Three Gobblers, One Imperial Clover Food Plot

By Bart Landsverk

I had chased longbeards since the skies were black. and I had failed miserably. It was one of those mornings when you would swear that all of the turkeys had left your hunting area for good and taken up residence elsewhere. I was tired, dejected and, quite frankly, bored.

It was time to get in the vehicle and head to my favorite gobbler honeyhole, a six-acre field of Imperial Whitetail Clover. The field is surrounded by an oak ridge to the south and west, a swamp to the north and a marsh to the east. This field is a favorite spot for longbeards at any time of the day. As I approached this field at 11 a.m. I was hopeful that my lucky spot would change my grumpy mood.

I decided to set up just inside the timber against a large spruce tree that faced north to the swamp. I also decided to use a jake decoy about 20 yards from my set-up. I don’t always use decoys, but I felt this situation called for one. It was a comfy spot and I thought if things didn’t go too well at least I could rest in the warm early May sunshine.

My soft yelps turned more aggressive from my diaphragm call, and out of the swamp came a loud “gobbbblee!” The turkey wasn’t more than 125 yards from me, and after I gave him a few more tantalizing yelps he quickly answered back. Cool. I grabbed my binoculars and tried to scan the swamp looking for my newly found friend. The gobbler was already strutting about 20 yards before he would hit my Imperial Clover food plot, which was around 90 yards from me. It didn’t take the turkey long to see my decoy and head across the plot toward me.

Turkey hunting can drive you nuts because for hours, and even days, you can yelp your head off, try new spots and nothing seems to work. And then when things turn on they happen very quickly. It wasn’t 30 minutes from when I put my decoy in the ground until I shot the gobbler at less than 20 paces. It was a great hunt.

I took my father turkey hunting the next week. My dad has only hunted turkeys for a couple of years, and I enjoy calling for him while we sit in a ground blind. Of course I decided to hunt off of my Imperial Clover food plot. This time, however, we hunted at the east end of the plot and were in our blind before dawn.

It was a perfect morning for hearing turkeys on the roost– cool with no wind. Despite that, my calling produced nothing more than echoes in the timber. I whispered to my dad that I was going to rest my eyes and he could tap me on the knee if something ventured toward the blind or the hen and jake decoys.

I swear it wasn’t five minutes when I felt a tap on my knee. I slowly lifted my head and saw turkeys walking through our decoys. My father waited a minute or two and quickly dispensed of yet another male turkey.

My father-in-law also shot a longbeard on this field this past season, making it three for the season. Imperial Clover food plots provide nutrition for whitetails all year, but they also are a turkey magnet. I consider it a bonus every spring.