Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com's editorial director and turkey hunting editor. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country.

  • Turkey Hunting: Did Hens Ruin Your Spring Season?

    As a turkey hunter, is your glass half full or half empty? In Florida this season, right after fly-down, a boss hen clucked, yelped and laid on some forceful cutting back at our every call. More birds flew down and gathered around this loud-mouthed hen turkey — more hens and...

  • Turkey Hunting: Chess Match in the River Bottom

    "Turkey hunting is not a game that needs a score or a scorekeeper and does not require the production of a dead turkey to qualify as a success." — Tom Kelly, "Ethics," The Season I turkey hunted in Florida this past March, several April states, and like many, I'm still...

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Why You Love and Hate the End of Turkey Hunting Season

Admit it, you both love and hate the end of turkey season. A few words follow on why. Early on, you love the early risings, driving through a sleeping town to an all-night gas station for early coffee and doughnuts, where you run into a few other camo-clad hunters and...


Use Turkey Decoys for Deer Hunting Where Legal

Assuming it's legal where you deer hunt, turkey decoys might just work to pull in some venison for your freezer. Yes, in some states you can't do so legally. It's always best to double-check. But if archery or gun seasons for both fall turkeys and whitetails are open at the...


Unavoidably Dumb Stuff You Do While Turkey Hunting

Sometimes while turkey hunting, you just do stupid stuff. Cliff Jump First, we scattered the big Wyoming spring flock after a long, steep climb on a skinny game trail to the top of a mountain. Accidentally. The guide groaned. An avid fall turkey hunter — a tradition where intentionally breaking...


Cool Old-School Documentary on the Wild Turkey Success Story

It's hard for some to believe the wild turkey was once threatened with extinction. This "Return of the Wild Turkey" documentary by the Missouri Department of Conservation, and posted on YouTube by "MObirds," will take some of you back to a time when America's greatest game bird was less prominent...


Video: Feral Kitten Attacks a Wild Turkey

Feral cats do plenty of damage to wild bird populations. This fact is well-documented . Watch as a feral kitten attempts to do just that in this "tarpon534" YouTube video. Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting . Find us on Facebook .


Turkey Hunting: Big Timber Gobblers

On the road, around the country, I'm often out there well before fly-down time. Locally, in Maine where I make my home base, I often don't leave the cabin until an hour or two after fly-down. That's what I did on opening day. Why? The early window of time lets...


Turkey Hunting: 5 More Excuses for Why You Missed Turkeys

Missing turkeys is part of the game. All veteran turkey hunters have been there, and if you haven't yet, brace yourself. It hurts. Memories of that strutter stepping up into range – and the 10 inches of swinging beard running off after you pull your shotgun's trigger – will haunt...


Top 7 Places You Can Still Turkey Hunt in May

For some of you, the spring turkey season is over. Elsewhere, it's just getting started. Here are our top seven places where you'll still find turkey season open. Maine Realtree's Maine Turkey Hunting Nation Last day: June 2, 2018 . I took two Maine longbeards (photo right) on opening day...


DIY Turkey Call: Building a Bamboo Wingbone-Style Yelper

By the late 1800s, Charles L. Jordan (1841-1909) began publishing how-to articles on turkey hunting, and making calls from wingbone and cane. Sources indicate he may have crafted them for decades before. After Jordan’s murder by a poacher, his writing on wild turkey hunting was compiled by Edward A. McIlhenny...


Video: Turkey Hen with Poults Fights Off Hawk

Wild turkey hens have plenty of challenges fending off predators once their young are successfully hatched. This brood hen alertly watches over her poults as they feed in the tall grass. They're not alone. A red-tailed hawk, also hungry for dinner, swoops in. Watch what happens next. Go here for...


5 Food Plots to Help You Tag More Turkeys

Not just for deer, a good food plot will draw in turkeys and hold them in your area, vastly increasing your odds at tagging a longbeard this spring. While food plots are most often associated with fall deer hunting, a green spring plot can be absolutely deadly on spring gobblers...


Youth's Amazing 13-Bearded Gobbler

A little over a year ago, Tyler Blake Mumpower (just 11 years old at the time), shot this record book gobbler. He was hunting with his dad, Rodney. On April 22, 2017, the two were out together, as were many other Pennsylvania fathers and sons. The state has a strong...


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