Staff: Steve Allie, Nexus Outdoors Director of Marketing
Pick: ScentLok Savanna Aero Crosshair Pant, Aero Raid Hoodie, and BE:1 Trek Base
Hunt: Merriam’s Turkey, Trinidad, Colorado
Date: Early May
Conditions: Clear and sunny, variable temperatures
I traveled to Fred and Michelle Eichler’s ranch in Trinidad, Colorado early last May for my first-ever Merriam’s turkey hunt. It was the middle of the Colorado spring turkey season, and I’d been told to expect minimal gobbling and toms on the prowl later in the morning as their hens tended to their nests.
I knew I may be in for a long sit and would need to be patient, so I opted to hunt from the ground blind. The weather was fair, with chilly 40-degree mornings giving way to sunny, 70-degree afternoons. The significant temperature swing, along with my decision to hunt in a blind heavily impacted my choice of apparel. I opted to wear the lightweight ScentLok Savanna Aero Crosshair Pant and Savanna Aero Raid Hoodie in Mossy Oak Terra Gila over a basic black ScentLok BE:1 Trek Base Merino Wool Shirt and Bottom. It turned out to be the optimal combination; the merino wool base layers and additional Savanna outerwear kept me perfectly comfortable during the chilly morning hours, and once things started to heat up, I was able to shed the Savanna Aero Raid Hoodie and hunt in just the BE:1 Trek Base Merino Wool Shirt, its black color blending perfectly with the dark interior of my hunting blind.
We had called to a couple of toms after the fly down but knew they were with hens, so we opted to simply make sure they knew where we were at and hoped they’d come back to investigate after the hens took to their nests. It was a treat to hunt in this wild and beautiful country. We saw many turkeys from a distance, as well as a few mule deer.
We were making a few soft clucks every 30 minutes or so to reinforce our position with any gobblers that might be in the neighborhood. A nearby tom gobbled back at about 10:30, and I became excited that I may have my chance. It wasn’t long before the gobbler appeared to our left and made a deliberate turn toward our decoys. We had his attention and stopped calling as he continued in our direction. There was no strutting or gobbling, just a steady advance towards our decoys. I was ready. As the gobbler cleared a patch of brush and stuck his head up at 20 yards, my bead was already where it needed to be and I pulled the trigger. My first Merriam’s turkey was on the ground!