Looking for Merriams

Planning a guided turkey hunt? Looking for tips in choosing the best outfitter? Discuss options here.
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matchbook454
 
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Looking for Merriams

Postby matchbook454 » April 11th, 2010, 3:26 pm

I'm looking for a true Merriams hunt. Can anyone recommend a good outfitter?

DBraman
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby DBraman » April 13th, 2010, 8:16 am

Tri-States Outfitters in Raton New Mexico
www.tristateoutfittersusa.com

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matchbook454
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby matchbook454 » April 13th, 2010, 3:58 pm

Have you hunted with them or are you the outfitter?

Kawboy888
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Kawboy888 » April 13th, 2010, 9:28 pm

If you're going to go to New Mexico I would say do the hunt yourself. I killed my Merriams in the Lincholn National Forest off of the Sunspot Highway in between the Mountain towns of Cloudcroft and Riudoso. Find a logging road, park, call, shoot, cheer. Merriams are not the most intelligent of the species. This is southern New Mexico by the way, just outside of Holloman Air Force Base, you can stay in a Motel in Alamogordo, NM.
Rich Leathers
Leathers Archery
"Instruments of Mass Destruction"

Kawboy888
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Kawboy888 » April 13th, 2010, 9:29 pm

Oh, you will also have found yourself a supreme place to hunt elk and mule deer. I ran into both turkey hunting down there every time I went out.
Rich Leathers
Leathers Archery
"Instruments of Mass Destruction"

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Gobblerman » April 20th, 2010, 11:39 am

The area Kawboy refers to, the Lincoln National Forest in southcentral NM, is indeed a great place for public-lands Merriams hunting.  I live nearby, and have property there.  I would recommend it to anyone that wants to hunt Merriams on a budget, and that has enough turkey hunting experience to know the basics of calling and turkey hunting methodology.  Another important consideration is the kind of physical shape you are in.  This is big, mountainous country ranging in elevation from about 7,000 to over 10,000 feet.  If you are not ready for hunting in that kind of altitude and terrain, it can ruin your hunt in a hurry. 
 
Kawboy has obviously had good success with our birds, and there are times when they can be simpletons in terms of getting themselves killed.  I have found the same with all subspecies at different times and places.  However, in an effort to provide "full disclosure" to those that may be considering coming out this way, I can tell you from 45 years of spring turkey hunting experience here that anybody that comes here expecting the hunting to be as easy as Kawboy implies is most likely in for a very rude awakening. 
These are wild turkeys on public land that gets pretty thoroughly hunted each spring.  I have had many, many guests from all parts of the country come out here and hunt.  Many of them have killed gobblers, and quite a few have not....and some of the ones who have not have been pretty proficient turkey hunters and callers. 
 
The bottom line is that, if you are looking for a great place to try for a Merriams gobbler on the cheap, the Lincoln National Forest would be an excellent choice.  However, if you are looking for a surefire bet to actually kill a gobbler, perhaps a better choice would be to pay for a guided hunt on private land somewhere.  You certainly can have a wonderful hunt here, but the killing part is far from a sure thing.
 
Jim
(and yes, we do have some excellent elk and deer hunting...if you can manage to draw a permit!)

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Bar X Bar
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Bar X Bar » April 22nd, 2010, 5:07 pm

Jim-  You sure hit the nail on the head with that reply.

We have successfully guided many, many hunters to a Merriam's Trophy over the years.  Our Success is based on 3 factors-
1. "I hunt for you"  all scouting is done, and birds are located before your arrival.
2. Large private ranch with virtually no hunting pressure (located in a traditional nesting area)
3. We have a large network of roads that allow us to drive to our hunting destinations.  Many hunters are not able to deal with long hikes at our high altitudes.

We are surrounded by public land that is LOADED with Merriam's......but you can expect to spend days and hike hard to find them.  Then work hard to lure them to gun range. 
Of course, as stated earlier- every once in a while, you can get lucky.... hear a gobble from the road, then successfully call one in.

6 big birds down so far, new hunters arrive in the AM !!
Ethan Savitsky
www.PecosBarXBar.com

Whitetail Affliction
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Whitetail Affliction » May 2nd, 2010, 10:02 am

I too want to head west for a Merriam hunt.......

I'm looking at NE or SD most likely public land too

good luck

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mmichelli
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby mmichelli » May 10th, 2010, 6:34 pm

I just had to jump into this conversation. Matchbook mentioned "a true" merriams hunt. I have hunted ne and sd and killed several birds, but I have yet to kill one of those beautiful black and white turkeys that you see pictured from new mexico. Have I really killed a merrimans? I have always wanted to hunt new mexico, but shide away because of the one bird limit. Not that I'm a gluttonist, but I would hate for my hunt to end like kawboys in the first ten minutes. Which brings another point, I hunt eastern's and rio's every year, and I found that merriams are not a cake walk. They like to gobble, but not necessarily come. If you get a rio to gobble mid day, you better be finding a place to hide because he's coming no matter how far. I invite any input or opinions to this post.

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Looking for Merriams

Postby Gobblerman » May 11th, 2010, 1:48 pm

Since NM Merriams are my "home turf" birds, I will jump in again on this topic.  First of all, the coloration of the Merriams subspecies can vary a bunch, and is not necessarily an indicator of the purity of the birds in a given area.  Here in southern NM, you will rarely find a Merriams gobbler with the classic "white and black" coloration that is so often associated with this subspecies.  Merriams rump and tail tips will often look very white when alive and from a distance, and turn out to have a buff hue when you are "up close and personal" with a downed gobbler.  There are some pretty distinctive color differences in pure Merriams and pure Rios, but they are not necessarily related to the tail and rump coloration.
 
I agree entirely with you, mmichelli, on your assessment of Merriams and their reputation of being easily called in.  It is true that they will gobble more than other subspecies, from my experience, but often those are just "courtesy gobbles".  Hard-hunted, public land turkeys, whether they be Merriams, Rios, or any of the subspecies can be maddeningly difficult to call in at times, and laughably easy at others.  A general rule, in my opinion, is that the less a gobbler has been hunted, regardless of subspecies, the easier he will be to kill.  That's my story,....and I'm stickin' with it!
 
Jim

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