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Black Hills trip

Started by RutnNStrutn, May 13, 2022, 03:12:35 AM

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What a trip!! Beautiful scenery, lots of critters, and the turkeys were plentiful!!
It was my first time hunting the Black Hills, and my first experience with a guided hunt. With 250,000 acres of land to hunt, it would have been impossible to learn it.
We started out the 4 day hunt in Wyoming. We hunted it hard for 2 days, and though we had multiple encounters with gobblers, we weren't able to call them in close enough for a shot. LOTS of hens made it very difficult.
The 3rd day we went to South Dakota. Once again, the turkeys were plentiful, but hens ruined the day. We had encounter after encounter with gobblers, but they wouldn't leave their hens. That night we roosted 60 turkeys, including at least 7 longbeards.
The 4th, and final morning of our hunt found us back at the same roost. We left camp at 0300. Arriving early, we snuck into the roost before light. As dawn broke, I quickly noticed that I was surrounded by turkeys up close!! I sat silently, and was statue still. The turkeys put on a show!! They were making every kind of turkey noise imaginable. Finally they started pitching down. The closest hen to me pitched down, followed by 2 longbeards. The lead strutter walked into an opening, and I dropped the hammer on him at 22 yards at 0515!!
He was nice for a Merriams, and was a true limb hanger!! He weighed in at 20 pounds-10 ounces, with a 8.6875" beard, and thick, curved and sharp 1-3/8" & 1-1/4" spurs, scoring 64.25. Almost an upgrade gobbler, but not quite!
That afternoon we once again dueled with gobblers in Wyoming. We came close a few times again, but once again couldn't seal the deal. So we headed to another property where we'd tangled with gobblers earlier in the week.
After climbing up to a rocky ridge where the turkeys sometimes roost, we got set up. We sat there for an hour, before I saw 3 turkeys working their way up. They crested the ridge within gun range. I could tell they were males, but I didn't see any beards. I didn't want to shoot a Jake, so I waited. They started heading back down the hill. As the lead turkey reached an opening I saw he was a longbeard. I swung my gun ahead of him to the next opening. As soon as he walked into the opening, I put the green dot on his neck and squeezed the trigger. He dropped in his tracks at 42 yards at 1915!! Being on a hillside, he then rolled all the way down to the valley floor. He was a gorgeous bird, but smaller than the first bird, and not an upgrade either.
So on the last day I got 2 Merriams gobblers, in 14 hours, in 2 different states that I've never hunted before, and 2 more Grand Slams achieved!!!
We hiked 28+ miles in 4 days chasing the nomadic Merriams gobblers. Plus we visited the Badlands, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Spearfish Canyon, Devil's Tower, Deadwood and more. We saw turkeys, whitetails, muleys, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, buffalo, prairie dogs, porcupines, coyotes and countless ducks and geese. It was a great trip that I'll always remember!!

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Dr Juice

Awesome story and pics. I'm jealous ????


Nice recap and congrats on a couple of beautiful birds.


Congrats, great photos.....
"Solo hunter"


Thanks guys!!

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Congrats on a great and successful trip Sir, great pictures and story, thanks for sharing.
Print by Madison Cline, on Flickr


Quote from: JeffC on May 13, 2022, 05:59:29 PM
Congrats on a great and successful trip Sir, great pictures and story, thanks for sharing.
Thanks Jeff!

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Oh wow!  That's awesome.

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Cluck more, yelp less


Great story there Rut its cool when you sneak into the turkeys bedroom you got upfront action for sure.
09-11-01 Some Gave Something. 343 Gave All F.D.N.Y.


WOW! Fantastic photos. Looked like an incredible time. Congrats on a great hunt  :icon_thumright:
"If You Call Them,They Will Come."


Congrats on a great trip in some beautiful country,
very nice pics, gobblers and write up


 Congrats on a great trip and some fine gobblers. Thanks for sharing your hunts and absolutely beautiful pics.


Thank you guys, and best of luck to anyone who is still hunting.

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Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth.  Mike Tyson

Well He shoulda armed himself if he's gonna decorate his saloon with my friend.  Will Munny