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.

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Here’s What Could Kill Turkey Hunting

The wild turkey’s comeback in the U.S. is one of modern conservation’s great success stories. In the mid- to late-1900s, intensive conservation efforts helped reverse severe population declines, including trap-and-transfer programs, habitat investment and pure sweat equity. Back then, we turkey hunters were part of a great movement. Turkey numbers...


The Top 10 Wild Turkey Recipe Countdown

Yep, fried wild turkey is surely hard to beat for taste and ease of cooking. But there are other ways to prepare America’s greatest game bird. If you’re looking for new ideas, you’ve come to the right place. And yes – several recipes here still involve frying wild turkey, but...


10 Old-Time Turkey Hunting Lies That Need to Die

I have seen a lot of gobblers come running like racehorses out of the gate and die with honor, dodge swarms of shot to live again, and, like the sun on an overcast spring day, never show. Win or lose, I loved every one of them. Yet when I was...


Do You Need a Custom Turkey Call?

Sure, a mouth call pocketed for the cost of a fast-food burger with fries can yelp up plenty of birds. They're cheap, effective, and all that. But for traditionalists, custom turkey calls embody a certain elegance and history, and that's reason enough for the hardcore turkey hunter to opt in...


What's in Your Turkey Vest?

Most serious turkey hunters are pretty particular when it comes to filling the pockets of their turkey vests. So what do the Realtree pros carry? We caught up with Phillip Culpepper and Tyler Jordan, hosts of Spring Thunder on Realtree 365 , to ask about the must-have items they carry...


2020 Northeast Turkey Hunting Forecast

Seasons here start a bit later than in the rest of the country, and they’re among the last to conclude. That alone is an upside. Pennsylvania, known for its strong turkey hunting tradition, is also home to many an award-winning call maker. Both New York and New Jersey hunters also...


2020 New England Turkey Hunting Forecast

The New England states offer a range of turkey hunting opportunities. Seasons here start later than in the rest of the country – early May is the sweet spot for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – and they last longer. Maine’s last legal day this spring, for instance, is June...


2020 West Turkey Hunting Forecast

As the “West” goes, we’re looking at turkey hunting opportunities in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and yes, Hawaii. Our other regional turkey hunting forecasts are found at the end of this post. While this season’s campaign might prove to be challenging due to public-land closures and COVID-19 travel restrictions, we’ll...


2020 Northwest Turkey Hunting Forecast

The northwestern region of the United States includes Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming. Our overall forecast is diverse as the habitat found in these five states, from the coastal range to mountainous inland terrain. And while the current COVID-19 situation may affect travel plans to this region, the prospects...


2020 Southwest Turkey Hunting Forecast

The Southwest region of the United States includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Each state has its own unique character, and four subspecies can be hunted across the entire region. The news is good regarding hatches and low hunting pressure (either due to the challenge of rugged terrain and/or...


4 Turkey Hunts When You Shouldn’t Call

I love calling turkeys as much as the next hunter, but you have to know when to shut up. Because selective silence can kill gobblers too. In these four scenarios, keeping the calls in your pocket can be your best play. 1. Be Ready at the Roost It sounds simple...


2020 Midwest Turkey Hunting Forecast

As in other areas of the country, turkey populations are trending downward in much of the Midwest. Disease, habitat challenges, management variables and predator influences (including, sadly, poaching) are all factors. That said, there are some bright spots. Want to know where to go in the Midwest, get some insider...


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