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Do You Like Fields for Turkey Hunting?


Ernie Calandrelli

A lot of old-timers around here say they’d rather work a turkey in the woods rather than a field, but everyone on TV seems to kill gobblers in food plots and ag fields. What’s the right approach? — Ty Nelson, Huntsville, Ala.

You’ll find two schools of thought on that. Turkey & Turkey Hunting editor Brian Lovett prefers woods over fields for one simple reason: cover. Trees, undergrowth and shadows let you move on a turkey and find an ideal setup. Also, that cover makes a turkey search for the hen he’s heard. If you’re set up around a bend in a logging road, just over a terrain rise or beyond a patch of gooseberries, you’ll be in position to kill the gobbler the second he comes into view.

However, many folks like fields. Ernie Calandrelli of Quaker Boy Calls is a big fan of open spaces, and it’s tough to argue with his success through the years. Here’s what he says.

“The biggest fallacy I remember from when I started turkey hunting was that you had to hunt woods. You don’t have to hunt a lot of woods. You want to hunt where the agriculture is and where the fields are. That’s where turkeys like to hang out because it’s where many of their food sources are, especially in spring. They’re always out there picking or grabbing something, so that’s where you want to be.

“The other thing about field-hunting is you can actually block out your back side. That way, 90 percent of your concentration can be out in that clearing or field, and you can focus on your calling.”

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