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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Flash Hunt Your Spring Turkey

Flash hunts often insist that you know the land well enough to anticipate what a gobbler will do when you call. You can read terrain by scouting year-round. You can study roost locations as they shift. What path will a flash hunt turkey take to you? Will it chance at...


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Top 5 Longest Wild Turkey Subspecies Beards

One of the first physical details you size up when a gobbler walks into view is the beard. Beards are often a matter of shooting a legal bird in the spring, as "bearded bird" state regulations also include bearded hens ; other states are "gobblers only" and one, no jakes...


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Top 5 Scoring Rio Grande Gobblers

To many of us, Rio Grande turkey hunting means Texas, Oklahoma and that part of the country. You'll also find them roosting above the lush California vineyards north of Los Angeles and even across the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. And many other states west of the Mississippi River. Check out...


7 Crazy Things You See in Turkey Hunting Camp

Turkey hunting camp is your home away from home. It's where you meet with your buds, hatch plans to go after gobblers you've located, and where, well, crazy things sometimes happen. Seven of these wild and warped events follow. 1. Wet Socks I mean, where do you put them? I've...


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Top 5 Scoring Osceola Wild Turkeys

Osceolas are a hard-gobbling, sharp-spurred, swamp-loving subspecies of wild turkey found only in Florida. There are also Easterns and hybrids along the northern intergrade line. That said, I love Osceolas and I'll hunt them this spring. For many hardcore turkey hunters, it's the first stop at the beginning of another...


Tips for Turkey Hunting Tough Gobblers

Some spring gobblers are just plain tough. Try these tricks on yours. Get Tight Get tight to its roost tree well before sunrise. Call softly with a no-hands mouth call, if at all, right after the bird flies down (sometimes with others) and hits the ground. Clucks and soft yelps...


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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...


The 3 Phases of Spring Turkey Season

A lot of turkeys are tagged during the first week of the spring season. A lot of turkeys aren’t. Never give up until you have no days left to hunt. Early Birds Challenge : Dominant gobblers are likely henned-up. Some satellite two-year-olds and jakes might travel with the group –...


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...


These 5 Animals Can Ruin Your Spring Turkey Hunt

We've all had unexpected things happen while turkey hunting. Sometimes other wildlife messes with your plans. Here are five animals that can ruin your spring turkey hunt. 1. Bobcat Attacks An uptick of bobcat attacks – on both wild turkeys and turkey hunters – has been on the social media...


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How to Make a Turkey Hunting Tote from a Deer Antler and Paracord

You’ve been after him since daylight. He flew down the wrong direction, avoided you on the next two sets, and finally committed the fourth time you got in front of him. Trouble is, you are now a mile or more from the truck. And this old bird is big. Really...


5 Things You Need in a Good Hunting Camp

I've been fortunate to hunt wild turkeys around the United States and down in Mexico. Some camps are memorable for all the right reasons. Others, well, you'd best soon forget them. Fortunately the latter deal is rare. Check out these five things you need in a good hunting camp. A...


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