Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com'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.

  • How to Kill a Longbeard While Fall Turkey Hunting

    Pattern fall longbeards? Scatter them for the calling advantage? Either way, you wait. Check out these tips to get one by the feet. Big gobblers flush far. Sometimes they take their time regrouping, but other instances prove otherwise. Can’t call them in? Can’t wait that long? You can wait for...

  • 3 Ways You Won't Kill a Fall Turkey

    Just ask any hardcore fall turkey hunter: finding and killing one of these birds takes time. Sure, but not always. If you're hunting human-habituated flocks on private land, well, it can be pretty easy. Take to the bigwoods of the Northeast or expansive properties out West, and success might come...

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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 quietly at the setup as you call separated birds back. It's a legal...


Deer Hunting with Turkey Decoys?

Looking to fill an early season doe tag? Do you have a fall turkey archery tag in your pocket too? Assuming it's legal where you live, should you hunt deer with turkey decoys? Hunter numbers show whitetails are the top hunted species in the country and an easy favorite for...


Why 42 States Have Fall Turkey Seasons

As of this writing, 42 states offer some form of a fall turkey season. A number of these even extend it into winter. Why then do the others not offer a "second season" on the most popular game bird on the planet? The reasons are many. Turkey hunting management is...


3 Things You Don’t Know About Fall Turkey Hunting

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody told me they don’t hunt fall turkeys because: (1) males don’t gobble then, (2) they don’t like killing young birds, and even worse, (3) it’s not fun. In baseball, that’s a strikeout, because they’re wrong on all counts. In my...


3 Ways to Scatter Fall Turkeys

Your goal is to get flocked-up fall turkeys to run or fly in different directions. Why? This is when they're most vulnerable. You then set up and try to call separated birds back to your gun or bow. You can scatter them in a number of ways. Walk Under Roosts...


4 Fall Turkey Hunting Tips

Fall turkey hunting is legal in 42 states as of this writing. Check your current lawbook for opportunities, either in your state or by road trip. Tips for hunting “second-season” birds follow. 1. Pattern Flocks Pattern fall turkeys that fly down and move to predictable feeding zones each day. Establish...


3 Ways to Cold Call Fall Turkeys

Cold calling to fall turkeys — whether on foot or from a blind — is a strategy to locate or pull in birds you don’t see or hear. You've likely picked a spot where you’ve found fresh turkey sign, or even seen and heard birds before (though quiet groups will...


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 Tips to Help Travel with Hunting Dogs

If you travel with hunting dogs as I do – any canine pet really – portable, cushioned beds are essential. Good food and fresh water, including a collapsible dish, are also mainstays. For over 20 years, my English setters have put on many road miles with me. They’ve been constant...


Realtree Guide to Fall Turkey Hunting

Fall turkey hunting seasons are available in 42 states and even some Canadian provinces. You needn't wait until spring to get on these big birds. Go here for 5 early archery seasons for fall turkeys . The New Hampshire bow season for both turkeys and deer runs for months. Others...


How to Trap Raccoons Video

Why trap raccoons? As Roger Culpepper says in the video, "The turkeys appreciate it . . ." Raccoons are among the many egg-eating predators out there. Wildlife management on your property can help wild turkeys thrive better. As the late great Lovett E. Williams, Jr. wrote in his classic book...


Try Hunting Fall Turkeys This Season

Haven’t tried this “second season” turkey hunting tradition? It's legal in 42 states around the country. Not yours? Road trip? Here's why you should . . . 1. Scouting Deer It will help you scout for deer firearms season, which often arrives later than fall turkey dates. 2. Improve Skills...


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