Attracting Turkeys to Your Yard

One of the great advantages of living in rural Kansas is the opportunity to see wildlife up-close and personal.

At this time of year, many of us find ourselves thinking about turkey.  While spring is probably the best time to see turkeys in Kansas, since they are abundant and rather noisy, these big birds are still present and visible in the fall.

If you want to increase your chances of viewing wild turkeys, there are two things you can do:

  1. Provide shelter.  While turkeys don’t mind coming out into the open to feed, they still need safe places to hide and trees to roost in at night.  Leaving a stand of trees and brush somewhere on your property next to a grassy field can provide wild turkeys with all of the shelter they need.
  2. Provide food.  Turkeys are often seen foraging for waste grain in the fall.  If you raise field crops, you probably have all you need to attract wild turkeys.  If not, you can plant a small food plot just for the turkeys.  Turkeys will also come to low platform feeders stocked with scratch grains for chickens, but can become territorial if the feeders are kept filled into the spring.

However, many lucky Kansans living in more rural areas, particularly where cash crops are grown, don’t need to take action to attract wild turkeys.  If a varied habitat is available, including brushy shelter, open grasslands, fields of grain, and a source of water, turkeys will often show up voluntarily in both spring and fall.