Wildlifeseeds.com- An Informational Website From
Turkey's have been in America's history since the beginning. This
beautiful bird has suffered setbacks due to habitat destruction, the use of
pesticides and herbicides which kill the insects turkey's eat.
Whether you are
a hunter or conservationist, planting food plots is one of the best things you
can do for the preservation of these historical and unique birds.
Food Plots Help With Turkey Food Shortage
The wild turkey can range many
miles in a days search for food and eats many a pound of insect and seeds along the
way. There are many turkeys being released every year and in some regions of the country
there may not be enough natural resources left to sustain large numbers. A well-planned
food plot can help keep the birds in your area and with a better food source help to produce a
trophy bird well worth the effort. The beautiful coloring and plumage results from good
diets and there's lots of recipes for the cook to try out.
The turkey food problem is further compounded by the
continual usage of insect and weed killers used in large quantities. This gets rid of the
insects but also depletes the birds diet in the wild. It is left to the hunter or
wildlife enthusiast to help supplement nature by planting food plots that are
a variety of wildlife and attracting to the insects wildlife feeds upon. Wildflowers and
weed seeds need to be sown along with the mixes that are planted. These should be wildflower seeds
that are indigenous or rather native to the area and they will come back year after year. When planting
food plots leave some weeds along side for added seed and insect attraction.
Turkeys have an extensive menu when planning a food plot. Perennials and annuals alike can comprise
a well planned plot for years. Perennials can be planted from legumes,
grasses like Bahia that seed, weeds that attract insects and produce seed such as beggar weed, berry producing plants and many more. Annuals can be planted from legumes such
peas of all kinds,
millets, wheat, and many other
plants. Check out our menu to the right on individual food plot seeds under Food
Plant food plots in spring and summer after
frost danger, in deeply wooded plots with 50% sunshine and also along
field edges with plots located about 300 yards apart. A prepared seedbed is best and
broadcast making sure seed is covered no more than 1/4" maximum depth . For best results, harrow your site and broadcast / then cover
the seeds. Lightly dragging with a log or post is an easy method of covering the
seed. You should of course follow the instructions on your bag of seed.
These are two popular food plot seeds for turkey food plots:
Mixture of Orchardgrass, Buckwheat, Chufas, White Proso Millet, Sorghum,
Browntop Millet and Patriot White Clover.
20% Browntop Millet
20% White Proso Millet
15% Chufa Seed
0.5% Patriot White Clover
*Note: Mixture varieties and/or % of each are subject to change in turkey mix. Percentages will be slightly less due to inert
material in mixture. Specific varieties included in mixture may change due to supply availability.
TURKEY MIX SEED RATE:
A 40# bag of Wild turkey mix will cover approximately a little over an acre. It is a good
idea to divide the acreage into smaller, separate plots for better results.
The best recommended planting rate is 40 lb. to the acre. These plots are not always planted under
optimum weather conditions and thicker seeding may be necessary.
Chufas grow beneath the ground and will be scratched
up by turkeys. (Deer and wild hogs eat these also). Mixes are designed to have the plants maturing
at different time rates to keep the plots active through the year and into fall, winter
and spring months. Replant every year in rotating food plots food plots to
form a feeding habit with the turkeys. Read more in-depth
information about chufas.
Chufas are great for Wild
Turkey - Some say the most preferred food you can plant
for turkeys are these
tuber producing plants. Easy to grow too!
Fertilize Chufas for best results. Special
Note: If you have never planted chufas you may need to dig a few and leave them
on the surface but they will readily start scratching on their own once they have
been discovered. Chufas need to be rotated from plot to plot to keep the tubers from
developing disease related to tuberous growths particularly nematode infestation. Chufas
that are left in the ground will re-grow the following year but with less production
than the first year.
Turkey hunting has become the number two sport in America today and may fast
be approaching number one.
With the resurgence of a once dying population and the
management practices conducted by wildlife officials the turkey numbers are
booming and with this development comes renewed interest in the art of the
I know in our area alone
it is an almost daily occurrence to view several turkeys crossing from field to
field or heading to roosting places late in the afternoon. These are usually hens and
their young feeding through the pea fields and weeds full of seeds and insects. In the
woods it is quite a different matter all together. Quiet and unassuming they can move as
stealthily as any prey right past you without ever being seen. Unless you are specifically
looking for these birds you might never see them in their natural habitat. Fast to take
flight; and even this is done quietly to the uninitiated; they can be on the wing and gone
in a matter of seconds. Quite a feat for a seemingly ungainly, heavy bird.
Turkeys live on seeds of various plants and insects and some tubers;
and while we have increased the population we have decreased much of the natural vegetative growth
that these birds rely upon for food, shelter, nesting sites and in some cases roosting
sites. This is the reason that we must plant food plots for turkeys. Many people who have never hunted don't realize that turkeys roost up in the trees
at night away from the ground predators.
In the "olden days" as the kids now call it; turkey hunting was as equipment
intensive as grabbing the gun and heading out to the area that you saw tracks or sign of
recent passing or knew the roosting sights and went about the time the turkeys were
leaving or returning. As people walked and worked in the natural habitat notice was
taken of any wildlife movement or habit that would make a potential meal. A successful
hunt meant meat on the table.
Early man learned to imitate the calls of other
animals drawing them into killing range
(before the time of guns) and since then
calls come a long way with every variety imaginable. And like learning the piano it takes
practice and more practice. Back to the equipment. Nowadays we have camouflage, guns
of every description, bows that practically anyone can use, those nice inflatable butt
seats, scopes that zero in to the nth degree, gun rests, decoys, heated sox. You name it
they got it or can devise it. Tapes that instruct one in the art of the hunt even a game
designed to bag one on the computer!
Hunting with another person gives you a chance to use different
call techniques and while only one may get the shot theres always the next big one
just waiting for the next hunt. Using someone else to call (hand held calls) also frees
the other person to be ready at the first sight and not clumsily reaching for the gun and
calling at the same time. And every hunter likes the satisfaction of someone else seeing
his or her " bagged" trophy. Whether the hunt is successful or not you have
spent a day with mother nature for a little while and gotten away from the stress and
hectic lifestyle most of us lead and maybe thats what its all about.
A Fine Turkey Gobbler. Turkey calls were made of bone in ancient times. We
have provided a link here to the right to obtain modern day calls.
Turkey Watching & Turkey Calls
Not everyone hunts with guns or bows, instead they use the camera. What better way to
spend a day in the woods seeing if you can call in that award winning picture.
And what a better way to spend a day with your
children teaching them about the wildlife in your neck of the woods. They would
sure enjoy learning the art of turkey calling.
Wildlifeseeds.com - An Informational Site From