WA/ID/MT Trip

huntindawg

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Dec 19, 2012
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Hi all,

I'm headed out west for my annual week-long turkey hunting pilgrimage and am looking in a new direction. We've hunted NE/KS the last three years but are looking to broaden our horizons and hunt a few new states. I've been doing a lot of research and it seems very doable to hit all three states (if the weather will allow) during our time out, and I was hoping someone who has some experience hunting (any species) or even just places to stay/eat/sights to see might be willing to share any advice about the following regions:

WA - Colville/Chewelah area, hunting National Forest and/or state trust lands

ID - Panhandle around Coeur d'Alene, game regions 1,2,3,4,4a, and 5. Hunting NF and/or Access Yes property

MT - Whitefish/Kalispell/Flathead Lake Region. Hunting NF and/or state trust lands

If you want to trade info on these regions for KS/NE, just let me know, happy to do it.
 

belly-deep

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Oct 31, 2009
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I'm not a turkey hunter but judging by highway sightings your best bet in MT is going to be around the Libby area. I couldn't believe the numbers of Turkeys I saw along HWY 2 when I drove it last fall.
 

Hem

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Three Forks, Mt
2 guys,3 states, 6 birds, 7 days.....you got your work cut out for you,especially if you are going in to it cold turkey.:)
 

Pagosa

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In the Flathead valley the turkeys are Easterns, but there is an abundance. I agree with the post above, Eureka, and Libby are good areas of lots of birds. Public hunting is kind of tough to find around Kalispell. Good luck on your trip.
 

huntindawg

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Dec 19, 2012
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2 guys,3 states, 6 birds, 7 days.....you got your work cut out for you,especially if you are going in to it cold turkey.:)

It ain't all about the killing for sure, but we'd love to get it done in each state the first time out. We're pretty die hard turkey hunters, I'm always completely worn out by the time we get home from our annual trip. Those crazy Merriam's in NE gobble in the pitch black dark and the sun comes up at like 4:00 there, so we're used to hunting 15 hour days.

I really appreciate the info on MT, there seems to be less info out thereabout turkeys and their whereabouts there than other two states for sure.

JLS, I'll shoot you a PM now.
 

Reeltime

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Mar 15, 2015
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In the Flathead valley the turkeys are Easterns, but there is an abundance. I agree with the post above, Eureka, and Libby are good areas of lots of birds. Public hunting is kind of tough to find around Kalispell. Good luck on your trip.

Where did you find this information? Every bit of research I've done claims nothing but merriams in MT. It's clear the birds I hunt are hybrids of some kind as a majority look more like Rios than Merriams.
 

Pagosa

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It was published by the MTFWP, and the birds by my house along the Flathead River are definitely Eastern. I will verify this.
 

Pagosa

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I just checked and John Vore with MTFWP stated in a interview with the Missoulian newspaper that in the 1950's the Eastern variety was illegally transplanted in the Flathead Valley and there is crossing occurring with Merriams. The MTFWP intention was to only introduce Merriams to Montana. I've hunted the Eastern Turkey in NE Oklahoma and the Merriams in Colorado and it seems the birds in NW Montana have more bronze tail feathers than the buffed-colored Merriams.
You should have no problem finding turkeys along the river/creek areas up in NW Montana.
 

huntindawg

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Dec 19, 2012
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I just checked and John Vore with MTFWP stated in a interview with the Missoulian newspaper that in the 1950's the Eastern variety was illegally transplanted in the Flathead Valley and there is crossing occurring with Merriams. The MTFWP intention was to only introduce Merriams to Montana. I've hunted the Eastern Turkey in NE Oklahoma and the Merriams in Colorado and it seems the birds in NW Montana have more bronze tail feathers than the buffed-colored Merriams.
You should have no problem finding turkeys along the river/creek areas up in NW Montana.

Interesting info, thanks for providing that insight. The MT info in this thread sounds promising, I was getting a little concerned from the lack of info out there about turkeys in MT but this has lifted spirits a lot. Thanks
 

MT_BWHTR

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Feb 1, 2016
Messages
74
Good numbers in that area for sure. If you are around there during the last weekend in April, the NWTF is having a banquet in Kalispell ;)
 

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