Bob Humphrey photo
By Bob Humphrey
If you’re a regular reader of Yamaha’s Web Tips, you’re familiar with how, through multiple installments, we’ve offered hints on building food plots, reading maps and scouting turkeys. If you’re a particularly perceptive individual, you may have also noticed how we not only build on previous material within categories, but also integrate information among categories. From the basics of topographical map reading we moved to basic turkey scouting, using maps.
In previous installments we explored the basics of building food plots and selecting seed. Those were primarily directed toward deer. This time we’re going to look at selecting and building plots specifically for turkeys.
Let’s start with the basics. Like the movie said: If you build it, they will come. Turkeys love open areas - fields. If your land already has some, great. If not, create them. If there are turkeys in the area, they’ll find your openings and use them. But you can speed the process and make your openings more attractive by planting the right crops.
You have several options, but there are a couple of can’t-miss crops. The first is chufa. It grows a tuberous root that turkeys can’t resist. The limitations are that it requires dry, sandy soil, doesn’t do particularly well in colder climates and is an annual, so you must plant it every year. You may also have to “introduce” turkeys to it if they’re not familiar with it. Once it’s mature, simply take a pitch fork and turn over a few plants. Once they find it, your chufa plot will be like a candy store to them.
The second can’t-miss crop is clover. Turkeys absolutely love clover. It’s easy to plant, does well in a variety of conditions and best of all, several varieties are perennial, which means you don’t need to plant every year. Soil pH is important so you should test the soil then apply the recommended lime and fertilizer. The more luxuriant the plants, the more attractive they’ll be to turkeys and deer.
There’s really not much more you need to do. Turkeys, it seems, are much easier to please than deer. Give them a little open space and something to eat and they’re happy. Come hunting season, you’ll have something to eat, and will be happy too.