What do wild turkeys eat? Like deer hunting, hens must feed abundantly in early spring to build up body fat that will carry them through the nearly month-long process of incubating eggs. Imagine the drive these birds exhibit to sit on a nest night and day for weeks on end.
A food source for turkeys can help predict daily travel and you can bet if hens are congregating at their favorite pecking place a gobbler won’t be far behind. One of my early hunts in Alabama centered on a chufa field, a plant that I was unfamiliar with. Food plots are planted with chufa in the South much like food plots for deer around the country, yet the warmer climate is needed for it to flourish.
This ‘Bama adventure was unguided and I was directed to follow a logging road up a mountain and stop when I found a small clearing at the top. Following direction, I sat against a tall oak tree, waited for daylight, and took a mature gobbler as a flock entered the field. By locating a prime feeding area, I was able to bag a mature gobbler that probably would not have left its hens. The only call I used was a single yelp which made it raise its head.
Late fall brings a host of seeds and mature insects into the turkey diet. In mid day, many hunters watch open fields for turkey that chase grasshoppers and feed on them extensively. My father taught me to remove the crop of any wild turkey I killed and analyze its contents as a primer for the following year. Often we found corn which meant the birds were traveling to agricultural fields. One crop was stuffed with walking sticks, that skinny insect that amuses kids and may be the best camouflage in nature.
This post from The Outdoor Hub takes you inside the crop of a wild turkey and its contents will help you learn where to hunt and when:
In a world where we are increasingly more concerned with the things we put in our bodies, it is also interesting to see what is being consumed by the game animals we eat. Not only do the food items ingested and absorbed by these animals ultimately go on to affect us, but knowing what is on their menu can help us entice them to pay our hunting grounds a visit.
Take for instance the wild turkey. With spring turkey hunting open in some parts of the South, and seasons set to open soon throughout much of the United States, you might be wondering what is currently pleasing the palate of the turkey that will later be placed on your table.