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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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...


2020 Southeast Turkey Hunting Forecast

In the Southeast, as with some other regions of turkey country, flock populations are trending downward. Disease, habitat challenges, management variables and predator influences are all factors, including sadly, poaching. That said, there are some bright spots. Want to know where to go in the Southeast, get some insider intel...


My Dad's Old Turkey Calls

I got the turkey hunting bug from my father early on. His introduction to our great tradition has influenced my life and, in fact, my career as a turkey hunting writer, editor and book author. As a kid, I used to sneak into his room and study his turkey calls,...


What You Need in Your Turkey Vest

Don't skimp. Don't wander out there short of all the stuff you need to kill a bird. You'll want a good turkey vest with lots of pockets. You'll fill those pockets with the weight of your gear and hopes for success. Your tools for that day's hunt might be simple,...


5 Bad Excuses for Missing Turkeys

It hurts. Memories of that strutter stepping into range, and that 10 inches of swinging beard running out of your life after you pull the trigger and miss. The memories haunt you in the middle of the night. All veteran turkey hunters have been there. If you haven't yet, brace...


10 Dumb Turkey Hunting Mistakes

We've all been there. Hunt enough and you'll be there again. And again. Ten dumb things you do while turkey hunting follow. 1. Stand When You Should Sit Patience kills turkeys, the old saying goes. Lack of it scares them off. Ever think the woods were dead just an hour...


3 Ways to Tag an Opening Day Gobbler

Let’s face it. These are busy times for most everyone, including us turkey hunters. Try these strategies to maximize your time and effort. They might even help you put your tag on an opening-day gobbler. Fly-Down Time Fly-down time involves an early rising, the drive to your spot, the setup...


9 Things You Should Do After Killing a Turkey

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 the spurs...


5 Ways to Find a Wounded Turkey

You scouted, located and called a strutting longbeard into range. All the excuses in the world won’t help you now though – loaner gun, twisted shooting position, iffy choke, sketchy shotgun load, bad bow shot, head-jerking birds, whatever. You shot, and the turkey fell ... but then it shockingly got...


Great Wild Turkey Recipes

Classic Thanksgiving stuffing. Pumpkin pie. Cranberry sauce. Sliced turkey breast. Yeah, man, and make mine wild please. Sure, farm-raised turkeys shared with family and friends are a holiday tradition, as not everyone hunts wild turkeys with the same passion we do. But our birds carry memories of the hunt that...


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