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Started by DMP, May 03, 2017, 09:55:15 AM

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Made a trip out west last week to chase merriams again and had a great time. By far the most difficult trip I have had out west. Temps never got above 35 the enitre time we were there and we had to deal with snow every day.
The snow melting at times caused the roads to get real sloppy. No gravel roads. Just miles and miles of dirt roads that got bad fast which kept us from accessing a lot of areas that we've hunted in the past.

1st morning we were greated with 6" of snow. Got to a spot where we had worked and killed birds in the past. Even with heavy snow falling we were able to locate a bird on a mt side that we couldn't even see because of the heavy snow. Worked him for awhile but never saw him. We were able to find more birds through out the day but due to hens, snow, bad roads or terrain, we could never seal the deal.

2nd day showed great promise with the forcast but that didn't last long. Once again we woke up to snow falling and bad roads. We located and worked birds all day long with aggrevation after aggrevation and never could seal the deal. Had a bird in gun range one time but had no shot. He finally had enough and decided to head up in elevation. I chased him as long as I could. Got to around 9500 ft and couldn't keep up. Merriams are amazing birds when they decide they want to move. The will go through and over anything and do it fast.

3rd day. Once again we woke up to snow. Snowed hard but it really wasn't sticking like it had the previous two days. Each day it snowed but would normally be melted away by mid afternoon which just made the roads worse. We decided to split up and hit more spots where we knew birds were to increase our odds. I located two birds right off the bat that we had worked the day before and setup. Once I got setup they never responded to my calling for a good 30 mins. I knew these birds had 4 or 5 hens with them in the area from what I had seen the day before. I figured they had gone away from me like most of the birds had while we were there due to their hens. I hit the Mann paddle call and one gobbles behind me and close. Had a mountain to my right and the birds must have walked the side of it above me and got past me. I never knew it. Sat there for a good 15 mins more and never saw or heard anything. With the snow falling and a good bit of oak brush around the area I decided to go native on them. I started crawling through the oak brush inches at a time looking to try and spot them. Finally I get to a point where I spot a hen feeding in the oak brush. Long story short, I had to sit on my knees for a good 30 mins with no response at all to calling before I finally see a tom walk through a gap. He wouldn't even look my way when I called. I see another bird working towards the gap and as soon as I saw his beard I let him have it.

Had to hike to the top of a mountain to get phone service to call my buddy and see how he was doing and to come and get me. He had worked a bird and got close but never sealed the deal. We located 5 or 6 birds after that with no success due to all the hens each had.

Finally around 3:00 we locate a group up a draw and set out after them. I didn't take long before we knew they were working up the draw away from us. So we headed up over a mountain to get in front of them since the draw was wrapping around the base of the mountain. We were able to get in front and once I started calling with the paddle call again the hens started going nuts along with multiple toms. Had my buddy get 25 yds in front of me while I layed on the ground and called with the paddle call. I couldn't see down the mt like he could so I had no clue what he was seeing. I was just going off of the responses of the hens and toms. Little did I know there was 3 hens, 3 jakes and two toms racing up the mountain to get to us with the hens leading the way. It didn't take long and his shot echoed out through the mountains.

Ended up with one bird a piece. Tough hunting but we had a great time as always. Can't wait to do it again.

His bird and my bird from that morning.


Great story and pics! Congrats on some well earned birds. What state?


Awesome, beautiful birds. My dream is to some day be able to get down to chase after some Merriam's


Nice work and beautiful pics. Congrats
Don't gobble at me...

Captain Hooks


Tough hunt that worked out. Great pic of your bird and the snow.

Gods of Thunder


Beautiful country/birds - congrats.  Sounds like a tough one, but you made it happen!  Turkeys in the snow, that is cool.