Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter's Handbook

My "Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter's Handbook" (240 pp.; 150 color photos) was released in August by Stackpole Books. I'm happy to say that between my seminar appearances from Maine to Kansas, phone calls, and both radio and magazine interviews, there's been some steady interest. If we didn't cross paths along the way, please contact me at hickoff@comcast.net for more information.

In the book, I examine fall and winter turkey behavior and vocalizations. I also provide details on locating, scouting, and calling autumn wild turkeys, with tips for patterning birds and identifying changing flock composition. Also discussed here is the strategy of hunting turkeys with dogs by using them to flush flocks before hunters call scattered birds back to their concealed setup. As a bonus, the material on firearms, ammunition, and archery tackle will benefit all turkey hunters—fall, winter, or spring. 

To all of you who've bought the book: thanks.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Here's my fat Maine October jake . . . and you don't eat the tail feathers. Shot this blurry, poorly composed image after a hasty self-timer setting. Good memory though . . .

(Steve Hickoff photo)

Home-Office Season Begins

Snow fell today in northern New England, white stuff of the wet sort, though some stuck to the grass outside this window, and to the leaves I've yet to rake.

For me, this early snow marks the start of the home-office season, which falls a handful of months before spring gobbler hunting commences. I'll start all that turkey chasing in Florida first, and South Dakota a little later, and Maine at the wire. New York State tags (2) hang on my office corkboard too, so there's that. Several other tags from different road-trip states will fill my wallet too.

Not to say that I don't get out much during this November to March phase: bird dogs demand it, if only for the exercise. Here in Maine you can train dogs on wild birds year-round, so we're covered there.

As for the late-fall/winter home-office season, mine will involve two book projects (one due March 1; one due May 1), a host of magazine assignments deadlined through August '08 right now (Turkey & Turkey Hunting, Cabela's Outfitters Journal, Turkey Call . . .) , some winter seminar appearances and book signings (Nashua Public Library, Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Expo . . .), plus providing online content for other several markets (Realtree.com, etc. . . .), and my usual Sunday column and photo space with Foster's Sunday Citizen (www.fosters.com).

That's good, because keeping busy during the months with less light is crucial here in Maine . . . after all, it's 3:55 in the afternoon right now, and dark outside.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Armchair Update

Shipped a waterfowl article today, and wrote a newspaper column, then later drove by one of my October turkey spots to find five trucks in there hunting Saturday whitetails.

Otherwise, here in the home office, I've two book projects underway that are coming together steadily, which is part of the enjoyment for those of us who undertake them. Photo support and drawings are due for each, which presents an interesting twist as well. One even involves a cd.

As the assignment board goes, I've work due through August 2008. Look for stuff in Cabela's Outfitter Journal, Turkey & Turkey Hunting, N.H. Wildlife Journal, plus my work with realtree.com, and some other print pubs and websites. This month also marks my tenth year selling my "New England Afield" column and photos to Foster's Sunday Citizen.

My winter seminar schedule is pretty much set, with talks on everything from striped bass to wild turkeys.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pete Clare's Bonnie Dog

I'm just in from fall turkey camp: four days in Candor, New York visiting my longtime friends Pete & Sherry Clare at Turkey Trot Acres during the annual Marlin Watkins Fall Classic.

Marlin, if you don't know of him, is one of the finest custom callmakers in the country, and an avid turkey dogger.

I snapped this photo of Pete's dog Bonnie while she settled in with me at a setup on Saturday.


(Steve Hickoff photo)