Merriam turkey hunt

Thread starter #1

Beagler282

Senior Member
Looking into heading west next year for a Merriam hunt and wondered if anyone has used any outfitters out that way and has some recommendations?
 

Gut_Pile

Senior Member
How far west do you want to go? Do you want mountain merriam's (Montana, Wyoming, SD, ND) or desert merriam's (New Mexico and Arizona)?

What is your budget?
 
Thread starter #3

Beagler282

Senior Member
I have been looking at Nebraska and then stopping in Kansas for a Rio. I would like to harvest 2 Merriams and 2 Rios on the trip. We have somewhere lined up to hunt for the Rios.
 

Gut_Pile

Senior Member
It's getting harder and harder to kill a true merriam in Nebraska. I think to really do so you need to go as far from Kansas as possible.
 

fountain

Senior Member
Yup..me personally, I go west. Go to Wyoming or out that way. How do you plan to hunt? Guided or DIY? Outfitters seem to be plentiful now, the only problem is that they seem get higher and higher on price yearly. I've been to Wyoming twice and it's a beautiful place and most seem to be white tipped merriam. Truly beautiful turkeys.

I will add this, I have looked into a place in new Mexico that seems like a decent deal. SNM hunts. It's a semi-guided deal I beleive. You are basically paying for a place to stay and general knowledge of seemingly good public ground. This could be a cheaper alternative.


The same goes for Rios in Kansas. A price war seems to be running rampant on Turkey hunts. I had a sweet place, but also beleive he is going up to what most others are charging now. I was planning on going back next spring, but not sure I will now. Turkey hunts are getting fairly expensive all over. Dont even talk about florida....
 
I will add this, I have looked into a place in new Mexico that seems like a decent deal. SNM hunts. It's a semi-guided deal I believe. You are basically paying for a place to stay and general knowledge of seemingly good public ground. This could be a cheaper alternative.
Been there several times. Killed my 2 birds every time. Beautiful place to hunt and good folks.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Kansas has too many WIHA’s to pay an outfitter. Went for the last 8 years and turkeys are always brought home. Only one year that I ate tag soup but everyone I took limited.
Nebraska outfitters go by the color, lol. If it’s white tipped they call it a Merriam. If it’s buff, they call it a Rio. If that was the case I’ve killed Merriams in Kansas, lol.
 
Kansas has too many WIHA’s to pay an outfitter. Went for the last 8 years and turkeys are always brought home. Only one year that I ate tag soup but everyone I took limited.
Nebraska outfitters go by the color, lol. If it’s white tipped they call it a Merriam. If it’s buff, they call it a Rio. If that was the case I’ve killed Merriams in Kansas, lol.
I would say the same for South Dakota, the black hill's has too much public land with turkeys on to pay an outfitter. Maybe I'm just too cheap though 😬
 

Mark K

Senior Member
I would say the same for South Dakota, the black hill's has too much public land with turkeys on to pay an outfitter. Maybe I'm just too cheap though 😬
Nah, you’re like me...can’t see paying someone for something I can accomplish on my own. There are certain turkeys that an outfitter might be needed, but not in Kansas.
 
If I had time off and you would cover the vehicle and fuel then I would ride with you and get you two Merriams in about 4 hrs of hunting. Would cost you less than any guide or semi-guide. But I have to get married next spring and won't have the time off. I'm always down for a Rocky Mountain sunrise full of white tail fans. Normally people don't like the part where they have to put on the blindfold and cut off the cell phone so they can't know where the honey hole is though.:stir:
 
To each his own, but as a die hard turkey addict, a guided hunt just didn't do much for me. What I like about turkey hunting is finding them myself and getting into their living room on my own and shooting them in the face. The guide I used on my only guided hunt was great. My wife and I each killed a bird by noon on the first day. I didn't feel like I had accomplished anything though. Spent the next two days figuring out local public land (only paid the guide for 2 turkeys) and killed a bird about an hour before having to head to the airport. That felt like an accomplishment and was exponentially more fun than being put on birds by someone else. To each his own though. Just my .02

We've got a group going to the Black Hills this spring actually. Hoping the weather cooperates while we're out there.
 

J Gilbert

Senior Member
To each his own, but as a die hard turkey addict, a guided hunt just didn't do much for me. What I like about turkey hunting is finding them myself and getting into their living room on my own and shooting them in the face. The guide I used on my only guided hunt was great. My wife and I each killed a bird by noon on the first day. I didn't feel like I had accomplished anything though. Spent the next two days figuring out local public land (only paid the guide for 2 turkeys) and killed a bird about an hour before having to head to the airport. That felt like an accomplishment and was exponentially more fun than being put on birds by someone else. To each his own though. Just my .02

We've got a group going to the Black Hills this spring actually. Hoping the weather cooperates while we're out there.
You should look into a guide, you need all the help you can get ::ke:
 
I did a pay hunt 15-16 yrs ago in New Mexico. Hunted in the Gila mountains public property, missed a gobbler at 15 ft and never got another shot. Probably the most fun, and prettiest country I've been in. Would love to do it again, outfitter was an old man that smoked me up in that elevation. Down Home outfitters was the name I believe.
 
I'm a Ne resident for another few months and I can say that unless you go out to the West part of Ne by Chadron or the Sandhills in Scottsbluff your likely going to shoot a hybrid bird. It may have white tips on its tail feathers but you would probably have to DNA test it to be certain. Our turkeys have been very intermingled to my knowledge and ive shot ones with tanner feathers like an eastern or with white feathers like a merriam out of the same flock. **I would ask the outfitter specifically if the population on their ground has All Merriam or do they have Eastern/Merriam hybrids especially since a turkey will likely cost you 750
Good luck
 
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