Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

A general discussion area for turkey hunters.
jhogue
Posts: 151
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 4:08 pm
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas

Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jhogue » March 8th, 2018, 12:51 pm

I have a possibility of a public land single season grand slam this year. Obviously everything would have to come together very well for this to work out, but I'm holding out hop and making a plan to chase them all in specific places. I already have spaces lined up to hunt Osceola, Easterns, and Rios, but am trying to pinpoint a good option for late season Merriam's hunting. The opening I have to go west is May 14-20. I live in Arkansas, so am about equidistant from all of the easternmost states that hold Merriam's. What recommendations do you experienced folks have for picking a state and area to hunt that late in the season?

Thanks :turkeywave:

jdjnicholson
Posts: 33
Joined: January 29th, 2018, 1:24 pm

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jdjnicholson » March 8th, 2018, 1:38 pm

North west NE. It's been good to me.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


MAK
Posts: 456
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 7:08 am
Location: Southern PA

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by MAK » March 8th, 2018, 2:20 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

what he said
MAK

User avatar
HunterGKS
Gobbler Nation
Gobbler Nation
Posts: 2831
Joined: January 2nd, 2013, 5:12 pm
Location: North Central Ohio

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by HunterGKS » March 8th, 2018, 2:30 pm

x3 on NW NE. There is Walkgren Lake State Rec. Area with walk-in hunting near Hay Springs.
I completed my Slam near here & did hunt part of the northern part of that area.

Also there is the Nebraska National Forest & Pine Ridge National Rec. Area a little further west
near Chadron. I don't know what the hunting situation is there.
George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


Image

User avatar
Sloppy_Snood
Posts: 529
Joined: September 26th, 2011, 7:52 pm
Location: Midwest
Contact:

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by Sloppy_Snood » March 8th, 2018, 3:05 pm

don't
.
"You've gotta be original, because if you're like someone else, what do they need you for?"- Bernadette Peters

jhogue
Posts: 151
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 4:08 pm
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jhogue » March 8th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I’ll check out Nebraska. I’ll update you guys if I find success in Florida and need to put this plan into action. I feel good about finding a Rio in Oklahoma and know where easterns are in Arkansas. Just got to make it happen.

User avatar
Gooserbat
Posts: 264
Joined: December 14th, 2013, 10:56 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by Gooserbat » March 9th, 2018, 12:25 am

Just kill your easterns and Rios in Oklahoma. I do every year and it will save tag money.
I just came to squeeze the wattles.

jhogue
Posts: 151
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 4:08 pm
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jhogue » March 9th, 2018, 7:42 am

HunterGKS wrote:
March 8th, 2018, 2:30 pm
x3 on NW NE. There is Walkgren Lake State Rec. Area with walk-in hunting near Hay Springs.
I completed my Slam near here & did hunt part of the northern part of that area.

Also there is the Nebraska National Forest & Pine Ridge National Rec. Area a little further west
near Chadron. I don't know what the hunting situation is there.
I just checked these areas out on Google Maps. The appear to be a narrow mountainous area tuning east to west separating large plains areas. It also looks like there are a decent amount of open areas throughtout the mountainous region. Will the Merriam’s Work the timber areas and the open areas about evenly, or spend more of their day time in one or the other? Where do you typically start trying to locate birds in this type of area? I’ve only hunted easterns thus far, and hunt the woods everywhere I go in the south.

hobbes

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by hobbes » March 9th, 2018, 8:43 am

They (and you) will start the mornings and finish the evenings near the timber because that's where they will be roosted. They may wander out into the plains but I find them in the timber. However, I dont typically hunt areas as narrow as what you are describing.

jhogue
Posts: 151
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 4:08 pm
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jhogue » March 9th, 2018, 9:09 am

hobbes wrote:
March 9th, 2018, 8:43 am
They (and you) will start the mornings and finish the evenings near the timber because that's where they will be roosted. They may wander out into the plains but I find them in the timber. However, I dont typically hunt areas as narrow as what you are describing.
It looks like the area the HunterGKS is recommending has a mountain/timber region that is about 1-2 miles from north to south and at least 15-20 miles wide running east to west. Not sure how that compares to where you are. Would you be on the top of ridges or somewhere half way up?

User avatar
GobbleNut
Posts: 961
Joined: July 15th, 2011, 7:58 am

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by GobbleNut » March 9th, 2018, 9:34 am

To a lot of folks used to hunting small tracts of land, an area 1-2 miles wide and 15-20 miles long seems huge, but in open, Merriam's country, it is not all that big,...especially if there is much access and some hunting pressure put on it. On the other hand, if it is inaccessible enough that you can walk in several miles to get away from other hunters, it might be fine. Even if it is a walk-in area, if there is easy walk-in access from a number of access points, that could be a problem,...again, if there is much hunting pressure.

Merriam's turkeys are prone to be willing to gobble to let hunters know where they are. In that kind of open country, gobbles will easily carry a mile or more. It wouldn't take many hunters that know what they are doing to saturate an area that size. In hunting Merriam's turkeys anywhere that there is a large area of public land to hunt, knowing how to locate birds and covering LOTS of country is the key.

jhogue
Posts: 151
Joined: September 13th, 2017, 4:08 pm
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by jhogue » March 9th, 2018, 10:23 am

That puts the space in perspective well, but three people all recommended NW Nebraska. I’m guessing the area must hold a ton of birds or just have pretty decent late season hunting.

timbrhuntr
Gobbler Nation
Gobbler Nation
Posts: 1724
Joined: August 28th, 2011, 6:13 pm

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by timbrhuntr » March 9th, 2018, 10:48 am

All I can tell you is that late would likely be better than early as most of the birds tend to be lower on the ranchers lands over the winter but as it warms up and they break up they will spread out and could be anywhere. As GobbleNut pointed out they like to gobble and can be heard a long ways. The first time I hunted them in Nebraska I had some gobbling early and thought they were close so I set up. Never did get them to come in. The next morning I had them gobbling again but decided to walk further and see where they were. I thought they were on the next ridge but found that they were gobbling from a ridge one past that. It seems that their weird gobble travels a lot farther in that country than an eastern at home !

hobbes

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by hobbes » March 9th, 2018, 10:51 am

Start wherever you can hear the best from, so likely up high. However, high is relative, and may not be what you have invisioned. Merriam's rarely hang out in an area for long unless it's hotter than heck and they may just hang out in the coolest place they can find. Heavy rain may slow them down but it does me too, in the way of sleeping in. Merriam's cover ground in that country, you should too. They are the long distance runners of the turkey subspecies.
Last edited by hobbes on March 9th, 2018, 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

MAK
Posts: 456
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 7:08 am
Location: Southern PA

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by MAK » March 9th, 2018, 10:51 am

Image


Secret spot to locate Merriams in NE..............
MAK

MAK
Posts: 456
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 7:08 am
Location: Southern PA

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by MAK » March 9th, 2018, 10:54 am

Follow the map and you'll get you one of these............

Image
MAK

hobbes

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by hobbes » March 9th, 2018, 10:57 am

MAK wrote:
March 9th, 2018, 10:51 am
Image


Secret spot to locate Merriams in NE..............
Ive hunted there, but hadnt planned on sharing that spot with anyone.

turkeyspur
Posts: 1
Joined: April 28th, 2015, 7:27 am

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by turkeyspur » March 9th, 2018, 11:17 am

jdjnicholson wrote:North west NE. It's been good to me.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Concurred.. several wma's in the area

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


User avatar
HunterGKS
Gobbler Nation
Gobbler Nation
Posts: 2831
Joined: January 2nd, 2013, 5:12 pm
Location: North Central Ohio

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by HunterGKS » March 9th, 2018, 1:06 pm

jhogue wrote:
March 9th, 2018, 7:42 am
HunterGKS wrote:
March 8th, 2018, 2:30 pm
x3 on NW NE. There is Walkgren Lake State Rec. Area with walk-in hunting near Hay Springs.
I completed my Slam near here & did hunt part of the northern part of that area.

Also there is the Nebraska National Forest & Pine Ridge National Rec. Area a little further west
near Chadron. I don't know what the hunting situation is there.
I just checked these areas out on Google Maps. The appear to be a narrow mountainous area tuning east to west separating large plains areas. It also looks like there are a decent amount of open areas throughtout the mountainous region. Will the Merriam’s Work the timber areas and the open areas about evenly, or spend more of their day time in one or the other? Where do you typically start trying to locate birds in this type of area? I’ve only hunted easterns thus far, and hunt the woods everywhere I go in the south.
We were at Hay Springs & hunted high. Where we were on private land, there wasn't what I would call "timber". There were a lot of pines but not real thick. Down lower there were a lot of cotton woods. It was a cattle farm so there were a lot of open areas. There is a lot of farm land at the lower levels & we stayed away from that. All 3 of us got birds & all high up.
George

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR BODY STILL. YOUR HEART JUST HASN'T CAUGHT ON.

.17 = NITRO OF THE RIMFIRE WORLD


Image

hobbes

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by hobbes » March 9th, 2018, 2:17 pm

I dont know where you are located, but....dont limit your search to Nebraska. Don't get me wrong, I love hunting Nebraska, but there are plenty more public land opportunities for Merriam's.

CO and NM offer opportunities in the Merriam's native range, and it's incredible country. Everone should hunt high mountain Merriam's with snow covered peaks in the background at least once.

The Blackhills of South Dakota and Wyoming are beautiful places and I kick myself every time I drive through and realize that I've not hunted there yet. The first couple Merriam's that I killed were Plains birds along a river just east of the BH's near the Badlands.

Montana offers Merriams in cottonwood riverbttoms, ponderosa pine ridges similar to NW NE, and steep heavily timbered mountains. You just have to drive all over the state (its a big state) to experience all of that.

NE Washington has a really good population of Merriam's and is similar to NW Montana, terrain and cover wise.

Idaho, Utah, and Arizona all have opportunities with ID probably offering the easieast tags to aquire, although I've not looked into UT and AZ much. However, UT is more Rio than Merriam's.

Spurred
Posts: 39
Joined: April 10th, 2013, 9:04 am

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by Spurred » March 9th, 2018, 3:56 pm

hobbes wrote:
March 9th, 2018, 2:17 pm
I dont know where you are located, but....dont limit your search to Nebraska. Don't get me wrong, I love hunting Nebraska, but there are plenty more public land opportunities for Merriam's.

CO and NM offer opportunities in the Merriam's native range, and it's incredible country. Everone should hunt high mountain Merriam's with snow covered peaks in the background at least once.

The Blackhills of South Dakota and Wyoming are beautiful places and I kick myself every time I drive through and realize that I've not hunted there yet. The first couple Merriam's that I killed were Plains birds along a river just east of the BH's near the Badlands.

Montana offers Merriams in cottonwood riverbttoms, ponderosa pine ridges similar to NW NE, and steep heavily timbered mountains. You just have to drive all over the state (its a big state) to experience all of that.

NE Washington has a really good population of Merriam's and is similar to NW Montana, terrain and cover wise.

Idaho, Utah, and Arizona all have opportunities with ID probably offering the easieast tags to aquire, although I've not looked into UT and AZ much. However, UT is more Rio than Merriam's.

Northern Idaho remains the prettiest and most bountiful Merriam state I've hunted. I did find challenges with sharing the woods during the Spring bear season/Mushroom hunters, but other than that, you won't run into another turkey hunter.

quavers16
Posts: 292
Joined: February 25th, 2016, 10:25 am

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by quavers16 » March 14th, 2018, 2:28 am

I have always heard that the Black Hills is the place to be.

midmslongbeard
Posts: 22
Joined: May 1st, 2017, 5:15 pm
Location: Bentonia ms

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by midmslongbeard » March 14th, 2018, 4:10 pm

Go to black hills in South Dakota if you have time wonder over to Wyoming!

timbrhuntr
Gobbler Nation
Gobbler Nation
Posts: 1724
Joined: August 28th, 2011, 6:13 pm

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by timbrhuntr » March 15th, 2018, 10:11 am

Isn't the black hills unit in SD a draw probably missed applying for this season and I don't think they usually have left overs for that unit as everyone wants to hunt there !

hobbes

Re: Recommendations for Public Land Merriam's hunting

Post by hobbes » March 15th, 2018, 10:33 am

Its by application but not a draw. Licenses are unlimited.

Post Reply

Return to “Gobbler Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 20 guests