Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. 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. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
Reasons to Fall Turkey Hunt
Need some reasons to fall turkey hunt?
The smell of bacon frying in camp. The sound of coffee filling the pot.
Your breath steaming out in the cold pre-dawn of your truck’s headlights.
Morning sunlight with red and yellow leaves floating down. The sharp scratching sound those leaves make when hitting tree branches on the way to the ground. The short woods nap that follows.
A wild turkey flock just starting to call and regroup after a good scatter.
Fresh scratchings on the rolling spine of the oak ridge you’re walking.
The way that ghost-cut mouth diaphragm you’re running makes kee-kees just right.
The buck skulking through shadowy brush on the edge of the swamp.
Old friends and new, and the funny stories about that one time in the turkey woods.
The way a hard-moving flock suddenly appearing on a hillside jumpstarts your heart.
The way the setup feels just right — a hunting buddy facing one way and you the other, shotguns ready.
Calling a brood hen and just a few young birds in and letting them walk.
The text message saying: Found the ridge flock. Roosted ‘em. Hunt fly-down tomorrow?
Geese moving overhead. Wood ducks squealing on the river. Far-off turkey yelping.
The way your turkey dog gets birdy, casts out of sight, barks on the flock flush and scatters the group for the call back in the states where it's legal.
The note your buddy left under your truck's windshield wiper. It doesn’t include a single word, just a turkey tail feather that says he killed one.
That autumn longbeard making like Dracula with his black cape and ready to thrash the fighting purrs you’re running right after fly-down, thinking it’s a real bird . . .
Haven’t seen it? Don’t believe it? You need to hunt fall turkeys more.
A bird answers, is coming, appears. The turkey is in range. You savor the seconds.
The smell of gunpowder after the killing shot and saving that spent hull in your pocket.
The trash talk you’ll have to hear when you tell the guys back at camp about your miss.
Hunting every day of the fall turkey season and not killing a bird . . . though you brought home plenty of memories.
Thanksgiving dinner with a wild turkey on your family’s supper table.
What’s the reason you fall turkey hunt?