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.

  • Are Old Bucks or Longbeards Tougher to Kill?

    At some point, during the spring for turkeys and the fall for deer, a mature strutting tom or monster buck will appear right out in the open for everyone to see – this includes you the hardcore hunter. Some fall deer just avoid daytime, going nocturnal. During the rut, they...

  • Watch a Wild Turkey Swim a Lake

    Of course ducks do it all the time. So do geese. Have you ever wondered if wild turkeys could swim? Your wait is over. Watch as a young gobbler does just that in Truman Lake, Missouri, then runs away as he hits dry ground. Your thoughts? Comment below. (YouTube video...

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Early Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons

Our qualifier for "early"? The scheduled “fall turkey hunting season” has to start before summer officially ends. This year, the autumnal equinox is Sept. 22 . But you can hunt flocks before then . . . Arizona : Bow season for wild turkeys starts here on Aug. 22–Sept. 11, 2014,...


Turkey Gobbling Woman on TV's Family Feud

"Family Feud"—the fill-in-the-blank game show "TV Guide" ranked #3 all-time behind "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!"—includes occasional banter between the host and contestants. Best we can tell this is the first time a self-proclaimed "turkey gobbling champion" has visited the studio . . . and even performed. How do you...


New Hunting Boots

As the saying goes, “Never wear new boots on your season’s first hunting trip.” You don’t want to break them in as you hunt . Conditioning—both for you and your boots—should go on well before the season starts. Like now. In the good old days of the previous century, leather...


How to Kee-Kee on a Box Call

The kee-kee is the maturing lost whistle of young turkeys. You'll hear it in the fall and even in spring. It's often three notes and roughly two seconds long. The kee-kee run includes these three notes, with yelps added on the end (the "run" part). Notes can vary. Young turkeys...


Bass Pro Shops Promotes the NWTF through NASCAR

NASCAR gets plenty of attention, and Bass Pro Shops is helping to promote the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) on the racing circuit this season. "All of us at Bass Pro Shops are so proud of the conservation successes our friends at the National Wild Turkey Federation have achieved throughout...


Should Feeding Backyard Wild Turkeys Be Illegal?

Fact: Human-habituated wild turkeys, birds regularly fed with the songbirds and squirrels in backyard situations, are increasingly common in suburban and even rural areas. In Snow Belt regions, this can surely help winter flocks survive before breeding dispersal. Northern biologists have been known to credit this citizen-funded trend with helping...


Turkey Hen with Poults Fights Off Hawk

After nesting successfully, this brood hen watches over her young as they feed in tall grass. They're not alone. A red-tailed hawk, also hungry for dinner, swoops in. Watch what happens next.


Texas Farm Turkeys Playing Soccer

In the spirit of the FIFA World Cup currently entering the quarter-finals round in Brazil – and of course after the USA team lost a tough elimination match this week – we bring you three Texas farm turkeys playing soccer. Yep, that’s right. You can’t make this stuff up, folks...


Stop Poachers From Stealing Your Turkeys

Somebody is killing your turkeys and it’s not you. Just released, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries “Wild Turkey Management Plan (2013-2022)” presents both encouraging and yet disturbing facts about Old Dominion gobblers and hens. One caught my attention: poaching estimates exceed the annual “harvest” totals — by...


Should Flourescent Orange Be Required for Fall Turkey Hunting?

In the fall, across much of the United States and parts of Canada, fall turkey hunting offers a so-called "second season" option on the birds we love to chase each spring. Truth is, some of us see little difference between the modern spring trend and the true beginnings of our...


The Real World Slam?

Tag all five Meleagris gallopavo subspecies, plus an ocellated turkey (the other turkey species), and you’ve hunted hard enough to take a World Slam. Meet the cassowary. It’s not a wild turkey, but walks like one; even bears similar physical characteristics, though other aspects are decidedly not. Still, some have...


Save a Turkey, Shoot a Pig

The jury is hung. Some studies show wild pigs don’t harm turkey populations; others indicate they do. Our past spring’s Quiz: Are You a Wild Turkey Expert? asked: Managed predator control – or lack of – certainly influences historical post-restoration population numbers. Many turkeys die by predation. Which of the...


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