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.

  • Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons, Then and Now

    Those who fall turkey hunt love it. Those who don't often want to learn more about the tradition—or they simply opt out for other pleasant diversions: namely deer and ducks. I first turkey hunted north-central Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised, back in the 1970s. At the time, PA...

  • Turkey Hunter Sees Bigfoot—Yeah, Right

    Bigfoot turkey hunter sightings stay on the radar often enough to provide social media and online interest. Some angrily scoff at posts, fueled by critical thinking, while others passionately affirm they've seen one too. It's hard to know what to believe. I have to think many are cases of mistaken...

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How Many Days Do You Turkey Hunt a Year?

Turkey hunters are a hardcore bunch. Just like the deer and duck folks. And some people chase spring gobblers, whitetails, mallards and more. Here at the Realtree turkey blog, we like that. Question is, how many days on average do you turkey hunt? Do you get out in the spring...


Video: Bobcat Tackles Turkey Decoy

Get a bunch of us turkey chasers together in the off-season, and talk inevitably turns toward some of the crazier things we've seen out there in the woods and fields: wild hunts, glorious misses and sometimes stories involving decoys and what they lure in. Hen and gobbler fakes draw plenty...


Video: "I'm getting attacked by a wild turkey."

Human-habituated wild turkeys, and those haunting roadways, are increasing problematic as suburban sprawl flushes tight against woods and fields. In this YouTube post, a citizen videographer can be heard saying, almost in disbelief as he films: "I'm getting attacked by a wild turkey." By all appearances, it actually seems to...


Are You a Typical U.S. Turkey Hunter?

We're not scoring you the way they do antlers . This criteria has to do with your age, how much money you and your family makes, and your formal college education when compared with other U.S. turkey hunters. But wait a second, you say. Some old-schoolers might insist age and...


Radical Changes Coming to the New York Fall Turkey Season

The proposed changes to New York State’s fall turkey season dates and limits will become official later this month. “We filed a notice of adoption, so we’re going to adopt those regulations as proposed,” Mike Schiavone, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) wildlife biologist told me. “That will...


Ben Franklin Said What?!

"I hate to discuss this because the misconception is better than the truth," late, great turkey biologist and writer Lovett E. Williams, Jr. said in his book " The Art & Science of Wild Turkey Hunting ," a true classic, though now out of print. What I always loved about...


These 10 Things Say You're Out of Shape for Hunting Season

Are you out of shape for hunting season? What you say might be a good indicator. 10. Pass me another venison burger, please . . . and those fried turkey nuggets too. 9. I'm gonna drive my truck down to get the mail (at the end of the driveway). 8...


Other Species Sought by Turkey Hunters

Are you a two-season wild turkey hunter? Or do you hunt beards in the spring and antlers in the fall? Squirrels and rabbits? Upland birds, predators and even bear get plenty of attention by turkey hunters. They decoy and call in ducks and geese, too. How about you? Statistically speaking...


Video: Watch, Listen as a Hen Struts, Gobbles

Ever see a hen strut or hear one gobble? Watch this video. True enough, over the years we’ve seen an occasional hen strut in the spring, often to show dominance, especially when confronting a hyper-realistic fake staked in her territory. We’ve even witnessed strutting in the fall from certain brood...


Video: Turkey Hen with Poults Fights Off Hawk

Hatch-rearing wild turkey hens have plenty of challenges fending off predators these days of early summer. After nesting successfully, this brood hen alertly watches over her young as they feed in the tall grass. They're not alone. A red-tailed hawk, also hungry for dinner, swoops in. Watch what happens next...


Top 5 Turkey Hunting States

Listing the top 5 turkey hunting states is tricky. It's based on hunter participation and fueled by a long-standing tradition. Available public land, spring and fall tags, plus huntable populations are also factors. And yeah, it might just be your home state, so you're proud to be from there. Let's...


Video: Wild Turkey Fights Geese

That's one tough turkey. A wild turkey hunter would say she’s defending her territory: possibly a food source; maybe even her nest. We’ve no clue here, though the habitat seems pretty well-groomed. Nope, it's no gobbler. Her aggressive semi-strut surely says she means business though. Over the years we’ve seen...


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