Doe Management With Dr. Grant Woods

Show Notes

On the Missouri Woods & Water Podcast this week Nate and Micah get the chance to speak with Dr. Grant Woods about doe management.  Grant gets into pretty much everything as it relates to does.  He gets into common misconceptions about herd numbers, doe to buck ratios, how to know if you should take more or less does off your property, and so much more.  Grant is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the whitetail deer and it was a pleasure talking to him.  Thanks for listening!

Check out the MWW Website for shows, partner discounts, and more!!!

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Missouri woods and water podcast with your host, Nate and Micah. Andy couldn't make it tonight. He's off to learn about farming equipment. Combines. I don't know what you, yeah, combines. I mean they pick the corn, they pick the beans, I don't know what else you need to learn. You got to hit this button.

Okay. You got to hit this button now to let it drive itself instead of this button. Yeah. He is going to kick my ass when he hears that. To be honest, they could probably do it from their couch with the technology today. It's really not a job. Dude, they're going to have drone. They're going to have drone combines.[00:01:00]

It's going to happen. I don't know if it would be called a drone. It would be called something else. A robot. Yeah. Yeah. Where you won't even have to sit in the thing. And it'll all do it automatically. I foresee that in the next five years. I have no need for farmers.

I'm kidding. Can you envision the steam coming out of his ears right now as he's listening to this? Which let's be honest, he's probably not listening to this. I feed America, dang it! I feed Am he ain't gonna listen. He's I feed America. I'm just kidding, I love all you farmers.

It's just a joke. Please continue to listen to us while you're picking my food. Oh.

I might need to hit pause, that was hilarious. Please continue to listen to us while you're picking my food.

No, I have a lot of respect for the farmers out there. I just like to [00:02:00] give Andy a hard time. Yeah that's exactly what it is. But anyways, back to the show. Today we have Dr. Grant Woods of GrowingDeer. tv and he's done a lot of other things. I've been a huge fan of him for a long time now.

I said it in the show, but. Many years ago, I was able to see him in person in a seminar he did here in Oak Grove, actually. And so ever since then, I've watched what he's does and he puts a lot of just awesome information out there. So make sure you guys are following him on his Instagram and Facebook.

He's always putting up reels, great informational reels, and that sort of thing. Lots of good stuff. Yeah, YouTube. YouTube. Good stuff. Growing Deer TV. Isn't that his thing? Yep. I thought. He was the one that he shows the videos of like how much a deer will drop if the head's down or if it's up and, all kinds of just great stuff he's putting out there.

But before we get into the show, let's talk about some sponsors real quick. Let's do it. [00:03:00] Athlon Optics. Ridiculously good optics. I'm excited. Nathan, he cited his end of day. Yeah by the way, we're recording this a couple weeks before it's gonna come out. So we are recording the show the Thursday before youth season opens up here in Missouri.

Like Micah said, I took my my 6 Creed out today and sighted it in. It's not how I wanted to do it, but it's been raining its ass off here all week and been windy. I ended up going to a indoor range that has a 50 yard rifle range. And Sighted it in so that it, in theory, it should be good at 200, there's a lot of theory out there that at 50 and 200 are the, basically the same plane for a lot of rifle rounds and yeah, so usually a lot of people will do 50 and then they just fine tune at 200, right?

So you, you should be close. Yeah. And everything the boys are going to be shooting this weekend is going to be within 150. I actually went out in the rain this morning. [00:04:00] And set up blind and then went and sighted the rifle in after lunch before I did something for work. It worked out pretty good.

Didn't exactly go the way I wanted it to. I wanted to go to a buddy's house that has a really cool new rifle set up, but it just rained all morning and then it was windy. But that Midas did real nice. Real nice. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We love our Athlon stuff. Whatever outfitters, if you guys are in the Hawk Point area or driving by that area, stop in and say, Hey, they're good people.

If you need some bow work done or looking to buy a new bow or rifle or shotgun or whatever your outdoor needs are, they pretty much have you covered there. And when you stop in, make sure you give them a hard time. Yeah Be a bitch. Especially Okay? Especially to Josh. Yes. Josh, yeah. Just give Josh Treat Josh like absolute shit.

It's imperative that you do it.[00:05:00]

Just kiddin Josh. Love you. Alright. Onyx. Use the code MWW20 for 20 percent off. Everybody's using Onyx. It's probably the number one hunting app out there. I would assume there's no problem. Hopefully you guys got that. No, probably. Yeah, it definitely is. Yeah, I'm sure it is. It's awesome. I used it multiple times today.

Sometimes do you ever find yourself just bored and then you get on your Onyx? Dude, there's been multiple times where I've gotten on there. Like you said, bored, just checking stuff out and I have found. Like owners of stuff that like, Hey, I know those people or, Oh, I didn't know they had property over here, I found like two, two coyote hunt spots.

That's how I found them. I was like, Oh, I didn't realize you guys bought 40 acres over here. Can I coyote? Oh yeah, go for it. When we were recording with Grant, I got on my onyx when he was talking about food after the crops come out. And I'm like where are they going? Where you and I are hunting together?

Where are they going? I'm gonna find it. [00:06:00] And so he's sitting there talking and I'm on my OnX looking at a map. It's just so easy to use. Check 'em out. OnX Hunt worth gear. Use our code mww 15 for 15% off, but I don't remember when it's ending. There's a flash sale going on, so discounted prices.

Oh yeah. It might be Oh plus more off. It's a heck of a savings. Yeah. Yeah. It's really good savings, but it might be over by the time they hear this. It's very possible. I don't do dates very good, but man, I've been wearing my Huntworth gear, dude. It's that's all I wear anymore hunting.

That's what I'm gonna wear this weekend with the boys. The boys actually have Huntworth jackets that I got for them. They're actually not kid sizes. They're women's sizes that fit them. And they're gonna have them on with their orange. Dude, we're gonna, we're gonna have to, yeah, we're gonna have to break out the mid season stuff for Sunday.

It's gonna be cold. Sunday is supposed, like a high of 42 or something like that if I remember right. It was 40s, so it's [00:07:00] gonna be chilly. I think a lot of deer are gonna die this weekend, man. It's shaping up to be a really good deer moving. type weekend. I hope three deer between the two of us die this weekend.

Oh yeah, I hope so too, man. Because that'd be Chase and Caden both getting one and then Brindley. All three of them. That'd be great. That'd be great. And now after talking to Dr. Grant Woods, I want the boys to shoot a doe. Both of them, I, so I had to talk with both of the boys this morning.

And I said, I asked him, what do you want to shoot? We need to talk about what we're going to do. This is how I'm going to do it. I'm going to sit the shooter to my right. And the kid who's not shooting is going to be to my left because the deer should be on our right. And every 30 minutes I'm going to have you boys switch.

That's how we're going to do it. And I said, but what do you guys want to shoot? Because, if Chase wants to shoot a doe or Caden. Then, that, that could change who's up based on what comes out. And they both decided they'd want to shoot a buck. And I [00:08:00] can understand that, obviously.

But part of me wonders am I ruining these boys? Chase shot a doe last year. Technically it wasn't. But we all thought it was a doe, it was a button buck. But, and the only thing Caden's ever killed is a buck. Am I ruining these boys by not... Making them shoot does I don't think you should make them do anything And we talked about this at the very end of the show Make it fun.

I think they say they want to shoot a buck I think if a doe pops out one of them's gonna break and be like, can I shoot it? I can talk them into it what you're saying? Yeah, I'd be like dude, you could try to talk me, too That's a big doe, but it's a big doe, but I'm just I think it'll happen Naturally, I think we'll be like dead one of them It's gonna be like, yeah, can I shoot that one?

I'll shoot that one. Yeah. Yeah. So I wouldn't pressure too much. Yeah I don't remember who we were on. I think we're on hunt worth gear Alps outdoors Uses the code 2023 woods water for [00:09:00] 30 freakin percent off Set up your savings set up the freaking blind from them And so did you well, I don't think I set yours.

I know I oh you did. Yeah, I set mine up tonight Amy took the two oldest and they had a tutoring tonight. And so me and the little one, we went out there and we were able to set it up. I was hoping to get it set up, a few days ago, but it is what it is, I got it set up and yeah, it went smooth, man.

So besides my daughter stepping in mud and ruining her new shoes, pretty much everything, but to get your ass beat by you soon, as soon. As I got home, I washed them off as best I could. And I got them on the foot dryer, so I'm hoping she doesn't notice. Yeah. Yeah. My, my blind stinks. Cause I put it up wet.

Last time it got used, and it smells it's gonna get sprayed with Scent Thief, based on last week's show. As we're getting into the blind Saturday morning. That's for sure. Although it doesn't smell like a human, it just smells like moldy ass stuff, [00:10:00] but... I think we're like mine smells new so because it's new my last one got trashed so I got another one from Alps and Technically browning But so it smells like new so I'm hoping I think we're supposed to get some more rain tomorrow So that's wash some that's wash a lot Wash them in a way and then definitely gonna give it a coat of scent thief and then I'm gonna have three Alps chairs Inside of it one for me.

I only got one. Yeah, I guess I got two. I got two Alps chairs But I think Amy wants me to take Lawson with us, which that's gonna be difficult I don't mind taking him but he just doesn't do as good with the sitting still and being quiet thing Yeah, so we'll see I might try to just talk her into making it where it's just one night instead of both nights If we don't get something tomorrow Zamberlan boots check them out Xamberlandusa.

com. Yeah. [00:11:00] With all this rain, with all this rain going on, it's been awesome. Having my I've been wearing my Salate's a lot for work, so feet been staying nice and dry. So that's nice. Sweet. Yeah. Check them out. Reveal cameras by Tacticam. We've gotten a few bucks on camera the last couple of nights, nothing huge, but it is it's a good, maybe a good sign not where we want it to happen, but Hey, it is happening and the reveal cameras are helping us with that.

And Habitat Works. We talk about Dustin actually in this show with Dr. Grant Woods because Dustin is. The wealth of knowledge when it comes to Habitat and Dr. Grant woods talks about Oh, Cedars and how much he hates him. So Dustin comes up and that's because Dustin's the man. So give him a call.

You can find his number on our website email him at habitatworks LLC at gmail. com. And if you don't know how to get ahold of them after all those possible avenues, get ahold of us, we'll let you know. Who else? Black Ovis, man. Talk to our boy, Craig. [00:12:00] Over at Black Ovis today. And I think our listeners, we, all three of us have gotten what do you call them?

Saddles this year to try out. And Black Ovis is a great place to go look for that stuff. If you're trying to find some stuff. They carry Trophy Line, got a big shipment in recently. So middle of the year you're trying to find some stuff, they're restocked. And then use our code MWW10 for 10 percent off when you...

Black Ovis, man it's, they've got a lot of stuff and not a lot of people know who they are in this part of our world yet, the Midwest. Jump on the bandwagon now and get that stuff out from Black Ovis. And then Camelfire, same owners, get on your app while you're hunting. I'm gonna try to make that popular.

You know how the working class camera, Doug from working class says delete your browser history? I'm gonna say. Yep. Get on your app while you're huntin Doesn't sound as fun though I suck. [00:13:00] Get on your No, it's not as cool, but that's fine. And that's it for the sponsors, man. We appreciate all of them.

I think that's it, man. We appreciate all of them very much. And let's just hop into today's show with Dr. Grant Woods about dough, all things dough management. This is, and of course we go, yeah, sorry. And of course we'll go through a few rabbit holes. Oh, obviously that's just part of it, obviously

Yeah. Let's hop into it. This is the Missouri Wisdom Water Podcast podcast. Podcast? Later. Podcast.

Alrighty, welcome to the show, y'all. Today's Oh, I'm super excited about this guest. We have Dr. Grant Woods, and he's already told me just to call him Grant. But we really appreciate Grant coming on here. Grant, how are we doing tonight? Man doing great. And thanks for having me as your guest.

Absolutely. We've been, big fans of everything that you do over there at GrowingDeer. tv. And so this is a real. Treat for us before we get going, if there [00:14:00] is anybody out there, do you think you could give us a rundown of your background and what you do and all things deer hunting?

Just a little stab here. I was raised in Missouri on a little farm, no deer there were no, no hunting season in the county I was in Southern Missouri, the Ozarks. And I wish I could remember, but I heard at the barbershop somewhere that we're gonna. We stocked deer in the area and I was running my trap line.

I, thought I was a great big trap. I had a little rabbit trap line, meadow scrap barn wood. One morning it was cold in the winter and I was checking my trap line. I found a female fawn dead in one of our little fields. Poachers killed her first year I ever saw poachers killed. So since that moment, I've been fascinated with deer and really a strong disregard for.

Law breakers of any kind, but especially wildlife, violation, law breakers. And I personally believe at that moment God said, Hey, I want you to be a deer biologist and, share what you learned about creation. 'cause I'm 62 and guys my age, I wanna be in the army or be a policeman, be a fireman.

I [00:15:00] just wanted deer biologist, wanted to term I on work from Deere and was just hardheaded enough to wiggle my way through. Find a career. Ended up here somehow. That's awesome. Yeah, that's cool. Not that it's not the dead fawn part, but Yeah One thing we do like to ask all our Missouri residents.

What is it about, Missouri? That you love the most everybody's got what they say. They all say the same thing, but I'm going to let you answer it. What's your favorite thing about the Missouri outdoors? Oh gosh, about Missouri outdoors. It's gotta be their diversity. You go from the plains, literally the Prairie up North, that's now ag, but it was Prairie to I'm in the Ozark mountains to the Missouri river and Mississippi river.

It's a very diverse state. And I think it's really good people. I'm blessed or cursed to work all over. Daniel was just up in Canada and we've worked in New Zealand and I think we've been to 50 some odd different landowners this year from Ontario to Texas, to [00:16:00] Florida on backup. Missouri has really good people in it and.

All the diversity and it's just a, I've raised two children here, great place to raise kids from the wildlife. I want to say this, and I say it very openly I think we're really blessed with MDC. I don't work for MDC at all, I'm private. I don't think people appreciate MDC because they're not in all the other states like I am.

And Missouri Department of Conservation does a very good job. I don't agree with every decision they make. I'll say that. But overall, I give them an A and working with some other state agencies, I give MDC an A. And I agree. We're just a couple hours north of you and. You and us are in two different worlds.

Oh, yeah. We're in the same state, and that's what I think is so cool about our state, a lot of states don't have that, if you're in, if you're in Kansas, you're pretty much in Kansas. Although Kansas has some pretty cool stuff. A lot of people, a lot of people think Kansas is boring.

I actually think it's pretty [00:17:00] damn cool. You got some diverse stuff there, Iowa's Iowa, you just, Missouri seems like it's just this convergence of a bunch of states that just all stopped together. The states that have irregular borders tend to be that way in the states that have square borders were easiest survey out and.

There were prairies. I'll throw in just a little trivia for you, so we probably all hunters probably know sections a square mile, but as you go further west, sections get larger and larger, literally, because, of course, they didn't have GPS, they were measuring with chains, steel or iron chains that were 66 links long, and as those survey crews moved west, those chains wore a little bit between links.

And it wore enough that when you re pull it and re pull it and re pull it and re pull it to get them, a mile going up mountain, down mountains, cross rivers, whatever they wore. And when you get a section, there's sections in Nevada, I used to work in Nevada for the Bureau of Land Management on mule deer.

There's sections in Nevada, way over 700 acres. So [00:18:00] just a little trivia there for you that in our modern world of GPS and whatnot, we don't even think that's possible, but it's real. Say you learn something new every day. I did not know that. That's cool. Yeah. Hey, let's say one other thing while we're just talking about the difference.

Let's just go ahead and kill the genetics myth right now. So you got those great big deer like on your wall behind you or up in northern Missouri. About 95 percent of those deer were stocked up there from right on the Arkansas Missouri border. Three wildlife refuges down here.

Taney here in Taney County. We got Drury Mincy and... And then Caney Mountain and then Peck Ranch. That was the big stocking source for all of Missouri. Was it really? Little puny Ozark deer. And they got north, exact same genetics and got groceries. Got to where a lot of sun was hitting the ground. And a couple generations grew big.

It's almost always groceries and it's almost never genetics. So it's just and that's been replicated in many states over and over. And then now all kinds of genetic research, the deer genomes have been mapped out. So let's just kill [00:19:00] that myth and get out of the way. It's not genetics, man.

We got the genetics where we hunt. It's those genetics are really good over there in that soybean field. Yeah, cause they're eating protein. Micah just killed that one right now. Who was it that we had on that for NDA that said that, they said it's habitat and food before genetics gosh, habitat, food, time.

Yeah, his name's going to hit me as soon as we stop recording, but we had somebody on with national deer association that goodness gracious, Lindsey Thomas Jr. I just don't remember if it was Lindsey. Because we've had several people on with the National Deer Association that basically said the same thing.

Yeah. But we're not talking about bucks tonight, are we? No, we aren't talking about bucks. But the main reason we wanted to have you on tonight was doe management. And everybody has their own different views, opinions on doe management in itself. I have close friends of mine that I've hunted with for a very long time that [00:20:00] refuse to kill does they refuse it.

And then I have some that. Let's kill all the does and they're big meat hunters. And, if it's Brown, it's down. So from your experience, what, and it's, and obviously it's going to be different from where you hunt, if you have what you have available to you, but what is the proper way to manage your does in your opinion?

Yeah, great question. And I'll be a little bold here. This is not opinion. This is just science for me and a lot of researchers. So let's, again, clear that out of the way, not trying to be mean at all, but So there's a statement I read in one of my really early wildlife management textbooks that has resonated with me still to this day that says techniques change, but principles never change.

Techniques change, air hammer versus a 16 or, 28 ounce spy camera. Techniques change, but principles never change. Still got to drive the [00:21:00] nail in the tooth before. the tools we use to do it may be different. Deer management has never changed. The techniques we use from a stone tip to a, a 30 up six or whatever has changed.

Doe harvest ideally is used to make sure there's plenty of groceries for all deer in the herd to get all the way through the winter in good health. It's a number of mouths thing. It's not an opinion, it's how much food's on the landscape, and then when you get to where there's just tons of food. Then it's social carrying capacity.

How much crop damage can the farmer tolerate and still make a profit? How many roadkill people sound so harsh because deer is the most dangerous animal in North America. More than that, rattlesnakes and grizzly bears are lost while combined because of deer car accidents. So we first should look at the health of the deer herd in most areas.

Is there enough groceries for the amount of deer there? And second, what's the social carrying [00:22:00] capacity? How are they impacting humans and human goals for that area? If you're in total closed canopy, marked twain, Hercules glades, not much opening, whatever, it's probably somewhat self regulating. There's just not enough groceries for those does to be...

Very productive. And if you're in ag country and you don't have a doe harvest, they absolutely will exceed social carrying capacity, probably before they exceed biological carrying capacity and biological carrying capacity is not a point. It's a range. Do we want to grow big deer? I know we're not talking about bucks.

Then we're probably going to have fewer deer, so there's ample groceries. Do we want medium health deer? Maybe we're okay with does just having one fawn apiece. Then we can have more deer because they're not going to be healthy enough to probably carry twins. So the state or the private landowner picks a point on that management continuum from starving to death,[00:23:00] way too many deer to one deer per square mile.

And you pick that point on the continuum and you adjust the doe harvest to meet those objectives. It sounds complicated, but it's not. And in general state management, they manage deer management zones or, zones like Missouri has and other states have even smaller zones down to counties or whatever.

And you say, boy, in this area, our farmers are screaming about crop damage or the roadkill numbers are really high or our hunters, our hunter success was really low last year. We need to let that deer population build up a little bit because deer herd reproduction is totally controlled by does one buck can breed a lot of does.

We're not adjusting population by buck harvest. That's an excuse or, that, that thing's got antlers, I'm going to shoot it, type story. But we control deer population by doe harvest. And you know through Missouri's history here, we've pretty much been a one buck in gun season and then one or two in bow season if you don't take one in gun season for [00:24:00] decades.

But that doe quota has been up and down a bunch. Did we have a really bad EHD outbreak in an area. Boy, we need to back off that doe harvest a little bit or, whatever it is. So doe harvest, if we're doing real deer management, is a scientific tool. And let's take that one step further. You hear a lot of hunters say, boy, my land, excuse me, my land or wherever I hunt, it's 10 does per buck or 25 does per buck, whatever.

That's a good story, but it's absolutely not true. It's absolutely not true. So before the gun season, it's almost biologically impossible for that sex ratio to be more than one buck to 3. 3 dose because am I too scientific here? Y'all feel free to read the book. No, this is great. No. Let's think of a deer herd as this pyramid fawns, right?

There's more fawns than any other age [00:25:00] class because they haven't had time to die yet, right? Not many seven year olds. They've had a lot of opportunities to die, but fawns pin on, if you do it two minutes after birth They haven't had a lot of time to die yet and fawns are coming out. The sex ratio is almost always 50 50 we consider a fawn or fetal sex ratio of 48 to 52 about as far skewed as it gets that's the most deer.

If you harvested almost every single buck that is a year and a half old or older, the next spring, with that huge fawn crop coming in at 50 50, it pulls it back to about one buck for every 3. 3 does. A lot of hunters talk about the adult sex, not the deer herd sex ratio, the adult sex ratio.

After in Missouri, 150, 000 bucks have been harvested and you're looking out over a pick cornfield. Yeah, you may [00:26:00] see a lot of analyst deer. A lot of those are really big button bucks that you don't see through your optics at 400 yards, close to door or short spikes, but sex ratios don't get to be 10 to one that's.

Is there ever a time where it gets so skewed that it is that, or is it almost always going to scientifically be that pyramid and you can kill what you think is every buck out there, but as soon as there's a bumper crop of fawns the next year, it's going to pull that number right back to. Almost 1 to 3.

3. That's fact. Go to bed knowing that's true. That's fact. We have a lot of evidence. These aren't just theories, guys. I'm a real, I'm a hands on, if you can see my hands, I'm a hands on biologist. Pennsylvania didn't start doing what we commonly refer to as quality deer management, letting bucks get older and harvest up those till, I don't know, 10, 12, 14 years ago, something like that.

Before that, 90 percent of their harvest would be bucks [00:27:00] every year after year, decade after decade, literally. And they would kill a big percentage of the standing stock of bucks. They would kill a couple of two year olds, one or two three year olds statewide. Pennsylvania is a big state, guys.

And mainly yearling bucks. They just slaughtered that standing crop of yearling bucks every year. Every year. And the deer herd, biologically speaking, was okay. It wasn't growing big bucks. And hunters actually, hunters were so used to seeing all these deer and shooting the first buck they saw. I got my buck, I got my buck.

That when the state started trying to encourage some doe harvest and passing up younger bucks, it was a major revolt. The deer ball just literally, I know him personally, literally wore a bulletproof vest because there was life threats on him all the time. Oh goodness. Oh wow. We have this data. One thing I find about hunters, we tend to live in our little county or, southern Missouri or whatever.

A lot of people don't know that, the [00:28:00] rut in South Florida, in the Everglades area of South Florida, boy, it peaks out about late January. The mosquitoes, and season opens August 1st, the mosquitoes are horrible. Season in coastal plains, South Carolina, 20 plus counties, opens August 15th. You can use dogs to chase them or corn to bait them.

It doesn't close till January and there's no limit. If you shoot 500 a day and you got the landlord tags in your pocket, have at it. There's a whole lot of data out there that we can apply everywhere, not just what happened, in our little area. And this is coming from my buddy that said he won't shoot a doe to save his life.

What, how does that affect? I know we weren't going to talk about bucks, but how does that affect the bucks and the rut? And, cause obviously a lot of us out there, we want to kill a big buck. That's, I do it for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons is, I like to harvest mature animal.

So how does the number of [00:29:00] does affect the buck side of things? Great question. So it goes back to what we started talking about. There's a finite amount of groceries, even in Iowa, that finite level is way closer to the ground. You get down here in the Ozarks or where a lot of the land's covered by timber, right?

Cause timber is not, we're associate timber, good deer habitat, but it's not the prairie. If I said, Hey guys, man, I've really enjoyed this podcast. We work in every state that has whitetails. I got friends in every state that has white tails. I really enjoyed y'all. You just pick a state and I'm going to line this out a hunt.

Where would y'all want to go? Iowa, probably. Yeah. Iowa, Kansas, Prairie state where the sun's hitting the ground everywhere. Cause to get down to the basics, it's all about sunshine. Zero three feet off the ground. Growing antlers is not about protein. It's about carbon deer, about 70 percent carbon.

You're about 70 percent carbon. You're about 70 percent carbon. I'm about 70 percent carbon. And I'm being a little facetious here, but it's really about photosynthesis. [00:30:00] And if you remember your 7th grade biology, photosynthesis, C6H12O6, start of the formula right, 6 carbons off the bat. When that photosynthesis is happening in an oak tree, 40, feet up in the air, there's nothing for deer to eat down there.

And acorns are a small pulse, an unreliable pulse in a deer's diet. They're very unreliable. It's protein all summer, and that takes photosynthesis at zero to three feet off the ground, basically. Everyone wants to go hunt in Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, somewhere like that, but then they won't cut any trees on their own property.

Doe harvest... Damn it, Grant. So every farmer that takes every tree off is actually correct, son of a gun.

You always hear that joke, I always give my father in law a hard time. Cause he's I'll get rid of the trees, get rid of the deer. Oh, [00:31:00] that's funny. Yeah, absolutely. All the cedars. If I could flip my finger and get rid of them all today, I'd be a happy guy. So there's only so much food.

Yeah. And if you have too many does, they're eating groceries. Deer consume, and these are round numbers, about 5 percent of their body weight a day. So 100 pound doe, 5 pounds of food a day. Now remember, that water is passing through, is coming out as urine, or part of the feces, or they're respirating. So deer tend to need to eat about 17 pounds wet weight.

We're talking about summer, and ragweed's growing. Deer love ragweed, or soybeans, or whatever. They have to eat about 17 pounds as the plant's growing to actually get five pounds of dry weight. Wow. And there's so much food out there. That is. And I want you to think about this. I didn't realize how much that is.

Yeah. Here's when you really think about it. I challenge you and your listeners to do this. Get grocery store bag, brown paper sack, tub, whatever. You don't [00:32:00] have to pick even stuff deer will eat. Go pick 17 pounds of just leaves. You'll be wore out. You'll have tennis elbow. You'll be wore out.

Wore out. And deer aren't doing that. They're picking the best food they walk by. They're very selective feeders. If you think about a cow or a buffalo or even an elk, they have a big wide muzzle. Just... They eat grass. Grass grows everywhere. They're grass eaters. Deer don't have the right bacteria in their gut to digest the cellulose in grass.

They're forbeaters. They're broadleaf plant eaters. So they're much pickier. Long, narrow mouth, real narrow mouth. If you look at their structure, you go, Man, that's a picky, that deer's got a picky diet, which they do. And buffalo, which weigh 2, 000 pounds, big adult male, they're not picky. If it's grass, they're putting it in their belly.

The more does we have on the landscape, there's just less food for the rest of the herd. It's not just bigger antlers. The other does aren't getting enough groceries, so they're not [00:33:00] producing enough milk for their fawns, male or female fawns. Doe harvest again goes back to the health of the deer herd.

And making sure there's enough groceries. And then if you want better hunting from a rattling or a grunt call or scrape behavior, and I have published this something I say, published in scientific stuff, not, Joe Bubba deer journal. If you have, if you can, and I've done this on several properties, 20 does and four bucks.

We do that year after year. My typical writeup for a lot of people I work for is harvest five does for every buck. We've done that for 11 years straight on a large property, never ran out of deer, but the hunting show was awesome. If you dropped your grunt call and it squeaked a little bit, you'd get run over by three bucks.

Wow. Wow. What you just said made me think of a question. If there's not enough groceries, as you call it, for, all the deer at a certain [00:34:00] time, and let's say a doe has twin fawns. Which, Mike and I had this happen this year, that's why I'm asking. Now, I don't know what exactly happened to the second fawn, but, if there's not enough milk for her to produce for both fawns, will she Pick one.

Can, do we have any, studies that says she will only give nutrition one or No? No. It just happens. No. Both of them will get, both. The studies actually show both of 'em will get weak and malnourished. Coyote picked that other phone off. Accidents happened, hit a Bob Bar fence, whatever.

She did not select a font. I always wondered that because, it's if you had to pick between your two buddies, one of them's got to die, I they don't think that way we me and Micah had a set of twin fawns on a farm that we hunt and One of them had a real bad ticks all around its eye like so bad I don't even know how the thing could see and It was like that for a few weeks and then that fawn stopped showing up on camera.

And so yeah, we assumed it died but it made us [00:35:00] think about, the drought that we were having and, the amount of food that they've gotten was that, that thing didn't look about, so when there's less food and deer got to stick their head down to brambles more to find something to eat, they're going to get more ticks and the whole herd health.

If we just take this door skin from the whole herd health, there's a. A real common thing, it's not used in Missouri much, southern states do it a lot called health checks, and they typically harvest five or ten does off a given property after the end of seasons, and besides body weight and all the obvious stuff they do, the deer don't have four stomachs like you hear, they have one stomach with four chambers.

And in one of the chambers, a real common parasite, the large stomach worm, Homonchus contortus, for all you science folks out there listening, but the large stomach worm, and you can see it with your naked eye, a big adult, one of those worms that look like a blonde hair or white hair, about three inches long.

So we use a 10 power scope to see them, makes it easier, but you can see them with your naked eye. You're sorting through horrible, smelly [00:36:00] stuff. It's something graduate students do. I don't do this anymore. That's what grad students And if we look in this, that chamber of the stomach, and we find, zero, which never happens, to 500 of those worms, we say, boy, there's plenty of food out there.

If we find 500 to 1500, this is a relative index, obviously, Probably about enough food for the deer. They're not going to express their full potential. If we find over 1, 500, boy, that doe harvester one needs to get up. And the reason that's so accurate is because the life cycle of that parasite, of course, it goes in the deer, reproduces, comes out the back end, and then the young go up vegetation.

The closer to the ground deer eating, the more of those young, they ingest, they're getting a heavier parasite load. That's true for cattle and sheep and a lot of things, and if you're running too many cattle on your pasture, if you weren't vaccinated in them, they would be in really bad shape.

You drive by Missouri and you don't have to fescue pastures or lip what I call lip pie. Cal can get their lipping closer to [00:37:00] ground and browse the grass off. That's true in a lot of deer habitat, and you walk out there, Oh, that ain't my place, man. I got all these brown leaves. Deer don't eat dead brown leaves.

And, all this green stuff out here, which is probably buckbrush or something deer don't eat at all. When we get to actually looking at plants deer eat, a lot of areas outside the ag area is very poor habitat because fire's been excluded. It's a closed canopy forest. There's a lot of issues or, and I'm just sharing this as an example.

If you're at my place and we've cut hundreds of acres of cedars and use fire every year. I did a fire there a day because I knew this rain was coming in. I burn year round. I burn all the time when I burn on God burn, if it's dry enough, I burn. I call that the God burning plan, not trying to be sacrilegious at all, but.

Cause when we read, like here in Missouri, if you guys aren't familiar, there was, we got Lewis and Clark and the Great Journal, but there was a gentleman that come through here, Schoolcroft, looking for lead deposits. And I like his book, it's about 88 pages long, cause he's right over here at Beaver Creek, 15 miles of crow [00:38:00] flies from me.

His observations was right here at my place. And he went through here when there were still Native Americans, he was dodging Native Americans looking for lead deposits. But he kept a journal like Lewis and Clark. And so we know exactly what this habitat looked like. And there was almost no cedar trees.

And he never mentioned ticks. Can you imagine camping out for 80 days, including part of the summer in Missouri, and not writing about ticks? That'd be great. Have you ever read Lewis and Clark's journal? They don't talk about ticks. That's because there was so much big scale fire. Fire is the best tool we have to get rid of ticks.

And not burning our woods has allowed tick populations and other management things just to explode. People don't like to burn in the northeast and they got ticks like crazy. It's illegal to burn, you can't burn, you can't legally burn in New York, you can't burn your own land in New York, it's illegal.

Wow. Why anyone would live in New York is beyond me. If you can't burn, you should not live there. Me too. That, that, that is interesting, you don't hear about [00:39:00] things like ticks. In anything you read from back in the day and that's they weren't an issue. We've got a good friend who is a He has a degree from Missouri University of Missouri and Habitat or I can't remember exactly what the degree itself is But yeah, he He talks about the reason why cedars are what they are now is because historically fire controlled them, and now nobody burns anymore.

So now they're able to be invasive, which is what they are and go do what they're going to do. So super invasive, the state of Oklahoma and they use satellite imagery to figure this. So it's not one farm or something, but they think they lose about 700 acres. Cedars across that state a day, let that sink in.

Oh my gosh. Now that's, a cedar here, cedar there, but they're comparing satellite images of the state from one year to the next and counting up how many acres were lost to Cedars. By the way, you listeners out [00:40:00] there, especially in Missouri, but a lot of states, the NRS, national Resource Conservation Service, again, I'm self-employed.

I do not work for a government agency. Has a bunch of money right now for people to cost you removing cedars from their land because they are that invasive. And ticks need moisture and shade. They desiccate. They dry out really quickly. So when you cut those cedars and put some sun to the ground and burn and get those native species growing, that tick population is gonna drop.

That'd be great. I know I definitely plan on doing it. I plan on doing it this upcoming burning season. It's obviously wet right now, but because the ticks are just, it's just ridiculous. I hunt, I have 60 acres, half of it's alfalfa field at the farmer plants. And the other half is timber. And I've gone in there the few times I've gone in there this summer.

To do, management things, clearing out brush and doing whatever I need to do hundreds of ticks. I've gotten, those little baby ticks, sea ticks, people want to call them, they're just baby. [00:41:00] Yeah. But they're babies is what they are. And walk through a few nests of those that makes for a long evening trying to get all those off.

So I can't wait to burn just to take care of the. So I want you to burn, but so your listeners know when you burn under a closed canopy forest, you're going to take away some tick habitat. You're going to remove that leaf litter, but you're not helping the deer because we got to get sunshine down to cause those good plants to grow.

And then that, and like we were talking about our buddy Dustin with a habitat work he's walked the property and I definitely need to do that. I need to clear up a lot. It's an, it was an old pasture at one point. There's a lot of hedge trees. Thorny locusts and a lot of useless trees, almost a lot of cutting needs to get done.

A lot of cutting needs to get done. It needs a lot of work. So I'm just picking at it when I can thing. It's really cool to see people who are. educated in certain areas like, Grant with deer and Dustin [00:42:00] with and Habitat, sure, but Dustin, when we were walking through that property together, it's just amazing, he'll be like, yeah, that elm needs to go there's a, there's a bur oak, oh, there's this type of maple, and Mike and I are like, okay, cool.

Yeah would have never known what that tree was. And then he would tell us why this tree is not good. Why this tree needs to go try to, you get rid of all these trees to help this oak do a little better. It can, get some more light around it and not get, so choked up.

And he was just it's just interesting to see people who are really good at what they do what they do. And it's fast for sure. Yeah. So by harvesting does we can, if needed, provide more food for the rest of the herd. So a hundred pound dough, five pounds a day, roughly about 2000 pounds a year, 10 does that's 20, 000 more pounds available on the property.

So which just brings us up. When should you harvest those? That was going to be my next question. Almost all hunters say. I'm not harvesting them after the rut, cause man, I gotta [00:43:00] have all that bait for my bucks out here. That's what they're thinking. If I could give hunters one tip to be a better hunter, after putting GPS collars on deer, and all the work I've been blessed to do, and all the stuff, here's my one tip, folks.

One tip to make you a better hunter. Stop thinking like a human, start thinking like a deer. You'll be a, you'll be a better hunter tomorrow. Deer don't care anything about gunshots. All my neighbors shot all the deer running through the bed. I work on military bases. DOD has to spend about 10 percent of their budget on at least something ecology related.

Some to deer hunt. Good for me because no one pays like the government. I've seen piles of deer 20 yards off the range while our America's best are shooting automatic weapons. They don't think a gun. We're human. We know what a gunshot is. Deer don't know. Oh, it's thunder. Boy, that's a lot of thunder over there today, mama.

They don't think about gunshots like we do. You're thinking like a human, not you. But hunters, I did when I was [00:44:00] young too, hunters think like a human. If you had to survive every day, you would think much differently. If you were in the back mountains of Afghanistan right now, On the line at Gaza and Israel, you would not be thinking like you're thinking right now, right?

True. That's how deer live every day. Yeah. Just to back you up one of my customers I deliver propane. So I, I'm out in rural country and one of my customers is a shooting range. And, it's they go in while I was in there the other day, cause it's getting close to rifle season.

So everybody's signing in their guns and it's surrounded by crop and I'm driving down the driveway and there's six, I think it was five or six does just sitting there feeding and there was probably six or seven guys out there just shooting the rifles, getting everything going. They could care less.

So it's, yeah, no, it could care less at all. It's whatever deer you get conditioned to in town, deer all over the golf course, there's city parks all day long because it's dangerous out there at night, man. There's meth heads shooting around and coyotes running all night and stuff like that.

It's safe during the day in most city parks anyway. So what, and then people always [00:45:00] say, because I want to park. I'm not lazy. I walk a lot. But I want to park my four wheeler or my buggy at the base of the stand or tree. I don't want to walk quarter mile in there because then I'm leaving my human, I'm respirating, I'm, I'm doing all kinds of stuff.

Deer hear buggies every day. The worst thing you can do is have your hunting property say no one go there all summer. I hear this all the time, man. No one. And then, day four, opening day, there's 50 buggies out there riding around, checking stands and blinds. That sends the signal to deer.

It's not the buggy. It's that there's activity that hadn't been all summer. I want to hunt conditioned deer. We're on our property working. Like I said, I was just doing fire, doing stuff almost every day out of the year. My wife's out there walking honey, could you please not walk in a pre rut? She's out there with her lady friends walking around the dogs running all over the place.

Our deer just used to it. I'm not saying they're easier to hunt. They're just, deer are gonna survive. We got a guy we know, we've talked about this several times recently. It's come [00:46:00] up several times for some reason. We've got a guy we know that all summer long, he feeds his deer, whatever he feeds them and He takes his side by side every time and leaves it running and then dumps the food and then leaves and he says Not 30 minutes later There will be every big buck on that farm will be at that food site and he said it's a better net I'm anti feeding off, sir.

Yeah, we have diseases folks, but for those feed Texas whatever in Texas They feed so much literally They will hear if you're in the same buggy or truck that they feed out of all the time. They'll be standing in the Sedaro before you get there. It's like the ice cream truck pulls in the neighborhood, always playing real loud music, and the kid says, Momma, give me a dollar, I'm gonna go get an ice cream.

When the deer hear that, old Dodge truck out there bringing the corn feeder around, There'll be turkeys, quail, deer, beasts, javelinas, hogs, standing in the road, waiting for a truck to get there. Start being on African [00:47:00] safari. That's what he said when hunting season comes around, he obviously can't feed anymore in this state.

He, he still drives his side by side because the deer are associating that sound with food. And he has apparently killed some great deer. Maybe because of an actual sound he's making going in there instead of trying to be quiet and slipping in there and all that stuff, no doubt. It's like Pavlov's dog. Just the same conditioning, if you remember from schooling sometime. Excuse me about Pavlov's dog for those that never learned that in school Pavlov was a German scientist course over in Europe somewhere And he fed dogs every day. I think it was that three o'clock in the afternoon for 60 days on 61st day He didn't feed them and once if they you know, how their behavior be what they bit the heck.

I know I'm teasing They started salivating He would always ring a bell and feed him ring a bell and feed him ring a bell and feed him way ring the bell Didn't feed him That was a conditioned response. That's where the term come from in that study. And they started salivating. So you can, most hunters condition deer to avoid them.[00:48:00]

I'm not going there to opening day. And then they go in there of course, I got something strange happening in my bedroom here. I'm going, I'm getting the heck out of here. It's a conditioned response. And that's why the farmer drives his old truck around checking cows, whatever, and sees all the big bucks.

You drive in there and they run like crazy. Because they're used to the farmer every day. They're used to that vehicle every day. Yeah. Actually, yeah, we were, that first time I saw you, I don't know if we were talking, if we were recording when I said this, but I saw Grant in a a seminar that he did a long time ago and you were telling that, if you were, if you're one of those people to go out there and dump corn, whenever it's legal take your shirt off, put that shirt right next to the corn pile, leave it next time you do it, do the same thing. And then that would condition the deer to be okay. Associate your smell. Yeah. To associate your smell with food or something positive.

If you're on a big golf course, it's a big issue is the deer won't get off the fairway for you to play through, cause they're so used to humans. Yeah, that's crazy, Micah. Yeah, you and I are about [00:49:00] to go out, sweat our butts off. I think it's a little late next year.

So the ideal day to harvest dough, if you're going to just say, Hey, wherever you're hunting, whatever your goal, your management goes 10 does just for easy math. The ideal time to harvest those 10 does is the first day through Missouri, because that's just less food. They're going to consume.

And everyone said, oh, the buffs are gonna leave. Cause you're like I thought the party was here. There's no party here. I'm going to drive across town and go to the party over there. You're thinking like a human. Research after research. State after state. People have put GPS collars on deer.

And the data almost always come back saying, there'll be a few buffs that roam all over. But 90 percent plus, I'm just throwing a number out. They're committed to their home range. You can't drive them out at home range. People, researchers in South Carolina have used dogs, trained deer dogs to try to make deer leave their home range.

They just circled. They're not leaving their home range. They don't know there's more does over there. They don't have the internet. They don't have the radio. Don't have an iPhone. [00:50:00] That's a different universe of them. Now, what will happen is, here's the does home range. They overlap 10 percent comes November.

She's got that magic perfume on. They overlap on the corner home range while he's following her home. GPS studies show this, and they're zigzag, do whatever to those, going all over. And when that dates over 24 to 36 hours later, wherever that buck is in her home range, get back on my camera here, it's a straight line back to his home range.

Here go across golf courses, rivers, swimming pools, he's going back because he's scared. He was, on a date and not thinking right, like a high school boy. And then all of a sudden he realizes his date's over and I got to go home. Because deer are most secure in their home range. They know the thermals, they know the threats, they know the coyote dens.

They're not out, it's not the, and another thing drives me nuts, because again, people thinking like people instead of a deer. The old big buck isn't cruising the county doing most of the [00:51:00] reproduction. Not true at all. Mature bucks rarely breed more than a year and a half old buck. Micah, that gives me hope for our big boy that has been gone for a month.

Yeah. Remember, I've always said it can't be a bad thing that they are comfortable. Grant, just to give you an idea, we have, me and Micah have this buck that we would love to kill this year. And, during the summertime, we saw him on our cameras every single day. Every single day. And, We haven't seen him since September 1st, we, he disappeared for two weeks and then he showed up on the 14th and then one more time on the 27th.

And then since then, we haven't had a single photo of him and we're both sitting here going he's gone. He went to a different range, but I've always thought he just is following some does or do or doing something different, how big is the [00:52:00] property? How big area did you have covered by cameras? Only probably about 25 percent of the timber area, honestly there's more in acres or 200 acres.

What would you say? I'm like a 40. Yeah. The timber itself's probably around that 30, 40 mark. It's surrounded by the majority of the property that we have permission to is mostly crop, but there is 30, 40 acres and there's 640 acres in a square mile. If that deer's home range at that time, year's a square mile, you're a real small part.

Yeah. Of his home range. So not being on a camera in 40 acres, just, a crop is harvested or acorns start dropping over here. Whatever happened, that's just a little shift. That's he did not leave his home range. He left where you had cameras. That's a good point. We need to buy more cameras.

I'm just kidding. We've already got too many cameras already.

Yeah you're not, your bucks are not gonna leave because you harvested does that there's tons and tons of data on [00:53:00] this. And then when you're in gun season, so I'll fill my doe tag, after I get my buck, the first thing I want to do, Saturday morning, opening day, gun season, is drop a doe right in front of me.

Shoot her through both shoulders, drop her right there. About 25 percent of the big bucks I kill with a gun are when I've already killed a doe during that hunt, that set. Not two days before. And the wor I don't ever want to get down and move the deer, I'm just putting human sin out there. Cause deer don't think of dead like humans do.

If we're out there and we walk up on a dead human, we're freaking out a little bit, most likely. I'm such a deer hunter, I go I'll call the cops later, I'm going with my stand. I'm teasing. No we have all kinds of videos, published videos on our channel of bucks coming in to dead does.

They don't think about dead like we do. That's just a, that's just a doe laying there. They're getting down to their handlers, trying to make them stand up, do all kinds of stuff to them. So the best bait you're going to have is a fresh killed doe. That's a good point. Wow. See now I'm trying to, now I'm thinking maybe I should have one of the boys drop a [00:54:00] doe Saturday morning.

There you go. First thing. First thing. First thing. First thing. Crack a daylight. Not a bad idea. That's all. And make sure it's a double shoulder shot. So they're laying right there. Doesn't do you good if you shoot it and it runs off 300 yards where you can't see it. And all the bucks are going to be over there.

Yeah, that would not work out well.

One other question, and this is I guess personal just cause that property that me and Nathan talked to that we both have permission onto, I've noticed a lot of, We have a lot of pictures of coyotes, and I know that coyotes obviously kill deer. We're getting pictures almost every night of coyotes, and we're not getting that many pictures of deer.

How, what effect? Do coyotes, I know that they're part of the landscape and everything. And we do our part of managing it. Should we go ahead and go and manage those coyotes before, and that might help bring our deer back around, or is it just,[00:55:00] I get pictures. I had one trail camera last two nights ago.

I had a raccoon, a bobcat, a coyote and a bear all on the same trail camera. And seven deer at different times. So another thing They get up there with that all the time. Yeah. Now I'm all for legally harvesting coyotes. But it's tough to make a difference. I trap intensely on my properties. It's not so much the coyotes are spooking the deer, moving, but they are tremendous fawn predators.

There's research out South Carolina. This research is over a decade old. It's really cool, sophisticated. They put a vaginal implant transmitter, just means they're putting a, something with a GPS sensor on it inside the doe before the rut. Semen will just swim right by. It was sure conceived. 200 days later, that's the gestation period for a whitetail deer.

200 days later, that fawn will be born and it will push that transmitter out of the birth canal. As soon as it changes from inside that dough, which is about 100 [00:56:00] degrees, to outside, That big change in temperature sends a signal and graduate students, again, graduate students, are sent out there to find that fawn as quick as they can.

Usually within four hours. It was a big research, big property. Bunches of deer. GPS, not two or three. Bunches of bunches. Now, this isn't South Carolina. The South does a whole lot more research on deer than Missouri ever thought about. The South would do more research on deer in one year than we're doing ten.

It's just a different study area. It's not a priority here. I'm not knocking it. It's just a different priority. In that study, 70 percent of the fawns were dead from coyotes, right? Coyotes. I'm not saying that's true. Everywhere coyotes were new in South Carolina has finally moved there and they were a novel predator.

Deere didn't run out to avoid them. Deere been dodging coyotes in Missouri for longer than all of us been. But coyotes are big fawn predators. Bears in some areas are reported to kill up to 40 percent of the fawn crop. I don't think that's true in Missouri, but in some areas. There's a lot of things that wants to eat a six pound pink [00:57:00] sandwich.

Yeah. That's about what a fawn wants. Would you be more worried about the coyotes, like we just talked about, the same property Mike and I have been talking to you about, about every three to five days, we will also get pictures of dogs running through the property. Domestic dogs. Do they cause more issues with deer than coyotes, or?

They can't, they certainly can't. See, that's what we've been saying to each other, is those damn dogs are causing more problems than the coyotes do. What is it they do? Do they just, do they harass? Say again? Do they just harass the deer more than they do kill things? Oh, they kill deer. They kill deer.

They bust a lot of turkey nest up. They bust a lot of turkey nest up. Yeah, that's a bad thing. Yeah, I know. Unfortunately, Missouri, it's illegal to appropriately deal with that. I know. But that is a very bad. I don't have respect for people that don't take, I've dealt. My wife has dog love dogs. We have a dog, blood trail and antler finding.

I've always been my family always had dogs, I [00:58:00] had a border, I had cows when I was a kid, I had a border collie, loved dogs, but I just didn't allow my dog to run willy nilly, on everyone else's property. That'd be like me running willy nilly on their property, they wouldn't like that.

Yeah we've went back and forth on what we should do, because we don't want a raw, rustling feathers since, we, we've been given permission out there and, we don't want to say, Hey, can we go talk crime in Missouri? Unless you feel threatened, it's a crime.

No, we're not talking about killing the dogs. Definitely not. We're talking about going and talking to the, finding out where they're coming from and going and talking to the owner. But, then we're like we don't want to make them angry. And then they get angry at the farmer because these guys came to our house and yelled at us or whatever.

And so we've left it alone. But then every time we see those pictures, we're like, dude, we've got to, we've got to figure out where these dogs are coming from and say something. I would say more than likely, given what you told me about the property, there's, has there been. Crops harvested close to you or the beans brown and the green down the road or?

No, everything's been harvested. Yep.[00:59:00] Even away from your property. Is there one field that hadn't been harvested in the neighborhood or something? The crops that are around where we're at are pretty much the only crops in that area. So the farm we're on and then there's a farm south to it and then a farm in the exact connects to this, the one that we have permission on.

That's the only crop. Everything else is in hay fields and timber to the west and south. Yeah, but we're talking probably a section's worth. It's probably around 600 acres of crop, give or take. I would say, deer move to acorns or something. Shifts in food are what usually cause deer to move.

Yeah. Yeah. That's what we assume. Those dogs have probably been running through there a long time. Probably have. Still annoy the hell out of us every time we see it. Oh yeah, I understand. It's a form of trespassing that's. What else you got, Mike? Is there getting back to the doe management aspect, me not being a biologist or that smart, [01:00:00] how can I go out into my property that I hunt and be able to tell if I have too many does?

Is it? Let's start real basic. Have you been harvesting does in the past?

What'd you say, Mike? I don't think, I think you cut out. Yes. Yes, I have. Like how many? I usually kill one a year, and then the landowner, he's taken usually at least one a year, if not, and he, every once in a while, allows buddies, but probably, on average, I would say, there's probably three to four killed a year, on the property.

Off that mile square area. No, this is off of my 60 acres that I have permission. Obviously it butts up to a bunch of other stuff, big timber, there's conservation ground real close by. Just give me a guess. How many deer bucks of those, what everything's been killed off the mile square each year, just to rough guess a lot more than three or four.[01:01:00]

I would assume, I would say it's pretty safe that there's probably 15, 15 to 30 deer killed in that area a year. 30 would be a lot per mile. That'd be a lot. Okay. And like I said, yeah, like I said, I only have permission for the 60 acres. I know that there are hunters around me and there's also a conservation ground that butts up pretty close to where I know it's in that square mile range.

So I don't know exactly. I see a car there every night. Whether they're killing something, I don't know. But, so it's probably more, I guess you would, probably 10 to 20 might be safer bet. We don't know. Maybe. Okay, so we don't know. Sam. Yeah. Crops growing around you what are those crops? Is that a standard corn?

So what would be in rotation or what's being grown around you? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I alfalfa in my area and then real close by is bean and corn. Okay. So it sounds like you got plenty of groceries during the growing season. It's in the [01:02:00] winter, like now after those crops have been harvested when groceries are short.

And if you still have alfalfa out there standing, they cut all the beans and corn, the deer are on the alfalfa. Oh yeah, every night. Yeah, that's a given. Cause deer are slaves to their gut. When you've got a big rumen, you gotta eat a lot. It's like me and ice cream buddy, I gotta have it and they, deer gotta eat.

They just gotta have it. Deer are slaves to their gut and they're going where the food is. And more importantly that they're going to the food that they don't feel pressure that they feel safe. If there's the best food in the world, but there's five Navy SEALs up there picking someone off to get close to it.

Orders safe food down the road a mile. We're all walking down the road a mile because we know we're going to die if we go there. And deer, remember deer conditioned to danger very rapidly. So if there's a farmer that doesn't allow any hunting and he's got food, that's where the deer are. Makes sense. Yeah.

But in [01:03:00] your case, it sounds like the metric is how much food is there after the crops are harvested? And if there's not much, you probably need to harvest some does. And I think what would really help you, from what you're telling me here, and again, I have not seen your property. Sure. From what you're telling me, I would be killing some trees and at minimum making a couple of hidey hole food plots on the highest piece of ground.

Because it's higher ground, the wind doesn't swirl as much. When you get down low, your stems are going to swirl a lot more. I would have me a hidey hole food plot on that high ground, so when the crops are harvested, deer are coming out of the hidey hole food plot. That would be a very successful technique for you.

Okay. And the last part of that is to approach hunt next without alerting deer. Cause remember the most important thing to a deer survival. We know that by measuring cortical steroids, that's the fight or flight hormone or steroid actually. But anyway if that gets really elevated in the blood [01:04:00] system, they're scared, this is something that can be monitored.

You put a little tiger urine in the pen, take a blood sample. A lot of things we can do. But it sounds to me like, man, when those crops get harvested, you put you a hidey hole food plot close to a bedding area in that timber, you got to have sunshine to grow a hidey hole food plot, kill, four or five hedge trees, drag the brush out of the way, something like that.

Put you a hidey hole food plot, you're going to see deer. And make two or three so you can approach whatever wind it is that day. That's not a bad idea. People make all the, they're gonna make a hidey hole food plot and they're gonna put up one stand or blind or whatever. That's good for one wind direction.

If I'm going to go to the trouble of making a food plot, I've usually got two stands or two blinds or something around it so I can hunt that under multiple winds. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I have, I do have, in the timber there was an opening. I did a little bit of work to it and I made it a little bit bigger.

I put a clover [01:05:00] plot. You put a clover plot in there and then my plan next year, there's another opening. It's a little bigger and it's a, like an L shaped type deal. And I plan on clearing it out a little better and putting in another some type of food plot. So that would definitely help for sure, but it does sound like I need to kill some more does.

And I think we can do the same thing the same thing, Mike, at the property you and I have together. I think, depending on if we are able to, putting food where they were all summer, but when those beans, leaves fall off, corn goes away, that, that food source is now gone.

He's somewhere else eating somewhere else in his range. If we can do something to keep those deer there might help us out, moving forward too. With the landowner's permission, only if you get permission from the landowner, when those bean leaves start turning yellow, just get just, some cereal rye or whatever you want to plant and walk down the rows of the beans and broadcast [01:06:00] some seed on the edge by the timber of that field.

It's not going to hurt the beans once the leaves turn brown or, start turning they're done for the beans to dry and you can make a food plot right there in that ag field. It's probably going to be bare all winter, but you need permission from the farmer. First, if he's going to burn it down or give it a herbicide treatment spring, it doesn't matter.

It's going to be weeds or your food plot crop out there, but it's really easy to make a food plot. Not as easy in the cornfield, but in a bean field, it's very easy because you can spread the seed. Okay. Okay. The combine header heads are so wide, they're just going down two tracks. The header's not going to cut your food plot crop.

And you can make, and soybeans are legumes or nitrogen fixers. So your food plot crop's going to grow. And if there's a pinch point or, a point sticking out or somewhere you think, boy, deer always go by here. I wish I had a way to stop them. You can just spread some seed on top of the beans.

Once they start turning yellow, because once they start turning yellow, enough sun is going through there to allow your crop to grow. [01:07:00] If you do, and there's a big full green canopy, those green leaves are built to capture sunshine. They're very efficient at that. So you're not going to get enough sun down there for your crop to grow very well.

But once they start wilting and turning colors, there'll be enough sun down there for your crop to grow. Not a bad idea at all. No, we're going to have to make a phone call after this. Yeah for next year. Yeah, we got all these ideas now. What else you got, Mike? I'll tell you what I've... I feel like I've learned a lot.

I can't think of any other questions off the top of my head. Is there anything that we missed as far as dough management that, would be some good information? I don't think so. Last thing I'll say is you can learn a lot just by keeping a simple log of the whole deer, what's called live weight, but they're dead by the time you're weighing them, but whole deer weight of your does.

And, I don't take it for all the fawns. I take it for all the mature deer, two and a half years old or older, what you call a big doe. And if it's going down, you know you're, you've [01:08:00] got too many food, year, compared year to year. And not just one doe, you gotta have a decent sample size, but if it's going down, you need to harvest more does.

If it's going up, you got more food than you got deer, and you can back off your doe harvest a little bit. That simple indicator, if the sample size is big enough, is very accurate. Doe body weights don't lie. And hopefully you're killing way more does than bucks, so I don't really care about buck body weights, that's a small sample size.

I care about mature doe body weights. Makes sense. No, I like that. Yeah. My we took my nephew for that doe management hunt that they had a few weeks ago and I thought the doe was huge. It dressed at, I think 125. So I thought that's like the, one of the bigger does I've seen in a long time.

That's a big doe. You could add about 30%, give or take, if you leave the heart in or out, all these things, different ways people gut or eviscerate deer, that's a big doe. That's a big deal. So that might mean that, cause that was [01:09:00] at our other buddy, Andy's property. He wanted to kill some does.

So he's come out here, take some does. So we got one and I might need to tell him, Hey man, you might need to watch it. It seems like your does are pretty fat and happy.

If that's ag country, they're going to be big, right? He's our buddy. He's our buddy that freaks out about shooting a doe after the rut. Cause he could be killing the next 200 inch. Deer, he's that buddy. He's funny. Yeah. That doesn't work either. Yeah. My testimony is clear in that little farms, early antler season I harvested three and I had some guests here too.

I wouldn't mess around. I would have got more if I could have. So yeah, I'm very serious about that. Hopefully my daughter will be able to put an arrow through one this coming weekend to be in youth season. So yeah, she's going to, we're taking the crossbow out and we're going to sit and hopefully get something in front of us.

Hey, you know what? Last thing I'll say here. It's okay. I've raised two daughters. I would keep it fun. Here's a [01:10:00] couple of hints. Dad, don't take M& Ms because kids, especially girls, didn't eat one M& M time. So they're always rattling the paper, take a Snickers bar. So I take one bite. They're chewing for a long time, not rattling the paper.

All right. Snickers bar. I'll write that one down. Yeah. Yeah. And I let my kids still today, although they're pickier now than I am. They kill bigger bucks than I do too, but they're pickier than I am. But I raised my daughters. They didn't have to hunt at all. Even though dad's a deer ball, just they could shoot anything.

My, my daughter's first deer was button buck. And I never, I always want to keep it fun. If it was, if they were cold, we went home. If Missouri in their bad wisdom puts you season on Halloween weekend, making kids make a choice between. Candy and deer hunting. That's a, it may be great for deer hunting, but it's not good for kids to make that choice.

We want to make, we want to make it fun. And like I said, if it was cold or, we just, I just hunted when they wanted to hunt and made it really fun, [01:11:00] never put any guard rails on them except safety. And now they come back. One of my daughters works for SpaceX in Seattle and she's fine on the deer hunt.

That's awesome. That is fun. And they want to come hunt with you. That's my plan this weekend for sure. Dr. Grant, we really appreciate you coming on and join us for this. Very informative podcast. We like, we'd love to get get some information out to our listeners that hopefully, people start killing those that need to kill those and lay off the ones that don't.

Yeah. Good. I appreciate y'all having me as your guest. It's a great honor. Thank you. All right. Thanks doc. Thank you, sir.