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It's mid-August, we've been really busy this week finishing projects, getting ready for
the opening of deer season. ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you
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We've received over six inches of rain in the last week here at The Proving Grounds.
I returned from speaking at the Bass Pro Fall Classic this weekend and the first thing Adam
and I did this morning is head up to Boom North and check out the pond where he'd put
the bentonite. As we were walking through the food plot,
I was really excited to see standing water in that pond. Probably remember a few weeks
ago, the boys and I spread bentonite clay in this dry pond.
This pond is located on an elevator ridge, goes down to a major food plot and hence,
it's a good travel corridor for bucks during the rut. So creating a little water source
in a known travel corridor during the rut, bucks coming down through here to check out
the food plot, scent checking, can be a great place for a shot. Given that information,
this pond was obviously creating for a hunting set up and not for overall habitat management.
We've got a couple of Muddys hung right behind me in this tree, which is a perfect set up
to cut bucks off coming to travel corridor. The plan seems great, but I'm really not convinced
this is gonna hold water, yet. You can see an obvious little debris ring around the pond
where the water level is up and it just stopped raining hard a few hours ago. I don't know
if that water is leaking through a deer track or something in the pond, or is simply being
absorbed in the clay and reducing the water level. Ideally, bentonite is tilled into the
soil and mixed in, which makes an awesome seal. Here at The Proving Grounds, our soil
is so rocky that tilling in isn't possible and we had to spread it on top and hope for
the best. We'll keep an eye on it and hopefully take you back to that pond during the rut
here at The Proving Grounds. Of course being middle August and getting
moisture, we're thinking about planting the fall food plots. This is a food plot we call
Barn Field. You can see the barn in the background and this field was heavily over-browsed before
the recent rain started. I had anticipated needing to replant this field.
That can be a tough decision because it takes time and resources to plant another crop.
So you want to make a good decision whether just to leave the existing crop growing or
you need to supplement that crop. With the recent rains, you can see these Eagle Seed
beans have jumped and are over knee tall on me. Huge amount of fresh forage and are making
flowers, indicating they're gonna set pods and provide food for the winter.
There's a couple of considerations when evaluating a plot like this -- whether to plant something
else for fall or let it go. First consideration is what type of forage is it? Some forages,
obviously, are gonna be killed and dead at the first frost and leave nothing else to
eat and if that's the case, you probably need to replant that field in something that's
gonna be productive through the cool months. These Eagle Seed Forage Soybeans are indeterminate.
That means they're going to grow, literally, and put on new leaves, flowers, and pods until
it frosts. So they're gonna be productive and provide enough forage until it frosts.
And all these flowers I see sitting on here are likely to turn in pods, especially now
that we have ample soil moisture. If I believe these beans will make at least 20 bushels
per acre, pretty low yield for soybeans, then I'll leave them standing. So when I evaluate
this field, or a field for clients, and if I think there's enough flowers and soil moisture
to produce at least 20 bushels per acre, I'm gonna leave it standing and save the expense
of planting another food plot that might not even produce 1800 pounds per acre.
We're just about a quarter mile from where we filmed the last segment. We're right next
to a bedding area, and a lot of deer use this end of the food plot. In the last field, the
beans were knee tall or higher on me. In this field they're about boot tall. I'm seeing
a few flowers out here, but I doubt these really over-browsed beans will yield 20 bushels
per acre. It's too wet to do anything now, so we'll give this field a week or so before
we plant and if I really see huge growth, I might consider leaving it, but I suspect
we'll drill a mixture right in these beans, allow the deer to keep eating on these beans
while the new crop is germinating. In the areas where beans are boot tall or shorter
and obviously not gonna make enough pods to feed deer through the winter, we'll simply
broadcast or drill a cool season mix right in those beans. This year we're gonna try
Eagle's Broadside mix, which is something you've seen before. I've been experimenting
with trying to get the ratio right for several years. We've had great success at getting
deer in there early, mid, and late season and are ready to get some deer broadside for
shots this fall. After looking at the food plots this year, we won't be backing off our
doe harvest and I suspect you'll see us fling a lot of arrows at antlerless deer this year.
We're working on a ranch that's literally right across an old county road from where
I harvested my first deer and turkey many, many years ago. Like right here. See where
there's a little hole right here? Look at how much vegetation there is right there versus
anywhere else. Got to have sunshine. He has a large farm and really enjoys working
with the land and creating food plots and hunting deer.
He harvested a lot of does last year, but even though he had a great doe harvest, his
beans are still about ankle tall just due to the drought that really limited the ability
of plants to grow in those conditions. (Inaudible) bluff, just kind of forces them
right up there. The best food in the neighborhood by far.
The beans we've got are here at the best tillable land we've got which is up....
Another aspect of this tour was to see where feral hogs have been moving in on his property.
At most, torn up. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
And here, you're five or six times the area. Yeah. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. They're a nuisance.
Feral hogs are an invasive, non-native species to the continental United States.
They like to get out in this thing. So that's west, and we're gonna have a wind
usually somewhere out of the west. I enjoy hog hunting, and eating wild hog as
much as anyone, but I know as a biologist, they do a tremendous amount of damage, and
need to be stopped if at all possible. Being the good biologist I am, I automatically
raised my hand and Adam and I volunteered to go over this week and hopefully help him
remove a few hogs from his property. No teasing. I love hunting hogs, but if you're
serious about eradicating, or drastically reducing hogs, it probably takes a really
good trapping program to make a dent in a hog population.
Take time this week to get out and look at your food plots, or do a little work, and
while you're out there, take a moment to enjoy Creation and slow down and listen to what
the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
Probably within 10 miles of our house. Hogs are within 10 miles. That's the scary thing.