Chasing the Merriam’s wild turkey has all the majesty of a Rocky Mountain elk hunt, and other turkeys and wapiti are often found in the same areas. Jace Bauserman takes you step-by-step through a solo Colorado hunt:

The shimmering light of my headlamp blazed a path to the rickety registration box marking the canyon trailhead. It was 4:00 a.m., leaving me exactly two hours to cover the rocky, seven mile trek to my secluded, public land, turkey hot-spot. With my day pack strapped on and bow slung across my back I bounced into the dark abyss of the canyon bottom. Picking my way across boulders, downed timber, and sections of river I finally reached the area where I had roosted some Merriam gobblers the previous evening.

Dawn broke with a symphony of gobbles erupting from the cottonwood grove where I had put the birds to bed. I placed my decoys within 150 yards of the roost trees in an area littered with scratching sites. Being that there were hens, I knew coaxing one of the gobblers away from the ladies was going to be a chore, but eventually my soft hen yelps and the sight of my jake decoy pushed one of the birds to his breaking point. As if on a string he trotted towards my position offering me an easy eight yard bow shot. By the time the sun had climbed above the horizon I was finishing my photo shoot and preparing to get back on the trail heading towards home with another Colorado public land gobbler dangling out of my vest.

 Awaiting the Colorado Merriam's

For the rest of the story, or to get ideas for planning your own similarly amazing adventure, check out: Bauserman’s article.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.