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Early or Late season merriams

Old 01-08-2002, 08:50 PM
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Default Early or Late season merriams

If you had only 1 week to hunt merriams in South Dakota what week would it be and why? Would it be early or late season? I am interested in going to SD this year but not sure which part of the season to choose? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. TURK4RF
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Old 01-08-2002, 11:07 PM
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Old 01-09-2002, 06:00 AM
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Default RE: Early or Late season merriams

The thing you have to think of is the weather. If you plan on driving into the hills and hunting , then I would plan on the last week of April,first week in May. The Hills can still get snowstorms at this time, and if they get one when your there, you may not be going to far. I have hunted birds twice in the Hill City area and both times seen Snow , the last time I went they had a good storm that closed all the roads,you could only drive up to someones lane like the last house on the road ,there where tree's down across most roads. It made the hunting a little tougher. I would not worry about the birds later in the season there still around...BT
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Old 01-09-2002, 08:05 AM
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Old 01-09-2002, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: Early or Late season merriams

I'd go with end of April first part of May. We've been lucky as we missed big snow storms the past two springs by less than a week. Would have have to be out there when that Blizzard dropping 30" of snow and snapping off trees two springs ago. I think Bosstom was out there then. Quite an adventure!

Last spring we were there again the last week in April. We were in my opinion at least a week too early. All the hens had lost here nests in the snow storm(only 20" this time)and every tom was henned up major league.

I'll be there the last week in April again as that is what works out for my schedule.

Best of Luck!
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Old 01-09-2002, 08:01 PM
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Default RE: Early or Late season merriams

Merriams sound alike like easterns in Pa. Extremely henned up early on but call shy by late season. Thanks for the advice. It sounds like the weather is the biggest concern. Thanks again. TURK4RF
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Old 01-10-2002, 04:26 AM
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Default RE: Early or Late season merriams

I was there for the 20 incher last year that Borch was talking about. Had to wait 2 days to just get into the hills. Snow left fast and we still had some good hunting, but I think the first week would have been better last spring. It's all in the weather and that's just a guess.
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Old 01-10-2002, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Early or Late season merriams

I've mainly hunted the prairies for Merriams,and in the early part of the season they are still very much flocked up!Unless you can call a suborniate bird out of the flock,you will have to watch which way the flock is moving and try to position your self in front of them.Later in the season,after the hens have started to nest,you may have a little better luck calling in a bird.Early in the season you will probably her and see more birds,but later in the season if you can strike a bird,he mightnwork better.It's kind of a trade off.Hunting pressure is generally lighter later in the season also.
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