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.

  • Use Turkey Decoys for Deer Hunting Where Legal

    Assuming it's legal where you deer hunt, turkey decoys might just work to pull in some venison for your freezer. Yes, in some states you can't do so legally. It's always best to double-check. But if archery or gun seasons for both fall turkeys and whitetails are open at the...

  • Top 5 Heavyweight Wild Turkey Gobblers by Subspecies

    Turkey hunters love to get down to the details of spurs, beards and even weight. We pulled together the top five heavyweights of each wild turkey subspecies, and lined them up in this photo blog. Check out the top weights for Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam's, Gould's, and Osceola turkeys as...

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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...


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...


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 Ways to Kill a Fall Turkey While Deer Hunting

I know. You want the shooter buck on your hit list. But Thanksgiving is coming too. If both seasons are open where you hunt, here’s how to put a wild bird on the table while waiting for Mr. Double Drop Tine. 1. Get in the Air You’re bowhunting, and have...


Video: Territorial Deer Attack on Backyard Turkey Flock

At times, you'd swear deer and wild turkeys watch out for danger as they feed together in woods and field situations while you're hunting them. Then again, sometimes pure competition for the food source – in this case, somebody's backyard – provokes territorial behavior . . . That's when trouble...


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...


Irish Setter Hunting Boots

Fall turkey hunters cover a lot of ground trying to find autumn flocks. To do that, you need serious foot support from your hunting boots. Truth is, I'm a boot hoarder. I keep them for years and years, even as soles wear down and seams pop. Laces fray and I...


3 Ways to Salvage Your Fall Turkey Hunting Season

Maybe you're in a bit of a rut. Field sitting day after day can get pretty old as turkey hunting goes. Try these three tactics to put your tag on a fall bird. Locate by Cold Calling Fall turkeys before fly-down – or moving on the ground, even if silent...


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...


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...


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