NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Steve Hickoff received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Tom Kelly Award for his longtime work promoting hunting and conservation as a turkey hunting writer, editor and book author.
“I’m honored and humbled by this award,” Hickoff said. “My career goal has always been to reflect the NWTF’s steady restoration and conservation efforts on behalf of the wild turkey. As an avid turkey hunter and professional writer, I’ve always seen myself as the man in the middle — writing, editing and publishing work to reflect our hunting heritage in both print and digital platforms.”
Hickoff accepted the award at the 43rd annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. Mossy Oak is the official convention sponsor.
An NWTF member since the early 1990s, Hickoff writes the “Turkey Calls” column for Turkey Country, the official magazine of the NWTF. He has contributed feature articles to NWTF publications for the past 25 years.
His articles on wild turkeys and turkey hunting also have appeared in Turkey & Turkey Hunting, Outdoor Life and many other national print and online publications. He published two turkey books — “Fall & Winter Turkey Hunter’s Handbook” and “Turkey Calls & Calling” — and is the editorial director and turkey hunting editor for Realtree.com.
Born and raised in north-central Pennsylvania, he makes his home base in Maine — when not traveling to turkey hunt, of course.
“Steve doesn’t just write about turkey hunting, he lives turkey hunting,” said Matt Lindler, NWTF vice president of communications. “He is a hunting guide, an author, an editor and a great friend who is one of the most vocal proponents of the bird, the sport and the NWTF’s mission. I cannot think of another individual who deserves this more.”
Formerly known as the Communicator of the Year, the NWTF renamed the award in 2018 to honor longtime NWTF advocate and turkey hunting poet laureate Tom Kelly.
Past award recipients, include Will Primos, Michael Waddell, Jana Waller, Brenda Valentine, Steve Rinella, Tom Fegely, Ron Schara, J. Wayne Fears, Grits Gresham, Jim Zumbo, Jim Casada, Glenn Sapir, Col. Tom Kelly, Ronnie ‘Cuz’ Strickland, Kevin Howard and Ray Eye.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org