Anyone who hunts turkeys in the fall should have one thing on their mind, where's the food? The vocals are more limited than spring and to find the birds in timber country you need to know your food and water sources just like hunting any animal. When we think turkeys in the fall we generally think about acorns but there are many other foods out there for turkeys to survive on like post harvested field browse.
After harvest time there is generally a lot of silage and edge regrowth browse for turkeys to eat on. Also one thing you can count on is if there are horses or cows on or near the property there will be turkeys. Turkeys will scratch through dried manure often. In the hardwoods be on the lookout for acorns and buds, wild clover and brassicas. Recently I inspected the crop of a turkey harvested on a fall hunt and found several clues on what trees were producing in the area. Acorns and Paw Paw trees seem to be popular mixed with clover and grasses. (pic below inspecting crop full of acorns and paw paw seeds)
While fall turkey hunting doesn't seem to be as popular as it was years ago it is sure a challenging hunt. Scratch sign and listening for hen assembly yelps are just a part of it all. Old logging or mining roads where grass and clover can grow are good food sources as well as travel lanes. Power lines, natural gas pipelines are also food sources with a mix of different plants. Once the warm weather tapers and fall chill sets in, grass hoppers and other insects are no longer part of a turkeys menu. You will however find grass and clovers in a turkey crop spring or fall. Find either of those growing in your hunting area and it's just a matter of time before you encounter turkeys.