Colorado Mountain Merriam’s & A 1937 NID Ithaca 16 Bore

Snow…it’s been the story of my spring season…the days I’ve been able to escape from work it has snowed 10 to 12 inches.  I’ve been patiently waiting to see the caddis & BWO’s bring hungry browns to the surface on my beloved Arkansas River and hear the Merriam’s love cry reverberate in the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountains of southern Colorado.  Star Wars day…May the 4th…awoke with perfect spring weather and sunshine.   O’dark-30 arrived with the dogs not happy that it’s turkey season and not quail, and I hurriedly drove to the mountains.  I wasn’t surprised to find the roads impassable because of heavy drifts from the past weekend’s blizzard.   I parked a few miles from my usual spot and gathered my gear to make the long hump into Merriam’s country.  This year I wanted to try to harvest a turkey with my circa 1937 NID Ithaca double 16 bore choked Modified and Full.  The snow was a foot deep inmost places making the going slow.  I figured I wouldn’t be able to climb to the level where I’ve seen the toms display in the previous seasons, so my plan was to find a spot with the most turkey sign and wait.  I found a bare spot under a large ponderosa pine and got settled in.  6:30 a.m. I heard several gobbles below me and only one above me.  At 7:10 I heard a helicopter flush from the burnt roost trees above me and then not another sound until 8:30 a.m.   I pulled out my  box call and made a few yelps and immediately a gobble sounded above me on the strutting ground I had discovered the year before about 75 to 100 yards directly uphill.  My thought was I should have been up there this am but the snow was crusty and too deep.  I called again 15 mins later and he immediately cut me off right behind me.  My heartbeat quickened and skipped a beat or two (shouldn’t have had a coke on the drive this a.m.).  Suddenly a hen started to loudly alarm Putt Putt Putt.  My gut reaction signal to the cranium was Hell she’s behind me and I’m hidden behind this freaking large ponderosa how the heck can she see me and I haven’t moved!  I thought it’s now or never and spun around the tree on my knees to see the gobbler in full strut 25 to 30 yards directly above me.  I shoulder the NID and pulled the back trigger like an instinctive quail shot.  The tom tumbled down the hill as I hooted and holler!   What a mountain trophy bird!  This tom I passed on twice last season because I’d been chasing a huge tom that repeatedly made an ass out me.  Andy calls me the World’s Luckiest Turkey Hunter…I’ll gladly take that!  

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ron Coiro says:

    Very nice!!!!

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