Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Steve Hickoff is Realtree's 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.

  • How to Hunt Turkeys in the Snow

    A year ago our Nebraska spring turkey hunting in the snow came down to some basic tactics: find them, make a setup and call (or crawl) to birds out of the wind-driven white stuff. Best thing is the gobblers and hens are out there with you, doing what they do,...

  • Oklahoma Turkey Hunting Photo Essay

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5 Reasons to Shoot a Jake

In his great, sometimes ignored fourth book The Season (Lyons & Burford, 1996), Tom Kelly wrote: “Forty years ago, I knew no one who turned down young gobblers in the spring. Forty years ago they were not called 'jakes'.” Nowadays it can be a term of derision, even if the...


NWTF's "Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt." Initiative

The National Wild Turkey Federation believes in doing what's necessary to conserve wildlife habitat and preserve our hunting heritage. Watch this short video to find out how the NWTF is working to save what matters most to all of us through their Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. "Like"...


How to Hunt Turkeys in a Tornado

Thing is, I have and maybe you have, too. Extreme weather events seem to dog us spring gobbler hunters, so it’s a factor. By all means, take shelter during tornadoes. If you can’t, and are stuck out there without a way back to camp or home, well sometimes you can...


Two Gobblers and a Baby Doctor

Yesterday was the third day of the Tennessee turkey season, and the first convenient morning for my buddy Ryan and I to slip into his top-secret gobbler spot. So I'm hijacking Hickoff's blog for a bit. My time was limited, but not by work or other such foolishness. Michelle’s percolating...


Extreme Close-Up Alabama Turkey Hunt

Watch as Realtree’s Phillip Culpepper films Perry Ross belly-crawling and fanning a big Alabama gobbler for some close-range turkey hunting action.


Guide to the Best Turkey Decoy Setups

Montana Decoy has pulled together tips to help use your turkey decoys more effectively. As the company says: The guide features five proven turkey decoy setups that correlate with specific times of the season. It details what kind of turkey decoys to use, how to set them up, when and...


Women, Men and Turkey Hunting

Back in the mid-1990s, I accompanied my wife Elizabeth as she took her hunter’s safety course over many weeks. When her license and turkey permit arrived, I noticed one thing wrong: her sex was designated “M” – as in male. She’d applied as a woman and they’d involuntarily changed it...


Why Turkey Hunting TV Shows Usually Suck

Ask my wife, friends and even enemies: I’m a wild turkey fanatic – afflicted and addicted. Chances are you might be, too. We're probably friends for that reason or should be. Much of my professional and personal life involves scouting, hunting, writing, editing, photographing and talking about spring gobblers and...


How to Kill a Turkey with Your Bare Hands

You don’t plan it this way, of course. Killing a turkey with your bare hands comes after you’ve tried to drop a gobbler in his tracks – and failed. Hunt spring gobblers or fall flocks enough and you’ll do this at least once a season. Using the “well after all...


How to Roost Turkeys

Learn how to roost turkeys this spring hunting season. Finding where turkeys start and finish their day gives you a hunter’s advantage. Roosting a gobbler — and the other birds it runs with — makes this possible.


The Mexican Drug Dog was Hungry

Anything that can go wrong — will go wrong . Murphy’s Law surely applies to turkey hunting travel, especially on the edge of this brutal late winter as it lurches toward spring. I’d already been burned by a succession of cancelled flights due to winter weather and never made it...


Ocellated Turkey Hunting

“ Pavos ,” my guide Joby whispered inside our blind he’d built with a machete. Two ocellated turkeys moved out of the tall sorghum and into an opening. “ Si ,” said the visiting gringo with the thumping heart. It was my first full glimpse of this amazing bird. One...


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