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Mar 13, 2019

Huntin Land | Ep16 | Wild Turkey habitats
The wild turkey is an intriguing bird with a lot of quirks. Every spring, this majestic bird makes a fool out of countless hunters that chase after them. One thing that holds constant amongst the greatest turkey hunters, is that they have a lot of turkeys to hunt. This is where wild turkey habitat management comes in. There are a number of practices that every land manager, whether he owns or leases land, can employ to attract wild turkeys and hold them on their property. The good news is they don't have to break the bank. 
Today we're talking with Ryan Basinger, a wildlife biologist and the lease and acquisitions manager with the Westervelt Company. Westervelt owns and manages around 500,000 acres around the Southeast. Managing that much land means you learn a thing or two about wild turkey habitat. 
On today's show, you'll learn some interesting science about the wild turkey, like:
  • How long do wild turkeys live? 
  • When do Turkeys lay eggs? Meaning, does a hen lay a new egg each day she is bred?
  • Can you sex a wild turkey by it’s droppings? 
Along with the science, we'll cover some questions we see landowners and lessees asking all the time such as:
  • What are the Wild Turkey Habitat Requirements?
  • What do Wild Turkeys Eat? 
  • What makes up a wild turkey diet?
  • Is there a wild turkey favorite food? 
  • What to plant for Wild Turkey Food Plots?
  • What do you feel is more important?
  • Managing native vegetation or planting wild turkey food plots?
Ryan will explain what practices Westervelt employs that they feel makes the biggest difference. There are a lot of things a land manager can do. Practices like mowing, discing, and strip discing all have their place. When it comes to creating openings for wild turkeys, we'll cover thinning, timber stand improvements, and controlled burns. There's a lot to cover, speaking of cover...
Cover is critical in wild turkey habitat. Ryan answers the questions:
  • How does a turkey protect itself from predators? 
  • What makes good Wild Turkey nesting habitat? Where do Wild Turkeys nest?
  • What Wild turkey habitat improvements and predator control practices does Westervelt use to help turkeys protect themselves from predators? 
Proper management of wild turkey habitat is a critical part of what makes the turkey hunting so good at Westervelt. Tune in to learn what the key strategies are that land managers need to focus on to best ensure success and how you can pay for it all!
We get a lot of landowners that want to know, how much is my land worth? We’ve recorded a video series to explain exactly how we determine that... just head over to to get the series.