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Author Topic: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????  (Read 377 times)

Offline Parasite

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Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« on: January 24, 2020, 03:01:21 PM »
So I'm used to hunt the Eastern subspecies in MI and IL, and Rios in KS. Merriam's will be new to me. What is there behavior like? Habitat preference? Pattern-able? Anything you could tell me will help. I've heard they are nomadic and more vocal than easterns. What else do you know that makes them different? I've found that Rios are much more fun to hunt than easterns.

Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 09:27:09 PM »
They don't shy away from their strut zones.  Roost in big pines.  Nit much different then rios except that rios are a bit more vocal from my experience.  Lots of them in the NE corner of the state to.  I am doing a turkey hunting clinic March 14th Sportmans  Wharehouse Federal Way noon to 4pm, April 5th Black Diamond Gun Club Noon to 5pm.  If your on the west side.

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Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 09:33:13 PM »
So I'm used to hunt the Eastern subspecies in MI and IL, and Rios in KS. Merriam's will be new to me. What is there behavior like? Habitat preference? Pattern-able? Anything you could tell me will help. I've heard they are nomadic and more vocal than easterns. What else do you know that makes them different? I've found that Rios are much more fun to hunt than easterns.

Everything is more fun than Easterns!  Merriams are a hoot.  I generally wait until mid to late May to do turkeys.  Other than opening morning, it seems like they get real tight lipped after the warzone starts.


Offline Parasite

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2020, 12:22:34 AM »
So do Merriam's roost in riparian areas, similar to Rios?

In Michigan, I preferred to hunt in May. The weather was warmer and more stable than April, and most of the hens were bred and calling was easier. Now in Kansas, I preferred April as May was too hot. And by May, they were pretty call shy.

Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 04:46:12 AM »
Weather here is a crap shoot sometimes.  Last 2 years we had late cold rains and snow even out on the east side.  Pushed mating back a couple weeks.  In my experience is that merriams are more vocal before and during mating.  They get a bit less vocal after the hens have been bred.  Once the hens have kicked them loose and the toms and jakes get in bachelor groups looking for the ladies they will pick up the talk but not as much.  They usually roost in the timber near field edges or good clear open timber.  Early April is usually breeding going on again depending on the weather.  Had a guy tell me yesterday at the sportmans show that him and his sun had all 4 seasons in one day in the first week of season.  Always remember and I think a lot of turkey hunters may forget that toms don't go to the hen the hen come to the tom.  When your calling like a hen to get a tom fired up your more of the lost hen and if he ffles the ned to find you and lead you back to his harem that is when they will come to you.  That is why when a tom is breeding his hens and you get him to gobble but he doesn't come to you.  He is telling you that you want some to come sum.  I am busy here dummy.

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Offline Parasite

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 10:20:07 PM »
Always remember and I think a lot of turkey hunters may forget that toms don't go to the hen the hen come to the tom.
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Yep, I recall the first two times I saw that. 1 Tom, 2 hens. Tom was gobbling his head off. Once I saw the 2 hens arrive, he shut up.

Offline Limhangerslayer

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 10:34:57 PM »
I've hunted turkeys in Washington for 28 years, they are callable every day of the season.  They will do A bigger circle then any other turkey.  Sometimes1 to 2 days to make the circuit.  Especially later
In the season they start moving more looking for ladies

Offline MonstroMuley

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 02:06:24 PM »
Weather here is a crap shoot sometimes.  Last 2 years we had late cold rains and snow even out on the east side.  Pushed mating back a couple weeks.  In my experience is that merriams are more vocal before and during mating.  They get a bit less vocal after the hens have been bred.  Once the hens have kicked them loose and the toms and jakes get in bachelor groups looking for the ladies they will pick up the talk but not as much.  They usually roost in the timber near field edges or good clear open timber.  Early April is usually breeding going on again depending on the weather.  Had a guy tell me yesterday at the sportmans show that him and his sun had all 4 seasons in one day in the first week of season.  Always remember and I think a lot of turkey hunters may forget that toms don't go to the hen the hen come to the tom.  When your calling like a hen to get a tom fired up your more of the lost hen and if he ffles the ned to find you and lead you back to his harem that is when they will come to you.  That is why when a tom is breeding his hens and you get him to gobble but he doesn't come to you.  He is telling you that you want some to come sum.  I am busy here dummy.

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Enjoyed your Sportsman Show seminar yesterday Russ!  Thanks for the great tip on the "cap whack" trick simulating "fly-down", that fools them to begin flying from the roost.
and of course, the reminder: "The Hen comes to the Tom!"

Thanks again for your time and dedication to Educating us on the Sport and All You Do!
Always learn something New...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 02:14:37 PM by MonstroMuley »
"My Dinner is Still in the Woods" - Unknown

Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Merriam's subspecies behaviors, habits, etc????
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2020, 02:12:56 PM »
Weather here is a crap shoot sometimes.  Last 2 years we had late cold rains and snow even out on the east side.  Pushed mating back a couple weeks.  In my experience is that merriams are more vocal before and during mating.  They get a bit less vocal after the hens have been bred.  Once the hens have kicked them loose and the toms and jakes get in bachelor groups looking for the ladies they will pick up the talk but not as much.  They usually roost in the timber near field edges or good clear open timber.  Early April is usually breeding going on again depending on the weather.  Had a guy tell me yesterday at the sportmans show that him and his sun had all 4 seasons in one day in the first week of season.  Always remember and I think a lot of turkey hunters may forget that toms don't go to the hen the hen come to the tom.  When your calling like a hen to get a tom fired up your more of the lost hen and if he ffles the ned to find you and lead you back to his harem that is when they will come to you.  That is why when a tom is breeding his hens and you get him to gobble but he doesn't come to you.  He is telling you that you want some to come sum.  I am busy here dummy.

Sent from my SM-N976V using Tapatalk

Enjoyed your Sportsman Show seminar yesterday Russ!  Thanks for the great tip on the "cap whack" trick simulating "fly-down", that fools them to begin flying from the roost.
and of course, the reminder: "The Hen comes to the Tom!"

Thanks again for your time and dedication to Educating us on the Sport and All You Do!
Always learn something New...
Anytime.  Love giving back and teaching.

Sent from my SM-N976V using Tapatalk

Russell McDonald
President South Sound NWTF Chapter and WA state board NWTF
The opinions expressed in my posts do not represent those of the forum.

 


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