Black Hills of Wyoming - Tagged out

POk3s

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
298
Location
Wyoming
We got to our destination mid day on Thursday. That night a few birds were put to bed but the next morning resulted in a lot of "so close". That evening everybody had a plan on where they wanted to be, and being that I've killed a few birds, I just wanted to stay out of everybody's way so I went for quite the hike. The private land we were hunting borders some state land and I found some birds on a neighboring property headed towards that state land to assumably roost for the night. I got on my high house to try and circle around when I ran into a big steep canyon. I loudly yelped a couple times just in case there were some birds in there and was greeted by a gobble on the opposite side. I saw the hens feed out into an opening and although I couldn't see the gobbler I knew he was there.

I dove down into the canyon and all but sprinted through the bottom and up the other side. I was about 200 yards from the bird and hadn't made a sound for 5+ minutes when a hawk circled over the birds and let out a screech. He answered with a gobble letting me know he was still there. I continued up the steep canyon wall and got on top. There was a road cut through the upper quarter of the steep hillside which worked great to my advantage. I popped my head up over the road and saw the hens below me at less than 10 yards. They were calmy milling around but one started to putt and head to the right. The rest followed, and so did I.

As they eased their way back onto the open hillside I saw the tom through the brush. He was also less than 10 yards so I eased forward, stood all the way up and let him have it as he lifted his head to see what I was. One of the most enjoyable hunts I've ever had because of how I pulled it off. Very much like I hunt other species so it just "felt right". I snapped a few pictures and off I went. The turkey "packout" took me about 45 minutes to complete.

Here are some pics
That evening everybody had a plan of where they wanted to be and what they wanted to do. I simply just wanted to stay out of everybody's way so I went for a long walk. The private land we were hunting borders some state land and I found some birds on a neighboring property headed towards that state land to assumably roost for the night. I got on my high house to try and circle around when I ran into a big steep canyon. I loudly yelped a couple times just in case there were some birds in there and was greeted by a gobble on the opposite side. I saw the hens feed out into an opening and although I couldn't see the gobbler I knew he was there.

I dove down into the canyon and all but sprinted through the bottom and up the other side. I was about 200 yards from the bird and hadn't made a sound for 5+ minutes when a hawk circled over the birds and let out a screech. He answered with a gobble letting me know he was still there. I continued up the steep canyon wall and got on top. There was a road cut through the upper quarter of the steep hillside which worked great to my advantage. I popped my head up over the road and saw the hens below me at less than 10 yards. They were calmy milling around but one started to putt and head to the right. The rest followed, and so did I.

As they eased their way back onto the open hillside I saw the tom through the brush. He was also less than 10 yards so I eased forward, stood all the way up and let him have it as he lifted his head to see what I was. One of the most enjoyable hunts I've ever had because of how I pulled it off. Very much like I hunt other species so it just "felt right". I snapped a few pictures and off I went. The turkey "packout" took me about 45 minutes to complete.

Here are some pics






The sunset as I packed out my bird
 

fulldraw

Active member
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
732
Location
Iowa
Very nice looking bird . I have shot many Easterns back here in Iowa but never made it out that way for a Merriam.Maybe some day. Thanks for sharing .
 

rjlefty3

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
476
Location
Maine
I love the white/cream colored tips on Merriams. IMO the best looking turkey. This one's a beaut too!
 

POk3s

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
298
Location
Wyoming
Thanks guys. It was a lot of fun. Had a guy from New York come and hunt with us to kill his first merriams. Me and him were the only two that tagged out, out of 5.....but everybody had shots .
 

POk3s

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
298
Location
Wyoming
Taking applications for next year SW hahahaha. Seriously though, you're more than welcome.
 

pointingdogsrule

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Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,708
Location
northeast Iowa
I'll be there the first week in May. Love the annual trip to the Black Hills of Wyoming. I'll be around the Aladdin area. I agree that those are the most beautiful of all the turkey species.

Very nice hunt story. Bird numbers still seem to be down from years past. Still limited to one tom tag per year.

good luck to all
the dog
 

mixedbag

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
I'd love to try for one.Long drive from Pa for a turkey though.Maybe, if I could mix in a spring bear hunt along with turkey it would be worth the ride out
Beautiful bird and nice story;congrats
 

POk3s

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
298
Location
Wyoming
Thanks guys. Yes bird numbers are still down but I saw more birds last year than I had in a couple years, and I can only hope that the population will take a pretty good jump after this year's mild winter. Hoping for that good hatch! I've talked to game and fish and they are hopeful for a 2 bird limit in 2017.
 

aaron.haverfield

New member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
10
Nice, Bird. Congrats. My brother, brother In-Law, and I are headed to the South Dakota side of the Black Hills this weekend. Any tips on how the birds are working right now?
 

pointingdogsrule

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,708
Location
northeast Iowa
Thanks guys. Yes bird numbers are still down but I saw more birds last year than I had in a couple years, and I can only hope that the population will take a pretty good jump after this year's mild winter. Hoping for that good hatch! I've talked to game and fish and they are hopeful for a 2 bird limit in 2017.

Numbers for the coming year will be most dependent on the spring hatch and how many survive. Let's hope for a dry & warm spring until the chicks can take care of themselves. (sorry ranchers).

good luck to all
the dog
 

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