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.

  • Nonresident Turkey Hunts for Cheapskates

    You've filled your turkey tags at home and still want to hunt. Money's tight. Here's how to cut costs in another state. GO PUBLIC – Your first and most obvious move: public land. You called those state officials right? Some places might be big as designated counties or small as...

  • Five "Plan B" Turkey Hunting Tips

    Consider these tactics when you need something different this spring turkey season. Trick #1 Most locator calls, like traditional crowing or owling, are loud to pull shock gobbles from distant birds. Looking to get tighter to a roost? Softly hoot like a great horned owl instead of the usual barred...

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Turkey Hunting Tips for Junkyard Gobblers

Your goal: To find wild turkeys in locations pretty much ignored by other spring gobbler hunters. WHY IT WORKS Let's be honest. Some places around the country likely look more appealing to trash pickers than turkey hunters. The gobbler you unexpectedly locate there might be worth its weight in finder’s...


Epic Fails with Turkey Hunting Decoys

Sometimes you need them. Sometimes you don’t. WHEN YOU DO Ever been in a situation where you’ve called the gobbler and he’s arrived in a wooded opening or field setting? This turkey looked and studied your position. Seeing no hen, it alarm putted, did the exiting wing flick and walked...


The Future of Alabama Turkey Hunting Needs Your Help

According to the National Wild Turkey Federation ( NWTF ), an estimated 400,000 wild turkeys roam Alabama. Depending on the county, numbers range from excellent to poor. Bama's spring turkey season opened this weekend in most, but not all, counties. Dates vary. That said, the Alabama Department of Conservation &...


Realtree Wants Your Spring Turkey Strut Reports

Realtree.com wants your spring turkey Strut Reports. Up north, there's still snow on the ground. Early indications suggest the spring dispersal may have just started. In fact, just today I saw these two Maine hens traveling alone. Now they may have been separated from their winter flock. Then again, year...


These 10 Things Can Ruin Your Turkey Hunt

And you thought your morning would be a slam dunk. Think again. Trespassers As far as you know, you’re the only hunter with permission on the property. The landowner told you so. Nothing is sweeter, right? But when two guys appear at the field edge, you know better. Slowly but...


Would You Shoot a Bearded Spring Hen?

One spring I ran a box call and had a hen answer. As always, I imagined (or at least hoped for) a gobbler running with the female turkey, strutting in her shadow. Each yelp I made the hen worked closer, mimicking me. And then she appeared. No strutter followed silently...


Is It Cheating to Use Turkey Decoys?

Is it cheating to use turkey decoys? I'm really on the fence with this one. How about you? Today’s turkey decoys look as real as live birds – hens and gobblers alike. In some ways, they're works of art. Has modern hunting technology gone too far though? Should states impose...


Video: How to Use the New Montana Decoy Miss Purr-fect 3D Hen

In this how-to video, C.J. Davis of Montana Decoy demonstrates the three poses of their new Miss Purr-fect 3D Hen: looker, feeder and breeder too. The soft-edge feather cuts move in the breeze, adding realism. As he shows here, the decoy folds to easily fit in your turkey vest. What’s...


5 Steps to Killing an Osceola Swamp Turkey

Land where Florida turkeys roost is often limited. And these birds feel a lot of pressure. Sometimes aggressive steps to kill one are in order. (Go here for youth, south and north season dates.) FIND SWAMP ROOSTS Osceola gobblers and hens love cypress swamps, flying down to gator-filled bottoms, then...


10 Things to Say After Your Turkey Bud Misses

We've all been there. The gobbler, amazing thing that he is, stands in range and we whiff. The sight of a longbeard running away will sicken most of us far worse than any tilt-a-whirl ride at the country fair. Been there? Most times, right after, we don't want to hear...


NWTF Convention and Sport Show

Want to get ready for this coming spring turkey season? Nashville, Tennessee is the place to be this week for the 39th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. Convention agenda listings begin as early as Wednesday, February 11 with an early bird reception. Thursday, February 12 includes other pre-show events...


How to Turkey Hunt with a Control Freak

Control freak. By definition we’re talking about the hunter who needs to exert an obsessive impulse to dominate situations in camp, during the actual hunt and even after. Yep, there's a little bit of control freak in all of us. The strong desire to get a turkey by the feet...


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