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Are these Rio or Merriam’s?
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
writer 25-Feb-22
greg simon 25-Feb-22
Twinetickler 25-Feb-22
midwest 25-Feb-22
IABowhunter74 25-Feb-22
[email protected] 25-Feb-22
sitO 25-Feb-22
Grey Ghost 25-Feb-22
wildwilderness 25-Feb-22
JohnMC 25-Feb-22
writer 25-Feb-22
JohnMC 25-Feb-22
t-roy 25-Feb-22
darktimber 25-Feb-22
Grey Ghost 25-Feb-22
Grey Ghost 25-Feb-22
'Ike' (Phone) 25-Feb-22
drycreek 25-Feb-22
scentman 25-Feb-22
HDE 25-Feb-22
sitO 26-Feb-22
HDE 26-Feb-22
Cornpone 26-Feb-22
t-roy 26-Feb-22
Bou'bound 26-Feb-22
sitO 26-Feb-22
[email protected] 26-Feb-22
[email protected] 26-Feb-22
EmbryOklahoma 26-Feb-22
writer 26-Feb-22
writer 27-Feb-22
BRIBOWl 27-Feb-22
From: writer
25-Feb-22

writer's embedded Photo
writer's embedded Photo
Well?

(Location and sub-species down in comments.)

From: greg simon
25-Feb-22
I'd say Rio Grande. More bronze back and tan tail feather tips. Merriam's would have some lighter back feathers and whiter tail tips.

From: Twinetickler
25-Feb-22
I would say Rios as well. Hard to find pure merriams these days. Nice toms either way!

From: midwest
25-Feb-22
I agree. Look like Rios.

25-Feb-22
Any chance these were taken in Nebraska? If so, I would say there is 90+% chance they are hybrids.

25-Feb-22
Where at? Most of the birds in Central and SW Nebraska are hybrid. They use Rios for transplants which spills into Kansas. And of course they all bump into easterns.

From: sitO
25-Feb-22
Neither. I bet you could get some yahoo to sell you a hunt for either in KS though ;?)

From: Grey Ghost
25-Feb-22

Grey Ghost's Link
I'm going with hybrid on the left and Merriam on the right.

Matt

25-Feb-22
Coloration on the one on the right is more like a Merriams, but the size looks big.

All the Merriams we have killed in Western Colorado were noticeably smaller than the Rios killed in KS (or my eastern in VA)

From: JohnMC
25-Feb-22
I'd like to know as well where they were killed. But guessing from looking at them I say either Rios or hybrids. I hunt in Western NE. They look a lot like turkeys we kill. Some are more white on the tips some are more brown. I don't think it is true Merriams are smaller than Rios.

From: writer
25-Feb-22
True, Sito, “there you go, half yo Grand Slam….that’s an extra $500!”

These are Rio/eastern hybrids from southeast Kansas. Probably clutch-mates.

Birds even brighter than the one on the right had been killed and photographed there. Just a genetic thing, I guess. Many I’ve shown pics of them to have said “…pure Merriam’s!”

Glad so many realize how prevalent hybrids are, especially in KS and NE.

Too many judge just off the tips of a few feathers.

From: JohnMC
25-Feb-22

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
Here are couple my daughter killed. They were running together. Yet look very different. I just calling them turkeys. I’d guess they are hybrids.

From: t-roy
25-Feb-22

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
N. central Nebraska birds. The birds we saw ran the gamut from almost Eastern coloration, to birds that looked to be pure Merriams birds. Most likely all hybrids, though.

From: darktimber
25-Feb-22

darktimber's embedded Photo
darktimber's embedded Photo
My boy killed this one in WY. I’m thinking pure Merriam, but who knows?? Sure was a pretty bird either way.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Feb-22

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Here’s an example of what I have around my place in central CO. Mostly Merriam with Rio genes, IMO.

Matt

From: Grey Ghost
25-Feb-22

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
The one on the left was tasty. :-)

Matt

25-Feb-22
Hybrids

From: drycreek
25-Feb-22
I killed one in Central Texas almost as white as the one in darktimber’s photo. I wish I had gotten a full bodied mount done. I’ve never seen another like it. All mine have been like GG’s photo.

From: scentman
25-Feb-22
Rio's

From: HDE
25-Feb-22
The width of the dark or white bars on the primary wing feathers are the give away.

Not the fan color.

From: sitO
26-Feb-22
Actually it's the DNA, and the NWTF can help or guide you on the right path. I'm sorry Wildwilderness, you got took in KS.

Does it really matter though?

From: HDE
26-Feb-22
^^^ and DNA gives distinct physical characteristics. Those physical characteristics are unmistakable in a pure species, muddied up with hybrids though...

"Hard to find pure merriams these days" ~ especially in overlap areas. There are places you can find them that are isolated from Rio populations.

From: Cornpone
26-Feb-22
I'm not so sure feather coloration can fully determining subspecies, although it's usually a pretty good indicator. One year in KS I called in two toms and killed them both (legal). One looked pure eastern, the other pure Rio based upon feather coloration. I'm pretty sure they were siblings....and hybrids. My hypothesis is that, in the case of hybrids, they're going to look like one or the other...but not a "mix". I base that somewhat upon human eye color. After these millions of years how can there be different colors...we should have the same color...a mix of green/blue/brown/hazel. Just as the Xs and Ys combine for human eye color perhaps it's the same for feather coloration. I dunno.

From: t-roy
26-Feb-22
Is there a specific criteria (certain boundaries established) or some type of testing requirements involved, to be able enter each subspecies for one’s grand slam?

From: Bou'bound
26-Feb-22
Clearly Marios

From: sitO
26-Feb-22

sitO's embedded Photo
sitO's embedded Photo
Here's the NTWF map Troy...I think they just stop at the border of KS and NE and turn around ;?)

26-Feb-22
1 of each

26-Feb-22
What's funny is the Osceola line just happens tonog North for Duvall County (Jax) in Florida.Its all BS and favoritism.Ive shot the slam many times including 2 1/2 slams in one season.That slam stuff isn't important anymore for me.

26-Feb-22
I’ve killed many turkeys in South Dakota (Rosebud), and each one was a different color it seemed. Killed some that looked like Easterns, Rios and a pure white tipped bird. All within a few miles of each other. Anymore with all the cross breeding, I just call them turkeys.

From: writer
26-Feb-22
My first Merriams was deep in the Black Hills in 1985. No Rios or hybrids for a long ways. Bird was a twin to the one on the right.

Shot one deep in Alabama looked similar to the one on the left.

From: writer
27-Feb-22
My first Merriams was deep in the Black Hills in 1985. No Rios or hybrids for a long ways. Bird was a twin to the one on the right.

Shot one deep in Alabama looked similar to the one on the left.

From: BRIBOWl
27-Feb-22
oh boy turkey season coming soon.

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