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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

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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...


Video: Predator Hunter Calls in Two Fall Longbeards Using a Rabbit Distress Call

Wild turkeys by nature are curious. And spooky. And likely the most paranoid bird on the planet. They occasionally do some unexpected things in the woods. Call a couple of wary adult gobblers into range with a dying rabbit distress call? Unlikely, right? Wrong. Predator calling sometimes consists of making...


5 Overlooked Fall Turkey Hunting States

Over the last few decades, I've hunted wild turkeys east to west, north to south ( even in Mexico ). While fall turkey hunting is largely a tradition based in the midwestern and eastern half of the United States, there are plenty of opportunities out West. One eastern state, known...


5 Fall Turkey Hunts for Your Busy Schedule

Time is at a premium for many turkey hunters. Still, you miss hearing birds waking up on the roost, then drawing closer and closer to your setup after fly-down time. You need to hunt. Try these five tactics for your busy schedule and tag a bird this fall. 1. Hunt...


3 Reasons to Shoot a Legal Fall Turkey Hen

Fall turkey hunting is available in 42 states and a number of Canadian provinces. Often, either-sex birds are legal to shoot. Always check your regulations to be sure. That said, there are common points of discussion when it comes to killing legal fall hens, juvenile or adult. Reasons why you...


7 Kinds of Wild Turkeys You Can Hunt This Fall

If fall turkey hunting is open in your state (it is in 42 of them and some Canadian provinces as well), your chance at interacting with different kinds of autumn gobblers and hens is likely. In the end, as either-sex fall hunts go, you choose which one will wear a...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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