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.

  • Top 5 May Turkey Hunting States

    Southern turkey hunters get an early start on the rest of the country, often beginning their spring season in March. Up north, chances are snow still covers the ground. Gobbler chasing often doesn't begin until late April or early May. In other parts of the country, it starts early enough,...

  • Coyote, Hog and Turkey Hunting

    I've had coyote and hog encounters on turkey hunts around the country (and closer to home). As for many, sometimes it ruins the hunt. Other times, it becomes the hunt – or part of it. Texas. A bright-eyed but toothsome head popped up in range where we thought a turkey...

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Turkey Hunting: Give Your Buddy a Deer Shed Today

"Hey, there's a shed!" said Realtree.com deer man Josh Honeycutt as we turkey hunted his Kentucky home ground this past weekend. Let's back up a bit. This was a first. Not the shed find. I'd seen plenty of those. I'd made many. The first? It's always me who gives the...


The 3 Phases of Spring Turkey Season

A lot of turkeys are tagged during the first week of the spring season. A lot of turkeys aren’t. Never give up until you have no days left to hunt. Early Birds Challenge : Dominant gobblers are likely henned-up. Some satellite two-year-olds and jakes might travel with the group –...


Tips for Turkey Hunting Tough Gobblers

Some spring gobblers are just plain tough. Try these tricks on yours. Get Tight Get tight to its roost tree well before sunrise. Call softly with a no-hands mouth call, if at all, right after the bird flies down (sometimes with others) and hits the ground. Clucks and soft yelps...


Boy Kills Huge Triple-Bearded Gobbler on Video

Youth turkey hunts allow kids to absorb important advice from mentors, as they take part in the tradition we love – often for the first time – learning practical skills and more. And some really start out strong. Watch as a boy kills a huge triple-bearded gobbler. Good stuff. Go...


Turkey Hunting: 5 Strange Places Turkeys Like to Roost

Travel the country enough to hunt wild turkeys and you'll see birds roost in some unusual places. 1. Telephone Poles In places like Texas, where roost cover might include live oaks where available, wild turkeys might also choose other places to roost. This sometimes includes telephone poles. 2. The Ground...


5 Wild Turkey Parts You Should Consider Eating

We love wild turkey. The tender breast meat on a big gobbler has way more flavor than you find in his barnyard cousins. Unfortunately, the breast meat is often all that gets saved from wild turkey. Believe it or not, there is a lot more to a turkey than fried...


Video: Bobcat Stalks and Attacks Turkey Hunter

As reported by Outdoor Overload, turkey hunter Kevin Walter has had a pretty good Virginia turkey season . He’s tagged two longbeards in fact. Then things got really interesting when a bobcat stalked his setup after he made a few squirrel distress calls, and attacked. He shot this YouTube video...


Turkey Hunting: 9 Things You Should Do After Killing a Turkey

It's spring. The longbeard you want gobbles on the roost. Gobbles on the ground. Gobbles in range. And you make a clean, ethical shot. In the rush of sweet moments after killing a wild turkey, it's sometimes hard to catch your breath. Of course, a lot of folks first check...


10 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Turkey Hunting

As winter gray melts and gives way to the green of spring each year, I find myself looking forward to time spent in the turkey woods with my kids. Hunting with them over the last few years has made me change the way I go about chasing spring birds. The...


Realtree Video: Watch a Gobbler Breed a Hen

Some wild turkey breeding facts . . . In spring, a male turkey gobbles to call hens for mating. A gobbler’s strutting is a spring mating display. When willing, a hen squats on the ground before a gobbler. The gobbler, twice her size, climbs on her back and they breed...


Top 5 Snacks to Carry in Your Turkey Hunting Vest

If you want to turkey hunt long and hard, you need a snack or two to do it. A long sit on the edge of a pasture, or in a blind, will end sooner than later if you don't pack food. A top five list of snacks to carry in...


5 Tips for Sharing a Turkey Hunting Blind

Even the most hardcore run-and-gun wild turkey hunter might spend some quality time in a pop-up blind. Weather factors often make it necessary. Wind. Rain. Sleet. Snow. Sub-freezing spring temperatures. One season in Nebraska it was so cold – 17 degrees if I remember, with a gusty wind – the...


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