If you’re looking to attract, manage, and harvest turkeys on your own property, there’s no better mentor than Michael Waddell. In this video, the Bone Collector creator is readying his property for turkey hunting season. Waddell shows viewers his favorite “backyard” hunting area, then offers up tips for creating good turkey habitat—which, in turn, creates great turkey hunting opportunities.
Waddell’s turkey habitat tips.
- Your lawn mower can help. Yes, believe it or not, mowing the pastures or food plots where you plan to hunt makes a huge difference. You want turkeys out in your food plot. But, what you’ll find, says Waddell, is that right at daylight with a heavy dew on the ground, the turkeys won’t come out in the food plot with high grass because they don’t want to get wet. “You need to keep in mind turkey legs are only so tall and they get their feathers all wet, and it’s just aggravating to them,” explains Waddell. Mow your plots and you improve your chances of turkeys using them.
- But, don’t mow everything. Grass harbors bugs and turkeys do use tall grass during the day, so you don’t want to mow things too low. Keeping grass high allows the poults and hens to come out and eat bugs while still having shelter from other predators like hawks. Waddell suggests mowing around the edges and then creating some lanes through the grass to create a “turkey funnel,” so to speak. It’s a tried-and-true method he says that creates good habitat, and hunting opportunities year after year, he explains.
- Keep your blades high. While you can maintain your property with a tractor or bush hog, Waddell says his lawn mower is more convenient and fun. Just be sure to mow at a high blade setting to avoid damaging them with rocks and other debris. Waddell explains that he uses the same mower to maintain his home property, so it’s important to keeps his blades in good shape.