Western Colorado Merriam

Rev. J

Mar 5, 2019
Montrose, CO
It's been a pretty difficult turkey season in my neck of the woods. A hard winter with a lot of leftover snow had us looking for new areas to hunt. The birds were transitioning at the beginning of the season. We'd find them one evening and then they'd be gone the next day. The turkeys were pretty quiet too, until fairly recently. Finally got into some fired up gobblers over the last few days, and was able to connect with a tom yesterday.

My buddy Dave and I started off the morning with a brisk 2 mile hike in the dark. After getting to the high ground, we heard a few distant gobbles. Out of the pre-dawn haze, a few hens started yelping in the small canyon below me. I immediately sat down and listened. Those distant gobblers were coming to them. The sun was just coming up, and I thought these hens were going to call the toms right to my lap. We get into a comfortable shooting position, several minutes pass. All of a sudden, the air is filled with the sound of putts. The hens are going crazy, and they are headed right towards us. The putting escalates and I can hear the commotion of a chase on the forest floor. Finally, the flock flies in different directions. All I can figure is that some predator was chasing turkeys. Probably a coyote or bobcat, maybe a lion, doubt it was a bear.

We just sit tight. The woods go completely silent for about a half hour. I'm just about ready to get up and change locations when a gobble rings out down the valley, then the yelps start coming. They're scattered and trying to reassemble. I quickly join the chorus, trying to mimic a boss hen with assembly yelps. The Tom honors me, but the hens are between me and him. I descend into the canyon and try to get a wide circle around the hens. I call again, he gobbles. I can hear the hens moving through the woods; clucks, purrs, and yelps. They got to the Tom and moved him farther and farther away from us. He was henned up. We sat and discussed our options, finally deciding to leave this Tom to pursue some of the more distant gobbles we heard earlier in the morning.

We climb the opposite side of the canyon, and take a listen in the next draw. It is a ghost town. No turkey sign, and the quiet is deafening. We begin discussing our options again and decide to split up. Dave will go higher up the ridge, I'll go lower. We decide to hunt the same canyon we'd heard gobbling in. We'd meet at one of our favorite elk glassing spots in 2 hours. I head down the ridge. I hear no turkeys, but I did manage to bump this lady.


I decide to finally descend again down into the canyon. As I do, I hear the faintest gobble from the other side. It was one of those moments where you question yourself. "Was that a real gobble? Another bird? Or just my imagination?" I decide to go for it and begin quickly moving through the woods. I get to the bottom of the canyon and the gobble rings out again. This time, I know it's real. But, he's still several hundred yards away. I close some of the distance. I'm hesitant to call because I don't want the hens to get to him before me. I get to a good looking pinch point and decide to let out two yelps. He hammers back with a gobble. I guess him about 150-200 yards. Trying not to rush myself, I look around for a decent spot to set up.

Several minutes have passed, as I get into a comfortable and concealed spot. I wait and silence myself; calming my breathing, clearing my thoughts. I pulled out my slate call and gave the tiniest purrs. He responds, and has cut the distance in half. I guess about 80 yards, but we are in some thick stuff. I want to call because who doesn't love to hear the gobble, but I listen to my instincts and put the calls down. I'm silent for another ten minutes. He begins panicking and gobbling like crazy. He hasn't moved much, but he's hunting for me. The old Tom gobbles a few more times. I wait. Another 10 minutes or so pass. He gobbles, and again I gently purr.

That's all it took. He goes into hyperdrive and is on top of me in no time. His red head begins bobbing through the trees. He is gobbling like crazy. I have to painstakingly wait for a clear shooting window. Finally, he moves into a tiny opening and I quickly meet him with some 6 shot. A wonderful experience for my 2019 Colorado turkey.





Side note: My 3 year old son was absolutely thrilled. He was a little too small to make the hike with me for this bird, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be my hunting buddy for life.




Sorry if the post is a little pic heavy! Happy hunting! 😁



Well-known member
Jul 30, 2011
I love the pic of your son in his dinosaur shirt holding a modern day dinosaur by the legs. Congratulations

dirtclod Az.

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2018
Conratulations.Great pics,your son looks as proud as you!
Enjoyed your story Welcome to the Forum from Az. 😎


Active member
Oct 28, 2015
Front Range of Colorado
Excellent! My boy and I hunted the first weekend of the season to the west of you and heard but never saw anything. Good weekend but pretty darn cold! I've heard from folks in the area we hunted that things went pretty quiet after that weekend. Glad you were able to get a bird!