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.

  • Turkey Hunting: Did Hens Ruin Your Spring Season?

    As a turkey hunter, is your glass half full or half empty? In Florida this season, right after fly-down, a boss hen clucked, yelped and laid on some forceful cutting back at our every call. More birds flew down and gathered around this loud-mouthed hen turkey — more hens and...

  • Turkey Hunting: Chess Match in the River Bottom

    "Turkey hunting is not a game that needs a score or a scorekeeper and does not require the production of a dead turkey to qualify as a success." — Tom Kelly, "Ethics," The Season I turkey hunted in Florida this past March, several April states, and like many, I'm still...

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5 Worst States for Turkey Hunting

At Realtree's Turkey Hunting Nation , we've worked hard to include information to help you hunt states better. We've also tried to be honest with our comments, as a turkey hunter might in camp. In many cases, there are other great things about those states, even if turkey hunting isn't...


Top 5 Merriam's Turkey Hunting States

Some turkey hunters say Merriam's are easy. Not in my experience. Spring snows are often factors. High altitude. Dangerous cats. Birds that walk miles from the roost. Steep mountain climbs up skinny elk and deer trails. You earn it. Oh, you can arrange for easy hunts. Chip shots. Outfitters, eager...


10 Dumb Things You Do While Turkey Hunting

You've all been there. Hunt enough and you'll be there again. And again. Ten dumb things you do while turkey hunting follow. Trust me, I'm an expert at it. You too? 1. Stand When You Should Sit Patience kills turkeys, the old saying goes. Lack of it scares them off...


Video: Michael Pitts on Fanning Turkeys

If you hate the idea of fanning turkeys, watch this video. If you love it, watch it too. Either way, it might cause you to think a little about bellycrawling gobblers with a tail fan in front of you. Funny and full of truth, a few quotes from Michael Pitts...


5 Turkey Hunters You Love to Hate

As turkey hunters, we all try to get along. After all, we're all caught up in a great tradition. We're brothers and sisters of the hunt. Still, there are times when other turkey hunters get on our nerves just a little bit. Okay, well, maybe a lot. It might happen...


5 Things You Need to Know About Bowhunting Turkeys

Watch Realtree.com contributor Patrick Meitin's excellent video on bowhunting shot placement for turkeys. View it again if you already have, and on a regular basis. Memory, both muscle and mental, are essential for bowhunting turkeys effectively. – S.H. When another hunter asks me if I've bowhunted much, I always reply:...


How to Owl Hoot to Find Turkeys

Owl hooting is a great locator call when used right. Spring gobblers, fired up about the prospect of breeding – and contesting pecking order – will gobble. When silent, you can make them "shock gobble" to various sounds, including owl hooting. After this, once the gobbler is located this way,...


What Kind of Turkey Hunter Are You?

Sure, it's wrong to stereotype us turkey hunters, but . . . Certain qualities tend to appear in all of us as the long season wears on. Are you one of these turkey hunters? Know somebody like this? Check out this click-through blog post to see.


Why Your Grandfather Was a Better Turkey Hunter Than You

Back in the day, say before the greatest wildlife restoration story ever took place, chances are your grandfather had a bunch of challenges you don't here in 2018. In some ways, he was a better turkey hunter because of it. Some reasons why follow. Fewer Turkeys It's hard for some...


Realtree Turkey Hunting Tip of the Week: When You Should Shoot a Jake

We were a half-hour late for heading to the airport, but gobblers were fired up and coming. The Kentucky hunt had been great. I'd killed a beautiful longbeard early on, watched buddies take others, and had one tag left. We were a half-hour late for heading to the airport, but...


NWTF Convention: The New Banded Turkey Vest in Realtree EDGE

Realtree licensee Banded had its new turkey hunting vest at the NWTF Convention. Click through this turkey blog post to see it and learn more about its features.


NWTF Convention: Hunters Specialties Turkey Calls and Gear

The NWTF Convention is full of friends who are like extended family, and turkey hunting gear that makes you wish spring gobbler season were tomorrow. For now, we wait. But looking at turkey hunting stuff on the show floor helps a little. This turkey blog includes some of the many...


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