You should all be familiar with Dr. Grant Woods and GrowingDeer.TV ... we've been syndicating the show in our video library here at HuntingClub.com for close to a year. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with Grant and his family in Kentucky, and the pleasure was all mine.
Grant invited me to the annual Growing Deer Field Day. I was among 100 other folks (including five NAHC members who won free admission courtesy of Grant), all hoping to soak up a bit of Grant's vast land and wildlife expertise during the day-long event. (Watch the episode of GrowingDeer.TV below for a closer look at Field Day.)
Our time was spent touring The Kentucky Proving Grounds, a large tract of property owned by Mr. Terry Hamby, a gentleman who possesses the kind of generous mentality that's necessary to fuel the flame of our hunting and conservation heritage. His secondary goal is to grow healthy, mature whitetails and abundant wild turkeys for first-class hunting opportunities. Mr. Hamby's primary goal, however, is quite obvious: During this journey of cultivating his land to full potential, he wishes to share the wealth of his experiences with others.
Grant jumped on board, offering brains, sweat and tenacity . After careful planning and relentless execution by a dedicated team, Mr. Hamby's property has rapidly transformed from a "disaster zone" into a well-groomed landscape with possibilities that would excite any rational hunter. Of course, continuous massaging of such a property is tireless work for all hands involved, and every mature buck or longbeard that's harvested will come with a priceless tag.
Grant led us through many of the steps that were taken to carry out Mr. Hamby's plan, including strategic timber management and amending the poor soil with Antler Dirt to produce thriving food plots. Looking at the heavily grazed forage soybeans, it's easy to imagine the whopper whitetails that I might encounter this fall when I return to humbly bowhunt the picturesque place.
The moral of Field Day: As hunters, we all have the ability to take control and shape the quality of the game we chase. Whether you own a 5,000-acre ranch, lease a 40-acre parcel or hunt only on public land, there are things you can do to improve your own Proving Grounds. Take notes from guys like Grant Woods and apply them where you can, in whatever ways you're able. Resources such as GrowingDeer.TV are always at your fingertips
Next spring, in North American Hunter magazine, I'll tap deeper into Grant's expertise and share deer-growing tidbits that might interest you, along with the recap from my upcoming bowhunt at The Kentucky Proving Grounds. In the meantime, continue to follow my "Mixed Bag" blog; I always look forward to your comments.