Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Realtree turkey hunting editor Steve Hickoff has chased gobblers all over the United States and Mexico. He was born and raised in northcentral Pennsylvania, and now makes his home in Maine. Hickoff was named the NWTF Tom Kelly Communicator of the Year for 2019, a prestigious award reflecting his longtime work promoting hunting and conservation as a turkey hunting writer, editor and book author.

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Best Merriam’s Turkey Hunting States

Merriam’s turkey hunting is special for its beautiful mountain views and of course the bird with the white-tipped tail itself. Add to this the overall challenge of the hunts. Spring snows can factor in. High altitude. Dangerous cats and bears. Turkeys that walk miles from the roost. Steep mountain climbs...


Public-Land Osceola Turkey Hunting

Spanish moss draping down from high branches. White sand trails. Steaming swamps as day breaks, with overhead roost cover. Hardwood hammocks. Cypress holes full of gators. Piney woods, creek bottoms, and foggy pastureland flanking wooded areas of habitat. And you had better bring a good flashlight for when you’re done...


Your Gobbler Roosts Over Water. What’s Your Next Move?

Tagging a spring gobbler when they roost over land is tough enough. Put one high in trees over water as you start your hunt, and that compounds the difficulty. Where will that bird fly down? Where will it go after it does? The chess-game analogy comes to mind. Study Up...


Road Trip Tips for a Single-Season Grand Slam

Road trips, the best of them, are efforts to cover as much ground as possible in a single turkey season — or a lifetime. Some folks, this second spring of the pandemic, will still road-trip close to home, limited by state mandates. Others will hit the highway for extended stretches...


There's Another Turkey Hunter in Your Spot. Now What?

Every day was a Saturday last spring turkey season. Travel restrictions kept some folks close to home. Permit and license sales jumped for many states, as did kill numbers. Turkeys — and hunters chasing those birds — felt more pressure. And at least some of that increased pressure is likely...


Ride Your Bike to Turkey Hunt

You silently move along a skinny game trail through the woods toward birds you roosted last night on the same bike. You hide your rig inside a natural blind. Confidently you sit, take a breath, raise your camo facemask, and settle in — certain you’ll feel no pressure from other...


How Can These Turkey Hunting Laws Be Legal?

Game laws are intended to limit certain equipment and hunting tactics to ensure a certain degree of fair chase. Unfortunately, some hunting gear and strategies, while legal, stray over the line of sporting ethics. As the saying goes, “Legal ain’t always right.” Take the following examples, for instance. In Maine,...


Turkey Hunting Nation Northeast Update

Pennsylvania, known for its strong turkey hunting tradition, is also home to many award-winning call makers. Both New York and New Jersey hunters also enjoy some decent spring gobbler opportunities annually. Maryland and Delaware, fringe states on a turkey hunter’s radar — and known more for their coastal waterfowling traditions...


Turkey Hunting Nation Midwest Update

Want to know where to go in the Midwest, get some insider intel along the way, plus details on the current state populations of turkeys and last season’s spring kill? Sure you do. Get your read on with our turkey hunting forecast for these dozen Midwestern states. Ohio The Buckeye...


Turkey Hunting Nation West Update

Want to know where to go out West, get some insider intel along the way, plus details on the current state populations of turkeys and last season’s spring kill? Sure you do. Get your read on with our Turkey Hunting Nation updates for the dozen Western states, including available public...


Turkey Hunting Nation Southwest Update

The Southwest region of the United States not only includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona but also California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. 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...


Turkey Hunting Nation Southeast Update

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...


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