Well, the marketing people. I was stumbling over my words, but, you know, it’s the greatest thing in the world and we all fall for marketing. You know, a huge buck, gorgeous green field, and you got too have X. If you have X in this bottle, if you put this on your thing, or you plant with Y, you’re going to have…you know, you’re going to have Booners, you know, out the network. I’ll guarantee you if there’s no sperm, there’s no studs in the forest that have 180-class genes, you ain’t going to have it.
Adam: That’s right. That’s right. And, you know, I’ll add to that. You got to give them what they want, but you also got to give them what they need, and then you got to give them what you can provide them. I mean if they need carbs and you don’t have any open ground, as far as you can’t give them corn or you can’t give them soybean.
So we’ll digest this, I guess, the best we can from you got to give them what they want and you got to give them what they need. And, as we talked pre-recording, I think one of the biggest things we see with our Land & Legacy consulting business is looking at something and going, “Okay”… When we look at food plots, 9 times out of 10 we’re planting food plots because we want to have more hunting success. We want to be able to at least attract more deer on the property. Maybe we’re not hunting over it, but we know that there’s more deer in the area because that food plot is there. 9 times out of 10 that’s why we’re planting food plots, is just so we can increase our hunting success.
Now when it comes to “give them what they want,” let’s look at it and say, “Okay, what do they want? What do they need?” And when we look at what’s in the neighborhood, that’s one of the biggest things. I hunt…one of the properties I hunt is a working cattle farm and there is alfalfa fields, I don’t know how many acres. Lots and lots and lots and lots of acres devoted to alfalfa because the farmer bales it for hay. So it’s food for the cows, but it’s also a great lagoon so it’s great forage for the deer. But if I was to plant a clover food plant, which is right there providing the same thing, it’s providing protein, I’m not going to have very good success hunting that because they have 200-plus acres of alfalfa that they can go eat on. And so coming in that little clover patch isn’t doing them any good.
So look at what’s lacking in the neighborhood as far as what the deer need, and then try to fill that void. Don’t look at it as, “Well, this is just what I’m going to plant and let’s hope that it’s fantastic,” and expect to see the same food plot that you see on the bag and the same buck standing in it that you see on the bag.
Bruce: Because that just doesn’t work. And, as we said before… It might work, I better put a comment in there.
Adam: It might work.
Bruce: It might work, it might work. That was my disclaimer, it might work. But, you know, you think, about things and, you know, every…you know, July comes and everything has grown and Deer are out there, their coats are slick and they’re looking good, and the fawns are romping and stomping, and some bucks are starting to, you know, grow out. And you’re getting some, you know, what’s coming along and you start dreaming about your hit list and August comes, and then all of a sudden something changes. And in your opinion what changes? It’s at that magic time all of a sudden, “Where did all the deer go?,” sort of kind of.
Adam: Well, I think I know where you’re going with this because we talked about it a little bit, but for me in the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri, notorious…I mean just as the sun comes up every morning, the same thing happens almost every single year. Every single year, I guess I should say and clarify that. But every single year, early fall, deer vanish from the alfalfa fields or the food plots, or they just vanish in their normal summer patterns. Where do they go? Almost always it’s because the acorns started dropping. And white oaks and the red oaks have started dropped, traditionally it’s the white oaks first. And that’s, as we said, you can have the best food plot in the world, the best food plot in the neighborhood, but when the acorns start falling there’s a good chance they’re going to start eating acorns. So that’s one of those things that you just can’t outcompete.
Bruce: And why do the deer know there’s more nutrition, the protein content and all? How do they know that? Has Mama taught them to do that or, you know, how does that work? Because they know it.
Adam: It’s instinct, it’s not necessarily… Like there’s some food plots you could plant that would probably be a better forage than an acorn. But the thing about it is with an acorn is they’ve been doing it…from the creation of a deer is they’ve been eating acorns. And so regardless, you can’t take that instinct out of them, that natural, that wild animal out of them and say, “Okay”… Because if you do, if you were successful in getting deer to stop eating acorns, what’s the difference between them and a cow? There really isn’t much. You’ve domesticated them. The wild part about them is they eat wild vegetation, and a lot of times that’s the form of an acorn.
Bruce: You know, I was hunting elk in New Mexico years back and we got into shrooming bulls.
Adam: “Shrooming bull?” Yeah, the bulls will find the mushrooms and it’s like two or three days and you just got to be there, you can’t figure it out. But it’s a certain elevation, it’s a certain everything. And when these mushrooms start coming up, they’ll literally stay on that contour and circle the mountain eating those mushrooms. And, you know, I love mushrooms and so do bull elk.
And the first time I saw it and we’re seeing the elk and they’re talking and they’re doing all those wonderful things, and the guide just runs away from them and he says, “We’re going to intercept them.” And so we shut up, we just, you know, played the wind, did everything right. And, you know, didn’t close the deal, but it didn’t matter, it was something I’d never seen. And shrooming bulls, that’s what we called them because it was that defined time, that’s what they wanted to eat, they had all the other forage in the forest, but they were on mushrooms.
Adam: Totally, yeah. I think of a couple times whenever… Growing up hunting there was one farm that I got permission to hunt on. Kind of a weird scenario, but all of a sudden we started noticing deer on a defined pattern going from southeast to northwest. It was like, “Where are they going?” And in the mornings they were coming back and they were walking across the pasture and we could not figure out where in the world they were coming from because we’re like, “There’s a house up there.” And that only happened for about 10 days.
And what we figured out one night driving by the guy’s house is there was a pile of deer standing in his yard and they were all eating under an Arkansas Black apple tree. And while that tree was producing fruit that year, there was no acorns, that was the best food source in the neighborhood and that’s where they all went. We tried to take advantage of it the best we could and we saw a pile of deer during that little stretch of the window before they ate all the apples up.
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