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Quality Merriam's Hunt
I'm trying to repay a young guy who's helped me a lot the past several years with waterfowl, deer, Kansas turkey, pheasant, quail... you get the idea.
He's shown a real interest in my stories of hunting true Merriam's birds amid the pines, hills and ridges. I'd like to take him this spring, or one of the following.
It's been more than 15 years since I did that in NM, CO, SD, and WY and I've lost all of my contacts.
Any leads or advice would be greatly appreciated. We don't need guides, though I'm surely not opposed to paying an access fee to a good ranch.
If you can help, at all, please send it PM. It would be, honestly, be greatly appreciated.
For what it's worth, I've helped a lot of people get trips lined up in Kansas. :-)
We have merriams along the Front Range and Western Colorado. It is pretty slim pickings on public land for birds around where I live. Merriams here seem to be congregated in a few local spots mostly on private land. Where they are on public land there is so much country with so few birds..plus they tend to be super mobile and travel a lot. It generally takes a lot of work. With that said you may find a little higher concentration of birds around Pagosa, Pueblo, and Rifle areas in Colo.
I would say the Blackhills of Wyo, Nebraska, and South Dakota have a lot higher numbers. I sent you a PM.
I'd suggest against the Black Hills in SD. Severe winters combined with predation and over harvest have really reduced the numbers the past few years. There are still pockets of good flocks but they are more difficult to find than you may remember.
One other consideration is the weather in SD during archery season. It can be pretty brutal at times.
Im with Brotsky I have hunted the black hills for years have not gone the last two , the ranch we hunt mountain lions destroyed the birds, It was nothing to see 50 toms a day now a few.
Not the news I wanted to hear about the Black Hills, but the news I needed to hear.
Please keep suggestions coming.
The Lincoln National Forest in SE New Mexico has a pretty strong Merriam's population. There is no archery only season, but the general season begins April 15th with a bag limit of 2 bearded turkeys. If you've hunted Merriam's before I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding them, but I'd be happy to point you to a more specific location if you send me a PM.
We have lots here in Western Colorado.
I live in merrium country, but for your hunt I'd head to the early season in western Nebraska.