Last fall I put in a clover plot in my woods in a “not so” great area with marginal soil and dappled sunshine. I did a great job tilling the soil with my ATV and disc, adding some lime, and getting the seed packed in. Just when the first little buds started to sprout those darn Turkeys showed up and decided a few spots in the sun would be better for playing in the dirt.
The playing in the dirt I was referring to was of course Turkeys dusting themselves to help keep their feathers dry and get rid of mites. They spend a few minutes every day dusting themselves, so why not make your land a magnet for dusting?
Turkeys like to bug in some high clover as well as pick at my soybeans. That’s one of the reasons I planted those 2 items in as many places as I can find on my farm. The problem is, Alfalfa and soybeans are not spring food sources in my area. Snow is still on the ground currently and Turkey season starts in 3 weeks. In order to make your destination part of their home range, you need some non-food plot habitat to really turn your land into a daily destination before the food plots kick in later.
Starting a dust pit isn’t terribly hard to do and only takes about 15 minutes. Try and find somewhere turkey frequent, has decent sun, higher elevation (not to have mud puddles) and some dirt void of a lot of vegetation. The best part is it doesn’t have to be big; maybe the size of your kitchen sink. So anyone can make one whether you have 5 acres or 500. The second-best part is it’s free besides the rake and shovel you will need to make one. Once the turkeys find it they will do a good job of keeping the weeds out of it.
To maintain a dust bowl throughout the year all you need to do is grab a shovel or rake and bust it up. Depending on your soil type with rain it may harden up (I have heavy clay topsoil in my area). You don’t need the dust bowl to be the consistency of sand, but more like if you were going to plant a garden (no clumps).
With Turkey hunting still a few weeks out you have some time to start making a dust pit. Turkeys need to dust themselves every day. Why not start a pattern of them using a dust bowl 20 yards from a big blowdown you can sit behind? Good Luck Out There!