2013 NE Merriam Adventure

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2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby duxrus » Mon May 13, 2013 9:31 am

Well I knew we were headed into a wildfire area from this past Fall but.... :eek: Tens of thousands of acres with brown and chared pine covered ridges were awaiting. Talk about OPEN woods. Between a very late Spring and all undergrowth basicly burnt to hell you had to rethink your running and gunning tactics and slow your pace way down.
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Day one left me with a pocket full of tags with a close call but no Boom. Dad had one fly down in his lap at daylight so he was first to score. Day two began with 30mph + winds and low expectations. Luckily I picked the right spot to finally hear one gobble a few hours after flydown. He zigged when he should have zagged leaving him rolling down a ashed up ridge after a really loud BOOM :grooving:
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About an hour or so later I decided to take a hike through some deeper canyons where i have had luck in the past and low and behold i found a flock hiding from the wind. After some calling and making a decision to sneek in from above I closed the deal on a strutter soon followed by one of his buddies making a run for it. Too bad for him he took the high trail close enough for the trusty 835 to give him a deadly load of 6's as he sprinted out of the canyon. Tag 2 and 3 were quickly filled.

Here is a picture of my view down to where the flock was before "all hell broke loose" :thumbsup:

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The good news was I was DONE....the bad was it was Tuesday and the hunt ended on Saturday. Needless to say it got a little boring around the bunk house talking to myself after getting back each morning from daylight outings to listen to gobbling and driving around the county looking at birds. I will stick with my saying "I would rather get bored after tagging out then to go home with tags still in hand ".

Dad did fill his other two tags by Friday morning so the trip was a total success even with birds still flocked up pretty bad, marginal gobbling, and not so pretty scenery. His 3rd bird had some dang good hooks for a merriam coming in at over an inch and an eighth.

The end of a great morning for me....
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Here are a few I hope to run into next year :beer:
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And we found signs that the future will be good….
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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby Cougar125 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:21 pm

Awesome hunt! Limiting out early in the week is always better than tag stew.
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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby The Waterfowler » Mon May 13, 2013 6:23 pm

Good job Brian. Very nice birds.
Helping waterfowl make bad decisions since 1961.






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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby jpostx3 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:36 pm

Awesome! A few of us have talked about trying to get out there next year to chase after some merriams on public ground. Doubt it happens, but I will get one someday. Very gorgeous birds you got there.
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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby Pete-pec » Tue May 14, 2013 4:53 am

Nice hunt!
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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby duxrus » Tue May 14, 2013 10:25 am

I love seeing those white fanned merriams coming down a ridge. Compared to our dark easterns they look like neon lights. Something about their long drawn out high pitched gobbles too....I wish I could have gotten better pictures of each but between the high wind and my right knee killing me after twisting it somewhere in the wilderness, I was ready for the couch.

It was funny when dad called to see where I was. I asked if he could come help carry a bird out for me since two was a little much. He asked why in the heck was I still toting around the first bird. I said I wasn't and that was my problem. My turkey tote was on bird one hanging at the gate and I was looking at two more tom's at my feet. I can't repeat what he said next but he did help after walking up shaking his head with a smile :lol3:

Can't wait to get back there next year. :thumbsup:
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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby kdanford » Tue May 21, 2013 3:22 pm

Thats a great story Brian... Enjoy the hunts with your Dad as long as you can. I dont have that luxury anymore. My Dad's health is too frail to hunt anymore. Always enjoy the pics as well!!!

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Re: 2013 NE Merriam Adventure

Postby duxrus » Fri May 24, 2013 9:19 am

Ken,

Don't worry. Our yearly Father/Son turkey trip is always the highlight of every season :thumbsup: Our goal is always for each to atleast get one no matter the limit....as long as I get the most :lol3: Luckily I have limited early each trip so he gets plenty of "intel" to help him. This year 2 of his came from a "where I would go" map :smile: Last year I had a tent blind and chair awaiting him and he doubled out of it ..... Good times :beer:
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