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5B Merriam - Love it!

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Each year I look forward to a Merriam Turkey tag… sentimentally it’s because this species was my first “Big Game” harvest back in 2017. Yesterday marked my 4th solo shotgun harvest. I like to walk the woods and cold call 2 days prior to opening day for a first morning success, but I’ve never shot a Longbeard opening day! I usually go through the highs and lows of hunting before earning these big birds. This year was no exception. The wind was down right awful to hear or be heard. This year’s Tom was memorable because of how long we danced before pulling the trigger. I saw him walking the woods before he saw me so I quickly sat down without any real structure to blend into. He liked my slate scratching enough to fan out and strut at 55yrd, but there were brushy limbs between us. I kept that call close to my chest without any movement except the wrist. Little did I know, his Hen was behind me and walked past me to group up with the Tom. Once the two reunited, he wasn’t about to leave her and walk uphill into my shooting lane. After 50min of him fanning / strutting / feeding, I realized I had to move in. Slowly removed my vest and all other non essentials that would drag during the creep in. When he fanned facing the opposite direction, I balanced the 12ga on my lap and crab crawled in with the slate call. Occasionally throwing out some clucks and purrs to keep his attention. Took him at 09:45 35yrd puffed up in full fan. What a show!

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That’s awesome…congrats! I still love/hate Merriams due to the highs and lows and have yet to tag one myself. 

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Nice work and solid report! The wind was no joke on Thurs, Fri and Sat in 5A, no dice for my tag so far.

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beautiful bird! Really enjoyed the write up. congrats

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Nice spurs to! 👍👍👍

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Congratulations nice bird 

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