March Madness means basketball for most people, but those of us in the South have something else to look forward to: Turkey Season.
The team at Hancock Farm has done plenty of both filling out brackets and creating turkey plots, so we can definitively say that one is all luck, and one is all strategy. The odds are against you in ESPN’s famous million-dollar pool, so you might want to start working toward creating a food plot, for an option that is guaranteed to bring you happiness. Thanks to great deals on Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix and free shipping, you’ll be able to afford it even if you don’t win the bracket competition.
There are three steps to making the perfect plot. First, be sure to check with your State wildlife authority to be sure of when turkey season officially begins in your region.
And then you can start the fun stuff.
PICK YOUR PLOT
Spring Turkey Season isn’t actually anytime near Thanksgiving, but planning a turkey plot can be a lot like eating leftovers.
We mix-and-match, grabbing whatever we can find in the fridge and toss it on a plate.
What does this mean in the sense of planting a food plot? Those familiar with deer plots know that an ideal location is several acres across. The turkey plot process can be more of a casserole. Got a quarter-acre here, a half-acre there? Plant on both. You can certainly dedicate one whole acre to turkey plot, but the gobblers will be just as happy to visit multiple munching zones across your property, wherever you have room.
One place where we don’t recommend planting a turkey plot: near to oak, beech or pine trees. Turkeys love to get their beaks on freshly dropped acorns, beechnuts and pinecones. Don’t waste your time planting in spots where gobblers are already bound to go!
PICK YOUR MIX
Hancock offers two seed blends that work for Southern turkey fans, which offer different benefits for different regions. One if, of course, Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix, while our pure Chufa Blend is also very popular with gobblers. You can find planting advice for both blends below.
Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix
We’re grateful to turkeys for all of the great meals they’ve provided for our family over the years, so we made sure to make our Turkey Food Plot Mix as delicious as possible in return. It’s a tasty blend of Brown Top and Dove Proso Millet, Sorghum, Buckwheat and just a touch of the aforementioned Chufa.
It’s been a relatively warm winter, so hopefully we can count on an early Spring as well. Either way, you’ll want to wait until there is no chance of another frost before you start spreading seed. One 40 lb. bag of Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix is designed to cover one acre of food plot. Make sure you measure appropriately if you’re planning multiple small plots that add up to one acre!
You’ll want to plant the seeds between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch deep, and apply between 250 and 350 lbs. of balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, per acre. This blend grows best in soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If you’re too acidic, ground limestone can help, or soil sulfur can help you come down from too basic a score.
If you take care to trim the weeds once turkey season is finished, many of these seeds will return in time for next Spring! And, of course, stick around for the Fall turkey season!
Chufa Seed requires planting in April or May, so this is a good option if you’re already preparing for the Fall turkey season. Chufa is a species of bunch grass that produces an underground tuber, which turkey love to dig up and devour. Keep in mind that wild boars are also big fans of Chufa, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your plot as it develops.
Unlike with Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix, we recommend planting at least one acre of Chufa. Broadcast seeding anywhere between 25 and 50 lbs. of seed can create an effective plot.
The ideal planting conditions for this seed are just somewhat different than those of our Turkey Mix. You’ll want to plant them deeper, between 1/2 and 1 inch deep. Use 250 to 400 lbs. of 10-10-10 fertilizer. Ideal soil pH is very similar to that required by Hancock’s Turkey Food Plot Mix, tolerating scores between 5.5 and 7.0.
Turkeys love digging up Chufa but—just like kids on a bicycle—they might need some help getting started. Once your Chufa has developed seeds, scratch up the soil on a small patch of your plot to drop a hint that dinner is served. Once the gobblers get their first taste, they won’t have any problem finding the rest of meal!
Good luck on filling out your bracket this March… you’ll need it. You won’t need luck with a turkey plot from Hancock Seed, however, because you’ll have a strategy!