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.

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5 Overlooked Fall Turkey Hunting States

Over the last few decades, I've hunted wild turkeys east to west, north to south ( even in Mexico ). While fall turkey hunting is largely a tradition based in the midwestern and eastern half of the United States, there are plenty of opportunities out West. One eastern state, known...


3 Reasons Your Thanksgiving Day Turkey Should Be Wild

You woke early, made coffee, drove far, parked your truck, and climbed that ridge before daybreak. You listened to wild turkeys on the roost. You made your setup. And after another setup or two – been there? – eventually called the bird you wanted in, and closed the deal. After,...


How to Kill a Fall Turkey While Deer Hunting

Turkeys and deer often like to share the same habitats, we all know that. And sometimes, both archery and firearms seasons coincide for both game species. Before you draw your bow or pull that trigger, are you hunting legally? Are you willing to take a wild turkey when deer are...


Video: Predator Hunter Calls in Two Fall Longbeards Using a Rabbit Distress Call

Wild turkeys by nature are curious. And spooky. And likely the most paranoid bird on the planet. They occasionally do some unexpected things in the woods. Call a couple of wary adult gobblers into range with a dying rabbit distress call? Unlikely, right? Wrong. Predator calling sometimes consists of making...


3 Reasons to Shoot a Legal Fall Turkey Hen

Fall turkey hunting is available in 42 states and a number of Canadian provinces. Often, either-sex birds are legal to shoot. Always check your regulations to be sure. That said, there are common points of discussion when it comes to killing legal fall hens, juvenile or adult. Check It Out...


How to Kill a Longbeard While Fall Turkey Hunting

Pattern fall longbeards? Scatter them for the calling advantage? Either way, you wait. Check out these tips to get one by the feet. Big gobblers flush far. Sometimes they take their time regrouping, but other instances prove otherwise. Can’t call them in? Can’t wait that long? You can wait for...


3 Ways You Won't Kill a Fall Turkey

Just ask any hardcore fall turkey hunter: finding and killing one of these birds takes time. Sure, but not always. If you're hunting human-habituated flocks on private land, well, it can be pretty easy. Take to the bigwoods of the Northeast or expansive properties out West, and success might come...


5 Ways to Call the Whole Flock in While Fall Turkey Hunting

Yes, you can call the whole fall turkey flock to your position and pick out the bird you want. I'm a longtime practitioner of hunting fall turkeys with dogs trained to find flocks, scatter them, then sit quietly at the setup as you call separated birds back. It's a legal...


Deer Hunting with Turkey Decoys?

Looking to fill an early season doe tag? Do you have a fall turkey archery tag in your pocket too? Assuming it's legal where you live, should you hunt deer with turkey decoys? Hunter numbers show whitetails are the top hunted species in the country and an easy favorite for...


Why 42 States Have Fall Turkey Seasons

As of this writing, 42 states offer some form of a fall turkey season. A number of these even extend it into winter. Why then do the others not offer a "second season" on the most popular game bird on the planet? The reasons are many. Turkey hunting management is...


3 Things You Don’t Know About Fall Turkey Hunting

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody told me they don’t hunt fall turkeys because: (1) males don’t gobble then, (2) they don’t like killing young birds, and even worse, (3) it’s not fun. In baseball, that’s a strikeout, because they’re wrong on all counts. In my...


3 Ways to Scatter Fall Turkeys

Your goal is to get flocked-up fall turkeys to run or fly in different directions. Why? This is when they're most vulnerable. You then set up and try to call separated birds back to your gun or bow. You can scatter them in a number of ways. Walk Under Roosts...


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