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South Dakota Spring Turkey
Nebraska is made for turkey hunting !!
What is special about the opening dates? Just go to Nebraska when you can go. You can get more tags, there’s more birds, and better public land for your needs in Nebraska. It’s just better plain and simple...and this is coming from a guy that kills a lot of SD turkeys.
Gobbler hunting in both Nebraska and S Dak can be downright nasty weather early. Some years there can be deep snow which makes access tough. Birds also are fairly inactive during poor weather conditions. If possible stay flexible with dates. Turkeys in both states tend to move from the early archery seasons through late April. In fact, some areas may be void of turkeys early while others may be loaded. Obviously every area is a little different. If it were me and I was traveling far I would definitely rather go later than early due to weather.
S Dakota blackhills definitely has the largest areas with public access. You will likely find that Nebraska has scattered public and the public generally has a bit more hunting pressure. You may want local biologist or hunter intel to get you started because each area is totally different.
If your wanting Merriams, do the Pine Ridge are of NE or The Black Hills.
Everything else is hybrids, and don’t think something with a bit more white on the tail tip is a Merriams when it’s surrounded by obvious hybrids.
The true Merriams hunt is in the ponderosa pines. I’d rather kill one bird there than three mongrels on the prairie.