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Turkey hunters help identify....

Super Black

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Hi everyone, Had a blast hunting turkeys this year and so did the clients. I'm having a problem though identifying one of the birds. I know the primary turkey in western South Dakota is the Merriam, my question is, is there also Rio's on the west side of the river? The bird in question is the bird on the right. Seems to me it resembles more of a Rio than a Merriam.. Thanks for helping, SB



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Maybe an Eastern / Merriams hybrid. My buddy has shot a few of those in Nebraska and they look just like described... half way between a Merriams and Eastern. Kinda 'carmel' color for the tail bands and 18-20 lb. average weight...

Bowdle eh? We do a lot of hunting up around Eureka... we went through Bowdle years ago... almost stayed at the old hospital bed and breakfast... Nice country out there... didn't know there was much for turkeys... See a ton of beautiful bucks and countless roosters and some sly 'yotes... but never a turkey...

Good Luck!


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Out here we have merriams, rios and easterns that overlap. If you've looked at my earlier posts, you can see the hybridized merriams/eastern "mutt". My understanding is the darker eastern genetics are in fact dominant.

Your bird in question may have some roots from an earlier transplant where the subspecies did overlap.


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I have a picture of a Rio in the contest submission forum. The back and breast feathers of Rio's has like a copper tint to them. That is my third Rio I have taken and they all seem to have the same colors on those feathers. They look completely different than Eastern and Merriams back and breast feathers.

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