Merriams in NE vs SD

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunters Forum' started by seiowa, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. seiowa

    seiowa Senior Refuge Member

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    Here's the deal fellas. I would like to go to either NE or SD this spring after a Merriams. I know everyone says the Black Hills hunts are awe inspiring but honestly I don't get the big draw. It's a wicked long drive for me that's wicked boring to boot (I live in southeast Iowa as my handle alludes to), and of the fellow Iowans I have spoken to who have chased gobblers out there, most said the scenery and the trip, the trees, "mountains" etc are what made the hunt. Fine and good but if I'm driving that far and making a trip out of it I don't want to eat tag soup**. Those same folks had said there was a lot of walking and not many birds and if they were super concerned with killing a bird they would go elsewhere. (So I'm not real into the Black Hills).

    Where are some other areas in SD that are good for Merriams? How about Nebraska? I have heard that some Indian Res areas are good, heard that a long time ago but cant remember if that was in reference to NE, SD or both possibly.

    Also wondering what time guys like to go. I have heard a lot of horror stories of hunts in NE or SD that got completely hosed by a blizzard or bird behavior going nutty with a late snow. Those things can and do happen in those areas especially in the early season so I'm kinda shy on heading out real early.

    Any firsthand or even second hand accounts are appreciated, folks. Thanks in advance!





    ***For those that cant pass up saying "it's not about the kill," can it. Opinions are like aholes. We all got em and aint one that doesn't stink.
     
  2. mister gadwall

    mister gadwall Senior Refuge Member

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    if you want a pure Merriams in Nebraska you have to pick your area very carefully as the Rios and Merriams are interbred in a lot of Nebraska. Extreme western and N W Nebraska are target areas for PURE Merriams.
     
  3. chcltlabz

    chcltlabz Elite Refuge Member

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    Part of the pull of the Black Hills is all the public land too. If you're not into birds, there's plenty of space to venture out. I've never hunted Nebraska, and I'm sure you can find that there too, but if you're focusing on walk in areas, they can be rather small, so you might scout/hunt a couple dozen to find one you really like.

    There are plenty of birds in other locations of South Dakota, but many of them are a draw, while the Black Hills gets you one over the counter tag. Plus, outside the hills, you're hunting mostly walk in areas, or trying to get access to private land. You can hunt the badlands too, and I know some guys have great luck there.

    The indian reservations are an option with a ton of birds, but I hate paying a "guide" that knows less about turkey hunting than I do. I got lucky that the time I went, the guide I had to pay was willing to point me in the direction of birds and take a nap in the truck. Some of the guys I hunted with weren't so lucky, and they were strapped to a guide that was more a boat anchor than a help.
     
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  4. seiowa

    seiowa Senior Refuge Member

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    What's the deal with hunting on Indian Reservations? Heard good things about it on a couple other web sites. I didn't even know that was a thing until a few days ago.
     
  5. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member

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    It's like $75, plus your tag fees. Problem is, you get what @chcltlabz said above. A young man who is just there to collect $75 for being the guy who allowed you to hunt there, with little to no experience hunting.
     
  6. seiowa

    seiowa Senior Refuge Member

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    In order to hunt the reservations do you go through the state DNR/F&G? Do they have like a liaison program to put you in touch with a list of "guides"? Or do you go through the reservation in question directly?
     
  7. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member

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    My FIL inquired, and the guy just told him all he needs is the turkey tag(s) (you must buy the first TWO, at once, you can then subsequently buy the others), and $75 cash. He made it seem like he didn't even need hunting license, since it is on Res territory. The tags seemed to be through the Res, not the state (but I could be mistaken about that).
     
  8. rrduckhnt

    rrduckhnt Senior Refuge Member

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    I've been checking into hunting South Dakota Indian Res. at the Redbud Reservation...here's the link.. http://www.rstgfp.net/
    To hunt there you have to hire a guide, Buy (2) Turkey tags $150.00 pay a Habitat Fee $13.00 and that is it as far as I can tell. If you limit out you can the buy two more for $150.00. The guide I talked to charges $75 per day said he had about 95% success and he said the reason not 99% is due to weather as you had discussed... He has 2 reviews that were great... but a lot of the reviews are posted using only the first name of the guide so I couldn't tell if the other reviews were for him or the other 3 guides with the same first name.. The guide I talked to was Mike One Feather seamed very knowledgeable and I've talked to him 3 times.. I asked if it was better to come at the first of the season or wait towards the end to come, and of course it all depends on weather but he did say at the end of the season they rarely come to a call and you would have to spot and stalk them (NOT FOR ME) I know people do it but I don't believe in stalking turkeys and I tell people that hunt with me that if I catch them sneaking in on a turkey they will never hunt with me again, I've hunted public land all my life and I've had hunters sneak in on me while I was calling turkeys and it's the scarcest and most dangerous thing to happen to me.. I learned a lot from a OLD Turkey hunter in 1977 when I was 21 and he was 77, he had me rub the back of his head it had bumps all over it, lead shot still in his head... said his brother shot him when he was 26 years old, said he went hunting that morning by himself, later his brother when not knowing the other one was already out there and began sneaking up on the yelping turkey, his brother said he could see the "red" turkey's head so he shot it....turned out to be his brother red ear from cold weather...nearly killed his brother...to me that's why "YOU DON'T STALK TURKEYS" you call them in or they win and you try another day to me that's the whole game....
     
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  9. seiowa

    seiowa Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the response @rrduckhnt . I'll definitely look into the link you sent. So is it possible to still go this year? I know some places the date is up for out of staters.
     
  10. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    We don't only get snow during the early season but you can bet on at least one May snow storm if your hunting turkeys in the Pine Ridge in Nebraska. Even these Merriams out here in far western Nebraska would be hard pressed to be considered "pure". Would I call it a Merriam though, you bet.
     

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