Editor’s Note: Travis Sumner from Edgefield, South Carolina, is the Hunting Heritage and Habitat Manager for the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NTWF) and is a member of the Mossy Oak GameKeepers (https://www.mossyoak.com/brands/gamekeepers).
I enjoy managing the lands where I hunt and the wildlife that lives on them to produce more and better wildlife all year long. GameKeepers’ members manage the game and the habitat for deer and turkey and also try to improve habitat for game birds, songbirds and nongame species. We work with Mossy Oak BioLogic (https://www.plantbiologic.com/) products, Nativ Nursery (https://www.nativnurseries.com/) products and the habitat that the game must have to survive and to grow and increase. We implement land management with hunting, so there’s always an abundance of all types of game to hunt.
GameKeepers wants to spread the word on how to target-manage land for specific species like deer, turkey, doves, ducks, quail and other small game. Deer and turkey seasons are closed throughout the country now, and many deer and turkey hunters won’t think about these critters and the lands where they live until the season is about to open next fall. But this is the time of year – in the late spring and early summer – that GameKeepers work to make sure there’s plenty of game on the land when hunting season opens for the upcoming seasons.
The first thing to do is to take care of your clover fields. A quality clover field can produce plenty of food for deer and turkeys all year long here in the Southeast. By managing clover fields, you may not have to replant or reseed for 4-6 years. Right now in the NWTF clover fields, we’re getting rid of all the rye grass and weeds that have sprouted up there. Weeds will compete with the clover for nutrients and water. So, by getting rid of those weeds with a herbicide now, our clover will have more nutrients and water to use going into the summer months. There’s a wide variety of herbicides you can use to spray on clover, which gets rid of the weeds and doesn’t harm the clover.
I have a sprayer that fits on the back of my tractor that holds 55 gallons of water. My sprayer will put out about 22 gallons of water per acre. I can spray about 2-1/2 acres with that 55-gallon sprayer. I put 48 ounces of Roundup in my 55-gallon sprayer tank. This way, I know that my sprayer is putting out the correct amount of herbicide to kill the weeds, but it won’t damage the clover. If you’re using an ATV sprayer, most ATV sprayers carry 25 gallons of water. I would put 22 ounces of Roundup in that 25-gallon ATV sprayer. Because various sprayers have different sizes of tanks, to determine the ratio of Roundup to water, you put about an ounce of Roundup per gallon of water. Using this ratio of Roundup to water, you can kill the weeds in your clover fields without hurting the clover. The real secret to spraying correctly is to not overlap where you’ve sprayed before. If you’ll use this formula and spray your clover now, you’ll be amazed at the number of weeds that are killed in your clover fields and how clean and weed-free your clover fields will be.
For more information about GameKeepers and their practices, go to http://www.gamekeepersclub.com.
To learn more about hunting turkeys, you can go to https://johninthewild.com/books#turkey or to hunt deer https://johninthewild.com/deer and find John E. Phillips’ books in Kindle, print and Audible versions.
Tomorrow: Fertilizing and Haircutting Clover Patches to Help Them Last Longer