Sitka Mountain Gear
Where to go for a Rio?
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Jasper 27-Feb-19
t-roy 27-Feb-19
BigOk 27-Feb-19
StickFlicker 27-Feb-19
Jasper 27-Feb-19
greg simon 27-Feb-19
drycreek 27-Feb-19
trkyslr 27-Feb-19
Timbrhuntr 28-Feb-19
ronsoutdoors 28-Feb-19
Pete In Fairbanks 28-Feb-19
Scoot 28-Feb-19
EmbryOklahoma 28-Feb-19
WoodMoose 03-Mar-19
writer 03-Mar-19
Huntcell 03-Mar-19
Jims 03-Mar-19
Reload 03-Mar-19
Dale06 03-Mar-19
swampokie 03-Mar-19
sitO 03-Mar-19
writer 04-Mar-19
pav 04-Mar-19
Jims 04-Mar-19
sitO 04-Mar-19
trkyslr 04-Mar-19
Medicinemann 04-Mar-19
midwest 04-Mar-19
trkyslr 04-Mar-19
pav 04-Mar-19
Jasper 18-Mar-19
whiter16 18-Mar-19
writer 24-Mar-19
gobbler 24-Mar-19
whiter16 26-Mar-19
White Falcon 27-Mar-19
writer 27-Mar-19
PushCoArcher 28-Mar-19
Huntcell 28-Mar-19
From: Jasper
27-Feb-19
I’m working on my turkey slam and may give Rios a shot this spring; I really can’t afford a guided hunt. I know Texas only has a small amount of public land...is any of it even worth considering? How about public land in Oklahoma? Thanks!

From: t-roy
27-Feb-19
Quite a bit of public land in NW Oklahoma, Jasper. Canton Lake WMA, Black Kettle National Grasslands are a couple of good places to look at.

From: BigOk
27-Feb-19
X2 T-Roy

From: StickFlicker
27-Feb-19
I'm going for Rio in Arizona this spring, but I wouldn't recommend it to you. They only issue 4 tags per year (split season hunt, 2 permits each hunt), and it took me 15 bonus points to draw it in a random drawing (no maximum bonus tags for these hunts)! I'm trying to get the Arizona turkey slam (Merriam's, Rio Grande and Gould's), it it will probably take me another 20 years or so to draw the Gould's tag...

Good luck in whatever state you decide to hunt.

From: Jasper
27-Feb-19
Thanks T-roy and Big! Stick, that blows my mind that at the limited # of tags and difficulty drawing in AZ! Didn’t know about the slam there either. Very cool and what an accomplishment it will be. Best of luck!

From: greg simon
27-Feb-19
Kansas has a good amount of public (WIHA) land with turkeys on it. Also a long season. Kansas has Rios but you will also run into hybrids.

From: drycreek
27-Feb-19
Guided in Texas isn't all that expensive, and Rios are all but a slam-dunk here. Lots of guys have deer leases with many more turkeys than they care for and that's what I would look for. If you go the full monty with an outfitter it might be more than you want to pay, but I'd rather drive 3/4 more hours and spend $500/$700 more to be sure of success. YMMV

From: trkyslr
27-Feb-19
Toughest Rios and turkeys in America in Cali ... don’t come here :-)

From: Timbrhuntr
28-Feb-19
or Hawaii that would be a tough hunt too

From: ronsoutdoors
28-Feb-19
I did semi guided in Kansas good success ,we ended up hunting walk in area and another public there were plenty of birds

28-Feb-19
I would also recommend NW Oklahoma.

If you want some nice scenery and don't mind a pricey plane ticket, try New Zealand or Hawaii!

Pete

From: Scoot
28-Feb-19
"Toughest Rios and turkeys in America in Cali ... don’t come here :-)"

Yep, Chris and Joe seem to really struggle each spring with those things!

28-Feb-19
Come on out to Oklahoma. I'll show you some spots out west on public. I would really consider coming out opening weekend before the birds get pushed around too much. Black Kettle for instance, it gets hammered the first couple of weekends. The birds usually retreat to private land surrounding. If I'm available, I'll help ya.

From: WoodMoose
03-Mar-19
got a buddy down in South Texas has invited me for a Rio hunt,,,looking forward to it

can't speak to Oklahoma,,,yet

From: writer
03-Mar-19
If you want pure, hunt south Texas.

From: Huntcell
03-Mar-19
So are ya saying if not South Texas Rio the other locations maybe tainted ?

From: Jims
03-Mar-19
There are a lot of mixes scattered along the borders of the rio ranges in the Midwest. Examples of crosses would be in Nebraska and Kansas where merriams cross with rios on the west side or farther east where rios cross with easterns. If you want true pure strains of rios you may want to head farther south or head to the middle of zones known to have rios. You can also check with the particular state you plan on hunting to see exactly where a particular area's turkey stock came from (if they were introduced). In Colo there are merriams mostly in the mtns but merriam-rio crosses from the foothills east to the Colo-KS border. The SE corner of Colo may have a little purer strain of rios.

From: Reload
03-Mar-19
Public land in NW Oklahoma. Weve been going since 05 and wouldn't miss it for the world. Although not as common as years ago, you can still knock on doors to gain permission in the west. Good luck to you, as you wont regret getting started on an annual adventure.

From: Dale06
03-Mar-19
I’m going to north central Ks for Rios. Not sure if they are pure Rio or not, and don’t care.

From: swampokie
03-Mar-19
Black kettle national grassland nw Oklahoma. they will flog ur pickup

From: sitO
03-Mar-19
They're not Dale, but enjoy the hunt anyway! No true Rio's in KS, though lots of fellas will "sell that hunt".

From: writer
04-Mar-19
What Kyle said. And scrap the hunt two kinds from the same camp. Hunting hybrids of different saddle feather colors. What was originally stocked has nothing to do with what’s there now.

From: pav
04-Mar-19
Unless one were intent on registering a Slam with the NWTF, I'm not sure why "pure" is relevant? If one is planning to register a Slam, the NWTF has a map available, which includes hybrid and "pure" (per the NWTF) regions. It is their registry and their rules....making our individual opinions nothing more than that....just opinions.

From: Jims
04-Mar-19

Jims's embedded Photo
Jims's embedded Photo
Here's the NWTF's map, I'm not sure if the NWTF updates the map over time and if I agree with the boundaries? There is a line for hybrids on the Nebraska-Kansas border. I am sure there are lots of hybrids in the entire northwest corner of Kansas.

From: sitO
04-Mar-19
Perfect example of how flawed their map is...do you think the "Rio's" in KS know where the borders of NE and CO are and stop right there? We have a lot of birds that look like Rio's...kinda...but you'll have to go WAY South of us to actually see one.

From: trkyslr
04-Mar-19
Sito you might be on to something.. just like with the whole blacktail boundary debate of using a passable highway for one? Heaven forbid they cross the road to get to the other side ... might have to start taking turkey dna for Nwtf ;-)’

From: Medicinemann
04-Mar-19
SitO X2.

From: midwest
04-Mar-19

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
These turks are from SW Nebraska near the Kansas border. Hybrids, I guess, but they don't look or sound much at all like an Eastern from Iowa. Does a pure Rio look much different?

From: trkyslr
04-Mar-19

trkyslr's embedded Photo
Both darker secondaries but look at how the rt bird is lighter overall... pretty birds.
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Both darker secondaries but look at how the rt bird is lighter overall... pretty birds.
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Then here’s one lower more open terrain that has much lighter secondaries as other two birds yet only 30 minutes serrated them and all are pure Rios.. no other species even remotely close to these.
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Then here’s one lower more open terrain that has much lighter secondaries as other two birds yet only 30 minutes serrated them and all are pure Rios.. no other species even remotely close to these.
Imo turkeys are a species that can look very different from their buddy when they are the same species but from different areas, with much different terrain etc... I hunt an area that is mostly covered with a canopy and darker woods. This area has produced some of the darkest most vibrant rio turkeys I’ve ever seen,, almost eastern like but there isn’t an eastern even close to here. Then I drive 30 minutes to an area that’s lower elevation more open typical rio terrain if there is such a thing and the birds have the more buff colored tips etc. like a typical rio from the south. Here’s an example of how two birds in that canopy area can look different next to there buddy and be very colorful and dark even though they are pure Rios.

From: pav
04-Mar-19
Well, a line has to be drawn somewhere....and regardless where that line is drawn, the same argument exists. Do the birds on one side of the line know they are pure and the other side of the line know they are hybrids?

My point is simply, the NWTF owns the Slam registry. Their map....their rules. Again, unless one intends to register a Slam, I don't understand the fascination with pursuing "pure" subspecies? Completed a shotgun slam over 20 years ago...but not sure I've ever had more fun turkey hunting than chasing hybrids in Nebraska!

From: Jasper
18-Mar-19
Rick,

Thanks for th offer! Might hit you up next year!

From: whiter16
18-Mar-19
Got mine on the Kaw Wildlife area in north central Oklahoma. Good number of birds.

From: writer
24-Mar-19
...and those are hybrids.

From: gobbler
24-Mar-19
Texas

From: whiter16
26-Mar-19
My certificate of registration from the NWTF says RIO. That should settle the debate.

From: White Falcon
27-Mar-19

White Falcon's embedded Photo
White Falcon's embedded Photo
Some from several TX Ranches.

From: writer
27-Mar-19
Not, NWTF wants your money for registration. It’s all hybrids right across the line in Kansas...you think they stop at borders? Congrats on whatever you want to call it. You got the Rio experience hunting a bird on the prairie.

From: PushCoArcher
28-Mar-19
Writer says who? The Oklahoma turkey species map puts kaw wma well within the Rio zone. Even when looking at the kansas species map going straight north from kaw would put him just to the west of the hybrid line in rio country. But that just the opinion of 2 state wildlife agencies.

From: Huntcell
28-Mar-19
..... Do the birds on one side of the line know they are pure and the other side of the line know they are hybrids?..:::::

Yes the birds on the pure side of the line strut loud and proud their heritage whereas those on the hybrid side of the line tend to only make half hearted attempts at shame half struts and rarly go vocal lest they call attention to there cross linage garbled garbage. Borders have consequences!

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