The following companies are making this adventure possible. The GrowingDeer.tv project is a massive undertaking in time and resources in which we are constantly seeking the best hunting strategies, products, and information available. We have solicited our partners and sponsorships from companies with products or services that we found to be superior. The next time you’re in the market to buy, please support the sponsors of GrowingDeer.tv. We are confident that you will be satisfied with these products and services.
Step Inside the Great Indoors!
The first fishing rod I spent my own money on I purchased from Bass Pro when they were located in the back corner of a local store. I still have that rod and I still purchase my hunting and fishing gear from Bass Pro! Bass Pro was started by an outdoorsman who had firsthand knowledge of what sportsmen wanted in quality and service. That knowledge has served Bass Pro well. They started in the back corner of a local store and now have their own stores in most states! Knowing hunting and hunters, being one of them, that‘s what makes Bass Pro the place I go to grab my hunting gear. For 30+ years my outdoor adventures have started at Bass Pro. Start your next outdoor adventure there too!
A Natural Way to Larger Antlers
This is a product we have used for several years and have been amazed at the results. Our food plots in this poor, rocky Ozark soil have been as lush and vibrant as plots in the great soils of Iowa! For years farmers have used turkey and chicken litter as a substitute for commercial fertilizers. Antler Dirt has taken that concept and added their custom composting and humifying techniques to make it into a SUPER fertilizer and soil builder that produces nutritious food plots and great deer. We know all the scientific reasons it works and could spend an hour or two educating you on the subject (watch GDTV 22 to see how Antler Dirt is created). Give them a call and let their soil scientist help you achieve the best food plots possible!
Serious Gear for Serious Hunters
What do you look for in an arrow? Tough, accurate, and dependable are just a few characteristics that we look for. To get that requires more than mass produced arrows! The folks at BloodSport hand sort and grade each arrow so I have 100% confidence that each dozen will be exactly what I want! BloodSport arrows are not only extremely tough but also exceptionally accurate! In fact, making the most accurate arrows in the world is exactly what the folks at BloodSport arrows are committed to doing, that’s why you’ll only see our quivers full of BloodSport arrows!
It’s Not Just Luck!
As a deer biologist and avid whitetail hunter, I know unquestionably that a deer’s best defense is its nose. In fact, understanding how good a deer is at detecting a full range of scents makes me place as much emphasis on limiting all foreign odors from me and my gear as I place on scouting and practicing for deer season. Dead Down Wind’s system of limiting scent from the laundry, personal hygiene, and field applications is what I count on to allow me to keep from alerting mature bucks. Using the complete Dead Down Wind system is a critical component in preparing for a successful day in the deer stand. As a scientist, I appreciate Dead Down Wind’s focus on scientific research to develop scent control products. Real science indicates chemical cover scents, earth scents and synthetic attractants not only don’t mask or cover human odor or detection, it more likely raises a buck’s level of alertness. Take the time to study scent control and I’m sure that you will benefit from the great products offered by Dead Down Wind.
America’s Best Trap Value
I really enjoy listening to and hunting turkeys. I don’t like raccoons consuming the corn I put out to attract deer for my annual trail camera survey during August. These two reasons motivate me to actively trap raccoons and other predators! I use Duke Traps to remove excess predators and allow my family and I to have more opportunities to watch and harvest deer and turkeys. If you prefer hearing a turkey to seeing trail camera images of raccoons, join me and use Duke Traps to balance the predator/prey populations where you hunt!
Absolutely My Pick for Killer Food Plots!
If you are looking for the heavyweight champion of food plot crops, Eagle Seed is it!! The folks at Eagle Seed have spent literally 40+ years selectively breeding soybeans for forage and pod production. They are unequivocally the forage quality and quantity leader, proven by bunches of university trials. Almost any soybean can grow leaves and pods, but Eagle Seed Beans grow them bigger, faster, and longer. When most all other production soybeans have dried up and stand dormant in the field, Eagle Seed Beans keep right on putting out new leaves until frost occurs. If producing tons of irresistible green forage late into the hunting season isn’t enough, the beans themselves are a highly preferred and nutritious food source during the winter. Likewise the folks at Eagle Seed have selected a couple of wheat varieties that are the most productive for food plot forage. I planted and will be hunting over their Buck Monster forage wheat this fall! Check out our videos from past hunting seasons as the “little” Ozark deer here at The Proving Grounds had fat and racks on them that rivals deer in Iowa! (Which means some good meat for our table and more work for the taxidermist!!) Watch my testimony – I’ll continue planting Eagle Seed food plot crops at The Proving Grounds!
Where Accuracy is Everything
Accuracy is the most important quality of a bow if you are a serious hunter! If your shooting gear is not accurate then your success rate decreases, along with your enjoyment. The engineers at G5 have a mission to provide the most accurate bows on the planet! From the Prime and Quest bow lines all the way down to something as small as their broadheads. I’ve used G5 broadheads for years now with great results! This year I’m even more excited to be combining that broadhead with the all new Prime Impact bow. The parallel cams and stiffest riser on the market make this the bow of choice for the GrowingDeer.tv Team! For me, accuracy is everything.
Every serious deer manager and hunter knows that having a boot for your specific project is a must! That’s why we use LaCrosse Footwear! Whether we’re climbing into a deer stand in sub zero temperatures, preparing food plots during late summer’s heat, or chasing those weary old gobblers in snake infested country, LaCrosse Footwear has the perfect boot for our needs! Comfortable, waterproof, and lightweight! The days of uncomfortable walks into the woods are over!
Serious Gear for Serious Hunters
You want the hours spent in a treestand to be as comfortable and safe as possible. The folks at Muddy Outdoors know what hunters need and expect. They deliver with great gear at a great value as well as fanatical customer service! I’ve found Muddy Outdoors products to be functional, simple, and safe! We think you’ll agree that the details and functionality of their products set them apart in a crowded industry. Next time you go out in the field take along a Muddy Treestand. You won’t be disappointed!
Confidence for Real World Hunting
Shoot or don’t shoot? Nikon Hunting Optics allow me to confidently answer that important question when I’m deer hunting. When I’m glassing the next ridge to check out a buck, Nikon’s superior optics gives the focal power I need to determine if the buck is a shooter. The optics are crisp and bright allowing me to confidently identify each buck. My Nikon rangefinder has proven to be an indispensable part of my hunting gear. Whether I am hunting whitetails with a bow or rifle, knowing the exact distance provides me with confidence to plan my shots. Make the best use of your time in the field with Nikon Hunting Optics – whether it’s a binocular, riflescope, rangefinder or spotting scope.
Protect Your Plot – Protect Your Herd!
Two things that bring me joy are patterning mature bucks and guns! I use different tools to pattern both of them. I use the Non-Typical Electric Fence to protect small food plots from being over-browsed until I’m ready to hunt them. Then I simply open the gate and deer rapidly learn the gap in the fence is the easiest place to access the food plot! Since I know where deer will be entering the plot, I know where to place my stand! But that is only half the battle. I count on my gun being perfectly sighted in and the Stable Table and Lead Sled makes that job pleasant and easy! With my gun sighted in, I can remove coyotes and other predators using the DeadShot Field Pod to reduce the stress on deer and turkey to improve their health!
Functional Design, Sharpest Edge
For over 25 years Outdoor Edge has offered hunters the complete field to freezer solution with their full line of quality, high performance knives, combo sets, home processing kits, hunting accessories and instructional game processing DVD’s. All Outdoor Edge knives are guaranteed shaving sharp out of the box, deliver excellent value and are covered by a lifetime warranty with reliable customer service. We use Outdoor Edge knives to make field dressing and processing the precious game we harvest easier, faster and more enjoyable.
See What You’ve Been Missing
What have you been missing? I can say with a high degree of confidence that we haven’t been missing much at The Proving Grounds because we use Reconyx cameras to do our scouting. We’ve been able to pattern our bucks and know when they are moving because Reconyx trail cameras always work, have the fastest trigger speed in the industry, and don’t spook deer. I have literally gads of images of bucks bedded in front of a Reconyx. Reconyx is truly the best value in the trail camera market. Get a Reconyx trail camera and finally see what you’ve been missing!
The Best on the Planet
The characteristics I look for in an elevated blind are safety, quietness, and comfort. Without those features, elevated blinds can be hazardous and/or inefficient for hunters. Safety means great materials and construction so I never worry about my family falling. Comfort not only means a warm and dry structure, but that the windows operate quietly, are the right height for all sizes of hunters, and that the hunter or hunters can easily see all around them without needing to move more than their head. That’s exactly the definition of Redneck Blinds! The same quality of design and craftsmanship is obvious in the Redneck feeders! They are built to last and designed to feed deer while protecting the feed from the weather and non-target critters like squirrels and crows. Like so many good products, I was first introduced to Redneck Blinds by a client. Then multiple clients and hunters kept telling me about Redneck Blinds. Do what I did, check out a Redneck elevated blind and see the quality for yourself.
The SCENTsible solution
A deer’s sense of smell is amazing. However, I have shown that I can keep from alerting deer by reducing the scent on me and my gear as much as possible by using a complete system. The foundation of my scent reduction process is removing and keeping all moisture from my clothing and gear. I accomplish this using ScentMaster boxes. The ScentMaster boxes are the ultimate tool for my hunting trips on the road! One of the toughest parts of a suitcase hunt is keeping moisture and foreign odors out of my clothes and gear. The ScentMaster box has eliminated that problem. I’ve been able to successfully hunt areas with swirling winds since I started using ScentMasters!
All Natural Mineral Lick
I was very impressed when I learned of Trophy Rock mineral supplements. Trophy Rock contains over 60 beneficial trace minerals to improve antler development and overall deer herd health and is safe for all wildlife year round. I have seen deer at The Proving Grounds use both Trophy Rocks and the granular Four65 version during times they would normally not seek out other mineral products. Trophy Rock is an important ingredient in providing nutrition to the deer here at The Proving Grounds. Try it for yourself and see why so many deer hunters and managers have become Trophy Rock fans for life!
The American Legend Continues
I began hunting turkeys when I was 14 years old. The first box of “turkey loads” I purchased was a box of 25 Winchester 3” Super X in #6 shot. I missed one gobbler out of that box of shells. That was because it was about five yards away and my pattern was probably the size of a golf ball. I watched in disbelief as the gobbler stood there. I had never missed a turkey with Winchester shells before. That miss was clearly my fault. Decades later, I’m still shooting Winchester ammo in my shotgun, rifle, and rimfire firearms. In fact, my 83 year old dad and both my daughters use Winchester ammo for all their hunting trips! My ride with Winchester continues!
The Future of Deer Hunting
I have been actively involved with The Quality Deer Management Association since its inception. It is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization and the leading advocate of the QDM philosophy. The QDMA’s mission is to promote sustainable, high-quality white-tailed deer populations, wildlife habitats, and ethical hunting experiences through education, research, and management in partnership with hunters, landowners, natural resource professionals, and the public. If you are not already a member, take a few moments to review their webpage and get involved to make a difference in the future of deer hunting!
Forestry Beyond Timber
Whether you own a large tract of land or you belong to a hunt club you need peace of mind. Outdoor Underwriters can provide the insurance you need to protect your investments and they have the experience to back it up. I insure The Proving Grounds with Outdoor Underwriters because they understand the insurance needs of hunters.
Quality, Dependable Analytical Services
If nutrients are not in the dirt, plants can’t transfer them to deer! The availability of nutrients in the dirt directly impacts antler and fawn production. To ensure the food plot crops at The Proving Grounds and my clients’ properties can transfer enough nutrients to deer for them to express their full potential, I collect soil samples annually and trust Waters Ag to analyze the samples and give me accurate recommendations and counsel to produce nutritious crops. Using the recommendations from the soil scientists at Waters Ag is a very important tool I rely on annually to produce bucks that express their full antler growth potential.