
>>GEORGE: 35 years. And never has it ever been anything like this. There’s old bucks that come in over on this side – up in the bottom – and they just – they live here now. And generally, when you come through here, you’ll – you’ll see ‘em. And – but you can see that not only is it doing well, it’s thriving.
>>GRANT: Yeah, it looks awesome.
>>GEORGE: Yeah. This – this is actually one of my better spots now. The blend and – and the no-till drill has enabled the layer to hold the moisture in the sand with the blend to diversify and work together to build this food plot up, and the vegetation. The amount of vegetation is just really unbelievable.
>>GRANT: So that’s what we say, right? We are releasing, you know, Creation’s potential – releasing the soil’s potential. And I think you have – not all the way, but you took a giant step in releasing this potential.
>>GRANT: And when you plant through here, you know, and you’re gonna knock down this milo and stuff, it’s gonna be more tremendous ground cover, and we’re gonna plant the Fall Release blend in here – which will do better than it did last year – all the clovers and cereal rye and the grains and the brassicas all working together. And each year it’ll just get better and better.
>>GRANT: And the deer are getting conditioned to feed here.
>>GRANT: They’re not just here for six weeks and the crop dries up and they’re gone. They’re calling this home. Like you said, you’re seeing this bachelor group of bucks here every day, so.
>>GRANT: Man, I’m excited. Love seeing success. I love seeing it in the harshest environments, and Big Sandy proved that it works.
>>GEORGE: Summer food plots have never worked in this food plot, and here we are. We’re standing in it. It’s waist deep, so.
>>GRANT: And deer are using it.
>>GEORGE: And deer are using it. It’s great.
>>GRANT: He was so happy with that crop. And I’m happy for George. And I’m happy for y’all because I hope this gives you confidence that The Release Process™ will work anywhere. Now, George has had pretty decent rain this summer. There’s a lot of variables in there, but don’t be scared to try because you can improve soil anywhere.
>>GEORGE: Well, you say the ultimate goal is grow earthworms. You grow good earthworms, you grow good soil, and you’ll have good food plots and grow good deer.
>>GRANT: That’s right.
>>GRANT: Like most of us, one of George’s requests to me was to see more quality bucks. I’m mean that’s in common for almost all hunters; right? And what I told George is that as the quantity of quality forage increased, there would be more bucks, and they would express more of their genetic potential. So, I don’t think there’s more bucks already, but I do believe they’re expressing more of their potential this summer. George shared some images he’d got with his thermal, and the bucks are looking good at his property.
>>GRANT: Based on his success, George is gonna plant the Fall Release blend. And he’ll plant that about 45 to 60 days before the average first frost date in his area.
>>GRANT: Now, that average first frost date in East Texas is much later than here, so he’ll plant later. It’s important, though, to plant by conditions and not a calendar. So, we’ve determined that frost date for George’s.
>>GRANT: You can do it where you are. Just simply Google your address and your location, the town, and average first frost date. And you’ll find that information readily. But just because that date has come – like here that’s about August 15th, would be 60 days before the first frost or first frost is about October 15th.
>>GRANT: And we’re gonna start getting ready, but the forecast is calling for a couple weeks of hot and dry here. It’s finally slid over to the Midwest. And if we get August 15th, it hadn’t rained, there’s no rain in the forecast, there’s not a big front cooking out west, then we won’t plant yet.
>>GRANT: We want to make sure there’s adequate soil moisture. Because remember seeds are living organisms, and I don’t want to put them out there even under the mulch I have here at the Proving Grounds when it’s super hot and dry. I’d rather plant them closer to when it’s going to rain.
>>GRANT: Based on my experience, food plots will be much more productive – even if you plant closer to that first frost date – only 30 days out from the first frost versus planting when it’s really dry and those seeds or seedlings are stunted when they’re young.
>>GRANT: If you didn’t plant a crop this spring or your summer food plots were browsed really heavily and there’s a lot of weeds in there, you may need to treat them with glyphosate. You don’t want to plant into a weed patch. You don’t want those weeds maturing and making a bunch of seed that’s gonna be right on top of the ground and can germinate with the next rain. So, if you need to spray, if you need to treat that field with glyphosate, go ahead and do it.
>>GRANT: And by the way I’ll just share – and we’ve shared this for years – but last week the European Union put out a big publication once again saying that glyphosate has never been linked to cancer or any human health concerns. Now, I don’t want to use any more herbicide than I need to, but I don’t want weeds taking over a plot. So, if it’s necessary to treat it with glyphosate, do a little research, get comfortable, and then go ahead.
>>GRANT: For those that have a good stand or the Summer Release or even another crop, and weed pressure is minimal, you can drill right through there, plant your next crop.
>>GRANT: That’s what we call never cleaning the table. There’s gonna be something to eat every day, even the day you’re drilling. That night deer probably come right back out there, and as those crops mature and pass on, they’re terminated. Then that new crop is coming on and there’s an attractive food source every day right there. There’s no need for deer to change their pattern.
>>GRANT: That’s a big part of the Summer Release blend. You may have noticed that I stuck a milo in there, a quick-maturing milo. Now, it does a great job with those big roots, like we showed, actually tilling the soil. It’s making a seedhead. It’s maturing here at my place right now. And when we drill through here, we may break some of those stems over, but the grain is still there.
>>GRANT: And that time of year – late August / early September – deer are starting to seek carbohydrates. They’re switching from protein to carbs. Acorns aren’t falling yet here, and our food plots are loaded with carbs we produced during the summer. And that’s where deer are gonna be feeding.
>>GRANT: We’ll be sharing more about The Release Process™ as we prepare to plant our plots, and I encourage you to adopt some soil health improvement techniques this year. Get the ball rolling.
>>GRANT: Do what George has done. Start improving that soil health, and you’ll see the benefits, and, hopefully, you can release your plot’s potential so they can produce the maximum amount of quality forage.
>>GRANT: Learning about these natural systems such as The Release Process™ is a great way to enjoy Creation. But even more importantly, I hope you take time every day to be quiet and seek the Creator’s will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.