When Fall Turkey Hunting, Acorns are a Major Draw
If you can’t locate, or lack the access to hunt a roost area, you will most likely be intercepting turkeys where they feed. When fall turkeys are feeding in open fields, knowing where to set up is easy, but when you can not find birds from the road, you need to dig deeper.
If acorns are on the ground, they will be a huge draw all season long. Many people will underestimate how much of a turkeys diet acorns comprise. It’s huge. Low power binoculars will work well to identify which oaks will be dropping the most acorns. Do some preseason scouting to discover which trees in your hunting area will be dropping the most acorns, and it’s a safe bet the turkey population will be there feeding during the fall.
Pre frost Fall Turkey feeding Habits
Prior to the first hard fall frost, turkeys will be spending a lot of time feeding in pasture or field environments. They are keying on both insects and the forbs and clovers that are still alive and growing. Protein levels in this feed are very high and needed by the still growing poults, and your big toms are enjoying the same bounty. The first hard killing frost will wipe out most of the insects and kill off the vegetation they crave, making these areas much less attractive. Hunt these areas early, as they will become mere travel corridors when the temps start dropping below freezing.
Post Frost turkey feeding habits
With the insects gone, and the succulent field vegetation drying up and becoming less attractive, it is time to switch your focus to either the mast crops of the big woods, or the spilled grain of harvested ag fields. Acorns and field corn will be the 2 big draws now, and should be where you focus a lot of your attention. These areas will continue to draw and hold birds until the snow becomes to deep, or the food supply is exhausted. Focus your late season efforts in these feeding areas
There are geographic variations to these patterns, and I readily admit I do not have much experience fall hunting turkeys south of Missouri, but the same general rules apply. As the seasons change, so does a turkeys diet, and if you roll with those changes your have a much better chance of sharing time in the woods with a group of fall turkeys.