Turkey Mast Package
- 1 year old 4-8″ rooted cutting
- Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
- Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
- 1-2 year old 12-18″ bare root tree
- Crabapple (Malus )
- Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
- Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
- Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)
- Stuart Pecan (Carya illinoinensis ‘Stuart’)
- Sweet-Hart Chestnut (Castanea dentata x mollissima ‘Sweet-Hart’)
Select 40 plants below to complete your package.
This is a package of plant offerings specifically catered to wild turkey nutrition. Generally, wildlife plots can either be classified as nutritional or hunting in value. Hunting plots are typically high interest annuals that do not inhibit or obscure the aim of the hunter. These plots are meant to tempt the wildlife into the open or the edge of cover against their natural instinct. Nutritional wildlife plots offer the inverse of this dynamic. Nutritional food plots offer a sense of protection, long term nutritional mast, and the opportunity for wildlife to return to relative safety and food year in and year out. This package is a nutritional plant package best combined with annual plant seed mixtures. In order to be most effective when planting any nutritional wildlife plot, it is imperative that you do not treat your nutritional plot as a hunting plot – as this will drive away the wildlife from your area permanently.
Hardiness Range & Production Timing
Just like in landscaping, the aim of an excellent food plot is to provide a steady focus over time by minimally overlapping the fruit/food source appearance. This means understanding the relative mast production and timing of each plant. Equally important is understanding the Hardiness Range of each plant. If quantities of each plant are selected, the effective Hardiness Zone range of this package is Zone 6a – 7b; however, plant selection can be tailored to various ranges by studying the individual zone requirements of the plant offerings. The table below shows the individual plant hardiness range, the years until food production, and the perennial timing of food.
|Common Name||Botanical Name||Hardiness Range||Age till Production||Mast Timing|
|Crabapple||Malus||2 - 5 years old||August - October|
|Flowering Dogwood||Cornus florida||zone 6a - 8b||2 - 3 years old||September - October|
|Highbush Blueberry||Vaccinium corymbosum||zone 3a – 7b||2 - 3 years old||June - September|
|Northern Red Oak||Quercus rubra||zone 4a – 8b||20 - 25 years old||September - November|
|Sawtooth Oak *||Quercus acutissima||zone 5a – 9b||4 - 6 years old||September - October|
|Stuart Pecan||Carya illinoinensis ‘Stuart’||zone 5a – 9b||8 - 10 years old||October - November|
|Sweet-Hart Chestnut||Castanea dentata x mollissima 'Sweet-Hart'||zone 4a – 8b||5 - 7 years old||October - November|
|Virginia Creeper||Parthenocissus quinquefolia||zone 3a – 8b||3 - 5 years old||September - February|
Preparation & Planting
Before planting any trees or shrubs for your wildlife plot, the single most important action you can take to insure success is performing a soil test. A soil test will tell you what types and how much fertilizer you need in order to grow your plot effectively. These tests can be purchased online or conducted through your local agricultural extension agency. After testing the soil, the next most important step prior to planting is determining your location. Optimal locations follow the natural contours of the land as wildlife will typically follow these features. Prospective locations are easiest to identify with the aide of topographic maps and aerial photography. You can get a topographic/aerial map of your property at the United States Geological Survey agency website. From the topographic/aerial map, you can determine relative slopes, clearings, and flood plains. From this information one can surmise where the best soil (valleys and flood plains), sunlight (clearings), water sources (ponds, streams, springs, etc.), and access (roads or trails) are on your land. Plots do not have to be in any particular shape, but should be located with typical wind directions in mind. A plot without wind direction considered can give away your position to potential game. Once your location has been decided, place your plants in the layout you desire. Be sure to add additional wild turkey appeal by annually placing shallow bowls of sand, fine gravel, and sterlized ground eggshells within your plot. Wild turkeys will swallow grit and abrasive material to help them digest their food. As you plant, it is recommended that you do not clear decaying plant matter from your plot – as wild turkey forage for invertebrates such as salamanders, frogs, snakes, etc. in the leaf and branch litter. Because 10% of a wild turkey’s diet consists of insects, it is also recommended that you avoid treating your new plants with pesticides.