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Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Steve Hickoff is Realtree's Editorial Director and Turkey Hunting Editor. 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.

  • Christmas Gift Snake Boots for Your Turkey Hunter

    Snakes can be a challenge during turkey hunts in the Deep South, Texas and elsewhere. Fortunately, snake boots provide some protection against striking fangs and even sharp and prickly cover you move through. We've pulled together some snake boots, all of them in Realtree camouflage, for your turkey hunter this...

  • Duck Commander Launches Strut Commander

    Strut Commander, launched by Duck Commander, offers a new product line of turkey calls for the coming spring season. As some of you regular Realtree turkey blog readers know, I posted an interview with Strut Commander's Jordan Summit last April. We're told the new Strut Commander turkey calls are currently...

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Cool Old-School Documentary on the Wild Turkey Success Story

It's hard for some to believe the wild turkey was once threatened with extinction. This "Return of the Wild Turkey" documentary by the Missouri Department of Conservation, and posted on YouTube by "MObirds," will take some of you back to a time when America's greatest game bird was less prominent...


Give Thanks

Almost always after killing a wild turkey, I whisper: "Thanks." Sometimes I'm alone; sometimes I'm with a buddy. I'm moved. I'm grateful. My hands are almost always shaking, even after all these years. It never gets old. I'm forever amazed I got to do it one more time. And I'm...


My Top 5 Favorite Turkey Recipes from Realtree's Timber 2 Table

Cooking wild turkey you've hunted and tagged extends the experience by putting food on your family's table. It adds meaning to Thanksgiving Day . Realtree's Timber 2 Table blogger Michael Pendley is an avid wild turkey hunter, father of three hunters, and husband to another. He knows his way around...


3 Reasons Your Thanksgiving Day Turkey Should Be Wild

You woke early, made coffee, drove far, parked your truck, and climbed that ridge before daybreak. You listened to wild turkeys on the roost. You made your setup. And after another setup or two – been there? – eventually called the bird you wanted in, and closed the deal. After,...


5 Thanksgiving Day Fall Turkey Hunting States

Thanksgiving is all about friends, family, eating turkey and giving thanks . But to eat turkey, you have to have one in hand. Some hit the local grocery store, while others invest in a farm-raised bird. Others, like us, like to hunt and take one for the holiday table. If...


When Leaf-Peeping Helicopters Ruin Your Hunts

Look, I could scarcely believe my bad luck the first time it happened. That was an October ago. When the helicopter came in low over the farmer's field and nearby colorful New England edge cover this hunting season, I had to laugh. Again. What the heck? Different location. Same result...


3 Reasons You Shouldn't Use a Decoy for Fall Turkey Hunting

The use of turkey hunting decoys in the fall is smart or stupid, depending. First, some reasons why you shouldn't use decoys when fall turkey hunting. 1. Either-Sex Turkey Hunts In many of the 42 states permitting fall turkey hunting, either-sex birds are legal to take.This means it's important to...


Plan Your Late-Season Fall Turkey Hunting Now

Many of you are thinking of one thing these days: deer . While some of you hardcore fall turkey hunters have chased flocks this October, some others may wait until after they've filled the freezer with venison to even begin to think about turkeys. Fortunately many opportunities around the country...


How to Kill a Fall Turkey While Deer Hunting

Turkeys and deer often like to share the same habitats, we all know that. And sometimes, both archery and firearms seasons coincide for both game species. Before you draw your bow or pull that trigger, are you hunting legally? Are you willing to take a wild turkey when deer are...


5 Dumb Things People Who Don't Fall Turkey Hunt Say About It

All due respect, and I’m not one to judge, but some things people say about fall turkey hunting are just wrong-headed. Maybe it’s social media chest-thumping – or maybe not. What seems to me though is a lot of opinion isn’t necessarily based on fact. Ask any serious fall turkey...


5 Ways to Call the Whole Flock in While Fall Turkey Hunting

Yes, you can call the whole fall turkey flock to your position and pick out the bird you want. I'm a longtime practitioner of hunting fall turkeys with dogs trained to find flocks, scatter them, then sit quitely at the setup as you call separated birds back. It's a legal...


On My Belly Turkey Hunting, Elbows Down, Gun Up

Turkey hunting is all about tactics. Plotting. Planning. Getting a feel for what birds want to do, spring or fall. I killed this October gobbler by trying to think like a turkey, and it worked. This time . It doesn't always, and that's why we love the tradition. The difficulty...


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