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.

  • 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...

  • 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. Check It Out...

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DIY Turkey Call: Building a Bamboo Wingbone-Style Yelper

By the late 1800s, Charles L. Jordan (1841-1909) began publishing how-to articles on turkey hunting, and making calls from wingbone and cane. Sources indicate he may have crafted them for decades before. After Jordan’s murder by a poacher, his writing on wild turkey hunting was compiled by Edward A. McIlhenny...


Video: Turkey Hen with Poults Fights Off Hawk

Wild turkey hens have plenty of challenges fending off predators once their young are successfully hatched. This brood hen alertly watches over her poults as they feed in the tall grass. They're not alone. A red-tailed hawk, also hungry for dinner, swoops in. Watch what happens next. Go here for...


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5 Food Plots to Help You Tag More Turkeys

Not just for deer, a good food plot will draw in turkeys and hold them in your area, vastly increasing your odds at tagging a longbeard this spring. While food plots are most often associated with fall deer hunting, a green spring plot can be absolutely deadly on spring gobblers...


Youth's Amazing 13-Bearded Gobbler

A little over a year ago, Tyler Blake Mumpower (just 11 years old at the time), shot this record book gobbler. He was hunting with his dad, Rodney. On April 22, 2017, the two were out together, as were many other Pennsylvania fathers and sons. The state has a strong...


Why Turkey Hunters Hate Cows

Cows seem to love and/or hate turkey hunters. That’s a problem sometimes. Cover Scent Turkey hunting legend Preston Pittman has had his challenges with cows while turkey hunting, too. He once told me the story of a tough field gobbler and a bunch of calves that kept sniffing out his...


Flash Hunt Your Spring Turkey

Flash hunts often insist that you know the land well enough to anticipate what a gobbler will do when you call. You can read terrain by scouting year-round. You can study roost locations as they shift. What path will a flash hunt turkey take to you? Will it chance at...


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5 Quick Tips for Hunting Merriam's Turkeys

Eventually, most hardcore wild turkey hunters venture out West in pursuit of the Merriam's subspecies. Check out these turkey blog tips on how to make the trip successful.


Video: Wild Turkey Hen Fakes Injury to Protect Her Young

Wild turkey encounters can happen suddenly during late spring and summer days. You might be walking in the woods, or even in a suburban area where human habituation may have taken place. Each day their young will grow bigger and wiser to the natural world. After all, predators are trying...


Video: How to Get Women Into Hunting

Realtree's deer hunting editor Josh Honeycutt is one heckuva turkey man, too. In this video, he guides his wife Kathryn to her first turkey, and we hear from her about how we can get more women into the hunting tradition. Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting and follow us...


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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...


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...


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