It is turkey season so sharpen your shooting skills at your local shooting range today!

Colorado has a diverse bird population, and when it comes to turkeys there are two subspecies — Merriam’s or the “mountain turkey” and the Rio Grande turkey that roams primarily in eastern Colorado. 

If you are just as excited about turkey season as we are, sharpen up your turkey hunting skills at Liberty Firearms Insitute. Our shooting facility offers a wide variety of hunter safety courses and specialized concealed carry classes for women. Join us in today’s post as we navigate the best turkey hunting tactics in Colorado!

More About the Subspecies of Turkey

The Rio Grande turkey mostly resides in eastern Colorado and prefers cottonwood trees to pine on fertile land between a river or stream (riparian areas). These turkeys are slightly larger with different colorings than Merriam, so they are easier to locate and hunt. 

The Rio Grande turkey stays nearby, but once it is gone they’re gone and you will have to scout out their new location.

The Merriam turkey roams the pine forests and in elevation ranges between 3,500 to 10,000 feet — you may even see some Merriam’s wandering about your Northern Colorado neighborhood or open space area. Though they are similarly sized to the Rio Grande turkey, their colors are different, highlighting black, blue, purple, and bronze colorings.

Merriam’s are known for being nomads as they move all around, so scouting will play an integral part. These turkeys will move uphill and you can find them nestled in right below snow line.

2018 Colorado Turkey Hunting Forecast

There is promising news for the 2018 turkey hunting season, rangers report healthy populations of both turkeys with great access to public land to begin your hunt. Turkeys are Colorado’s most abundant game birds and much conservation work is focused on them!

Tips for Hunting Merriam’s

Colorado boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes, and Merriam turkeys happen live amongst them. Below are tips and techniques for bagging your Colorado turkey to enjoy for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Identify their habitat.

Merriam’s love the pine trees and meander through open meadows, making the open canopies an advantage for hunters. When in search for the perfect Merriam territory, look for areas near ravines or small canyons that are lined with deciduous trees.  

Hunt elk? Consider those tactics.

Anywhere people hunt elk are good places to find turkeys. When people have hunted elk in the past, they can relate to the turkey hunting tactics including the tracking in similar regions. Mountain turkeys also are similar in their defensive and breeding behaviors, which is helpful for those who have hunted elk previously, and vice versa.

Get your call down.

As with any hunting call, it can make or break what you take home. Wild Colorado turkeys can make up to 28 different sounds, that are categorized into friction and air calls. Whether you have an automated turkey call or you are blowing through a reed, make sure it is up-to-par and then begin calling within 100 yards.

There is more information about tips on hunting Rio Grande turkeys, so stay tuned for it in part two!

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