This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
>>GRANT: I am excited to share some big news about The Proving Grounds and a new project for the GrowingDeer Team.
>>GRANT: During the past 11 years we’ve shared tips, techniques, and information to help hunters improve the habitat quality and their hunting experience.
>>RALEIGH: [Whispering] Okay, stop him.
>>DANIEL: That’s a good deer!
>>GRANT: Most of the information we’ve shared is based on what we’ve learned by refining our techniques during the past 20 years here at The Proving Grounds.
>>GRANT: We’ve worked here and started from scratch and created a fabulous hunting property that’s very aesthetically pleasing.
>>GRANT: After lots of prayer and conversation, Tracy and I have realized that we enjoy painting a canvas more than sitting back and enjoying the finished artwork. And to that end, we’re going to allow someone else to enjoy the vastly improved northern 1,800 acres of The Proving Grounds. We’re going to make that available for purchase while we start over on the southern 500 acres where we haven’t done hardly any work.
>>GRANT: The portion of The Proving Grounds that will be my new canvas is only separated from the northern 1,800 acres by a survey line through the timber.
>>GRANT: The entire GrowingDeer Team and I will be neighbors, and we’ll be readily available to help the new owners with ongoing habitat and hunting advice.
>>GRANT: As a bit of background, Tracy and I purchased The Proving Grounds – which is 10 miles north of Branson, Missouri – during 2001.
>>GRANT: It had been used as a cattle ranch for decades and then gifted to a local hospital. Now the hospital had never toured the property, and when we got here there were a few small openings that were a tangled mess and large patches of timber, some of which had been high-graded.
>>GRANT: As a practicing wildlife biologist, I knew the ranch needed lots of habitat improvement for it to express its full potential as a great property for viewing and hunting wildlife and enjoying all the Ozark Mountains have to offer.
>>GRANT: I started with a chainsaw, a backpack blower, and a drip torch. And soon I added a tractor and a no till drill.
>>GRANT: Rather than simply clear timber and create some food plots, I spent about a year walking the property. I’d walk a ridgetop, drop down a little ways, walk it again, and zigzag all the way to the bottom. And I created a plan not only to implement a food plot program but to improve the native habitat as well.
>>GRANT: Experience is a great teacher, and through time I continued improving my techniques to establish great food plots, native habitat, and wildlife populations.
>>GRANT: As the habitat and game populations improved, fellow landowners, state wildlife management agencies, and universities from several states started requesting tours to see our techniques and the results of that work.
>>GRANT: I smile every time I walk through the native grass and forb areas here at The Proving Grounds – the bedding areas, the cover areas – because they’re full of wildflowers. Now all of those germinated from seeds in the seed bank, so they’re native and perfectly adapted to this area.
>>GRANT: And because of that, there are flowers present all throughout the growing season, and the bees are super productive. In fact, the beehives here at The Proving Grounds produce some of the best wildflower honey I’ve ever tasted.
>>GRANT: We’ve also designed and established a food plot program that not only attracts and feeds wildlife, but improves the soil’s health at the same time, and it does this without using synthetic fertilizer.
>>GRANT: As a result of this work, there’s now a thick, rich, black layer of soil where it was once a rocky, eroded surface; and these plots are way more productive than traditional plots and less expensive to maintain.
>>GRANT: Earthworm populations have skyrocketed in our food plots and that’s a great thing because they’re perfect soil aerators, fertilizer manufacturers, and fertilizer spreaders.
>>GRANT: These and many other beneficial forms of subsurface life are great because it results in prairie-like quality soils here in the Ozark Mountains.
>>GRANT: As a result of these techniques and work, the deer herd and turkey flock here at The Proving Grounds is at the same quality that’s normally only found in production ag areas.
>>GRANT: To testify to the quantity and quality of critters here at The Proving Grounds, we just aired the 600th episode of GrowingDeer, and we rarely need to travel to other areas to film. The hunting quality is that good here at The Proving Grounds.
>>GRANT: In addition to hunting, my family and friends enjoy coming to The Proving Grounds to shed hunt; look for mushrooms, native-American artifacts; enjoy the creek; or simply enjoy the natural beauty.
>>GRANT: Through the years of learning the best way to hunt The Proving Grounds, we’ve placed 25 Redneck blinds and more than 50 Summit treestands, and they’re going to remain in place to allow someone to enjoy this artwork I’ve been painting for years.
>>GRANT: This decision didn’t come without a lot of prayer and consideration. But I’ve realized my heart is to learn, improve, and share with others, including sharing the result of my best work.
>>GRANT: One of the last major improvements Tracy and I made to The Proving Grounds was building a home at the north end of the property. It has a stunning view of The Proving Grounds and the Ozark Mountains beyond. In fact, several of our guests have said it’s one of the best views in the Ozark Mountains, and more than one couple has asked to be married here just because of the view.
>>GRANT: If you are genuinely interested in owning 1,800 acres of The Proving Grounds, and being our neighbor, and can share qualifications of being able to make such a purchase, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to share more information and schedule a private tour.
>>GRANT: My family and I really enjoy being at The Proving Grounds and having the privacy of the wilderness while only being 10 miles away from Branson, Missouri – one of the top fishing, entertainment, and golf destinations in the nation.
>>GRANT: Just minutes from The Proving Grounds are the famous White River Lakes – Table Rock, Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals. Table Rock is rated a top bass lake year in and year out, while Taneycomo is a cold-water trout fishery, and the massive Bull Shoals has great fishing and more than 56,000 acres of public land surrounding it.
>>GRANT: There’s world-class golfing and dining close to us, highlighted by Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge and Payne’s Valley, Ozark National, Buffalo Ridge Springs, Top of the Rock, and Mountain Top golf courses. These were recently rated the number one golf destination in America.
>>GRANT: I share this because I’ve rarely known of an excellent hunting property within minutes of world-class amenities.
>>GRANT: We are excited to share the next 600 episodes of GrowingDeer from our new project, as we start painting on that canvas.
>>GRANT: But no matter where you are, I hope you get to get outside and enjoy Creation and more importantly that you take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.