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.

  • 5 Things You Need in a Good Hunting Camp

    I've been fortunate to hunt wild turkeys around the United States and down in Mexico. Some camps are memorable for all the right reasons. Others, well, you'd best soon forget them. Fortunately the latter deal is rare. Check out these five things you need in a good hunting camp. A...

  • 3 Reasons You Shouldn't Use a Decoy for Fall Turkey Hunting

    The use of turkey hunting decoys in the fall is smart or stupid, depending. First, some reasons why you shouldn't use decoys when fall turkey hunting. 1. Either-Sex Turkey Hunts In many of the 42 states permitting fall turkey hunting, either-sex birds are legal to take.This means it's important to...

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Vermont Spring Turkey

WATERBURY, VERMONT- Vermont offers some of the best turkey hunting in New England according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Vermont hunters have established new spring turkey harvest records in eight of the last eleven years. In 2008, Hunters took a record 5,454 turkeys in both the youth weekend...


Ohio Spring Turkey, Day 1

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Ohio hunters harvested a preliminary total of 1,712 bearded wild turkeys on the first day of the spring turkey-hunting season, which is open statewide through May 17. Steady rain over most of the state kept the preliminary figure 39 percent below last year's opening day harvest number...


New York Spring Turkey Season

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today reminded hunters that the 2009 spring turkey season opens on May 1, with the annual special Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend set for April 25-26. "Turkey hunting is a challenging and exciting activity that is enjoyed by thousands of...


Shutmouth Gobblers

Q. What do you do when the birds refuse to gobble? Been having that trouble in SE Georgia. Any advice or tips? I know the birds are there. I see them every day during the day. --Clint Sheppard A. Thanks for the question Clint. Go bass fishing! Kidding aside, If...


When to Call?

Q.: Hello. When is the best time to start calling for turkeys? At the break of daylight or before daylight or a little while after daylight? Thanks ... John Maynor from W.Va... Our turkey season opens April 27th here. Thanks again. A.: Hi John. Thanks for the question. It's a...


Missouri Spring Turkey Hunting

As my trips around the country each spring go, some of the most intense, hard-gobbling, dagger-legged, thick-bearded turkeys I have ever encountered came to my setups in the Show-Me-State. Things change. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, poor nesting weather over the past several years has been the major...


Clay County Turkey Fest, Day 2

Day two of Turkey Fest started like day one except that it was accompanied by more rain, lightning, and 50 mile per hour winds. For yet another morning, the same tom we chased yesterday humbled Bubba and I again.What we needed was a change of scenery. So this afternoon, we...


Clay County Turkey Fest, Day 1

The first day of the Clay County Turkey Fest ( www.claycountyoutdoors.org ) was a fun one but the turkeys had us beat.On two separate occasions, Bubba and I had a tom headed our way when a trio of hens cut the tom's trail and he followed them into the mesquite...


Why a Wingbone Call?

No matter where you live and hunt in turkey country, you invest some time, often a lot, and some money too. It has paid off recently. You’ve gotten a wild turkey by the feet. There’s no greater feeling for many of us afflicted spring gobbler chasers, but now what? We...


The First Bird Is the Sweetest

I had killed a Texas longbeard on the north zone opener right after fly-down just like that, a kamikaze two-year-old that ran in to the setup with a half-dozen other male turkeys, but we were paying some dues now . . . Legal in Texas but not Maine where I...


Another Opener, Another Longbeard

In order to call wild turkeys to your position you usually have to set up where they're comfortable going. Yup, we had that woodsmanship in a local guide who knew how to put us into spring turkeys, an essential component for the traveling hunter. "We" also being one guy from...


Florida, Part Deux

I recently shared central Florida turkey camp with a couple of hardcore gobbler chasin’ friends, the way you guys do each spring. That’s a big part of all this: good company, grillin’ steaks, burgers, and trading stories. Tim Herald scored first in the thick, heavy fog of opening morning in...


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