Meleagris gallopavo merriami {Population: 262,000*}

He’s King of the Mountain. Known for his living in large flocks and eagerly responding to a call, the Merriam’s is a bucket list for die-hard turkey hunters. It’s a heart-stopping sight to behold his buff white tailfan rise above the crest of a ridge, approaching your setup amidst the dark backdrop of ponderosa pines on a mountainside. Accustomed to spring snow, howling wind and steeper elevations, the Merriam’s thrives in the American West, from the Rocky Mountains to the Bad Lands of the Dakotas and the farm fields of Nebraska.

Merriam’s only reside in the American West, dominating the untamed terrain of the Rocky Mountains

Merriam’s only reside in the American West, dominating the untamed terrain of the Rocky Mountains

Physical Markings

Merriam’s exhibit bright, snow-white tips on their tailfeathers and buff white covert feathers

Merriam’s exhibit bright, snow-white tips on their tailfeathers and buff white covert feathers

Tailfan: Bright, snow-white tips on tailfeathers and buff white covert feathers

Wing Feathers: Light, with white predominating the feather barring

Breast Feathers: Tipped in black and exhibiting blue, purple, and bronze reflections

Spurs: Often short and rounded as they are worn by the steep, rocky terrain that Merriam's call home

Beard: Often thin, wispy and short due to rugged mountain terrain and harsh weather

Gobble: 1 out of 5 in strength, with a higher pitch than the other GrandSlam subspecies

{Size: 18-24 lbs.}  Merriam’s are the second largest of all four major wild turkey subspecies.

{Size: 18-24 lbs.}

Merriam’s are the second largest of all four major wild turkey subspecies.

Habitat

In agricultural areas, Merriam’s tend to winter in large, vocal flocks concentrated around food sources like corn fields or cattle feeding areas. In the Rocky mountains, they inhabit the same ponderosa pines as elk, with elevations ranging from 3,500 to 10,000 feet. Merriam's concentrate in limited roost trees with sometimes a single tree holding dozens of birds.

Hunting

After flydown, Merriam’s can travel rapidly and cover great distances over the ponderosa pine peppered mountainsides. Calling is extremely effective, and bad weather doesn't affect their activity as much as other subspecies. Merriam’s gobblers have been known to respond to a call from mind blowing distances. His gobble may not travel far, but his legs will.

 

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“Merriam’s can be characterized as somewhat migratory, traveling up to 40 miles between summer and winter ranges. ”

 

 

 

Want to display all four Grand Slam Subspecies? Now you can, with “The Grand Slam Subspecies of the North American Wild Turkey.” Essential for any turkey hunting enthusiast, this print includes new original art and interesting facts and figures about each of the four Grand Slam wild turkey subspecies. Each print is signed by Ryan Kirby and stamped with a seal of authenticity. It’s perfect for the office, hunting lodge or mancave.

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