Chufa Fields and Turkeys
When it comes to spring turkey hunting, I love trying new techniques, methods, and always strive to learn new things on each hunt. I recently had the opportunity to hunt food plots planted specifically for turkeys. We were sitting over chufa fields and they were absolute turkey magnets! Chufa is a non-native nut grass that is also called “ground almond.” The fields were planted in small half-acre to acre food plots that were just perfect to hunt over. We had blinds on several fields and would go out scouting to see what fields had been hit the hardest. It’s easy to tell as the turkeys literally dig holes all over the field and you can check the dirt to see which ones are fresh and getting hit the hardest. Once we scouted the area, we sat on the edge of the field and took in the show. When turkeys arrived, it literally looked like they were doing a little turkey dance as they spent hours on the field digging and eating, eating and digging.
The good thing about planting your own chufa field is they can be put in from April to July and will become a magnet the following spring for turkeys in your area. Chufa can be planted in small 1/2-1 acre food plots and have a seed that actually grows on their root system, very similar to peanuts. These “tubers” as they are called are high in protein and fat and are a good source of nutrition for wild turkeys. Deer, hogs, and birds will also feed on these, but if it’s your first time planting you may need to help the wildlife out a bit by digging it up and exposing the tubers so the animals can easily find them. Once they are located, turkeys will scratch and dig these up.
The main thing you want to keep in mind is to setup your field so you can shoot the entire field. I like using the Winchester Longbeard XR in a 12-gauge 5-shot, so ideally I’d like to setup on a field where the longest shot I’d have is 60-yards. It’s a great way to keep and attract turkeys to your property while providing great nutrition and good hunting. Chufa usually grows best in sandy soil and grows best in the southern half of the US. If you love turkey hunting, this may be a good way to improve your current turkey-hunting habitat.
Melissa Bachman is an incredibly hardcore and intense hunter – perhaps one of the more passionate hunters you will ever meet.