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.

  • 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...

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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...


So Your Girlfriend Hates Taxidermy?

Full disclosure: My wife encourages it. Yours might not though. Many years ago I had a girlfriend who said, after I asked her about the dead stuff on my apartment walls, “It would look great in the basement.” It was the last time I saw her. But it’s not just...


How to Make a Wingbone Turkey Call

Like some of you, I'm both a spring and fall turkey hunter. Off-season is a time of reflection and thinking about the hunts to come. One way to speed the days is making wingbone turkey calls. Calling in a wild turkey with a tool crafted from the radius, ulna, and...


10 Dumb Things You Do While Turkey Hunting

You've all been there. Hunt enough and you'll be there again. And again. 10 dumb things you do while turkey hunting follow. Trust me, I'm an expert at it. You too? STAND WHEN YOU SHOULD SIT Patience kills turkeys, the old saying goes. Lack of it scares them off. Ever...


New Federal Premium 3rd Degree Turkey Hunting Load

Most modern turkey loads have evolved to pattern more tightly and reach farther. As a result, most loads perform more like a shotgun slug at close range — which sometimes leads to missed birds. When we set out to create a new turkey load, we kept this problem in the...


Wild Turkey Backyard Brawl

Gobblers fight for dominance. They do it to establish and maintain pecking order. As spring approaches, they square off for the right to breed with as many hens as possible. Watch as two Rhode Island gobblers brawl in a backyard. Neither one seems ready to give in. Ever see gobblers...


Strange Turkey Hunting Laws

Strange turkey hunting laws are on the books all over the country. You can kill a turkey with a spear in Nebraska (or at least try to). In the Cornhusker state, the "hand thrown spear" option falls under archery regulations. Maybe Realtree blogger Steph Mallory can take her newfound skills...


10 Places to Hunt Fall Turkeys on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day parades and football aren't enough? Go fall turkey hunting in the following states: PENNSYLVANIA My native Pennsylvania arguably has the greatest fall turkey hunting tradition in the country. It's where I cut my teeth on spring turkeys and autumn flocks. It's where I hunted earlier this month. As...


News Report: Thanksgiving Turkeys Scarce?

Nope, not an early April Fools joke. In the news today comes word from CNBC and Coordinating Producer Jeff Daniels: “Demand for turkeys is strong ahead of the holidays, and some producers wish they had more birds to go around . . .” Go figure. The news article quotes one...


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