Intrepid Outdoors’ “Challenge of the Hunt” series continues this week with a story about two friends on their first hunt for Merriams Turkey. Intrepid Outdoors Lead Video Editor Wade McMillin shares their tale about a beautiful spring quest on the Solitude Ranch near Devils Tower, Wyoming.
When two friends head out to the Turkey woods, the feat of a double is an extremely difficult task to accomplish.
Everything has to go just right not to spook the ever-so-keen Merriams Gobbler in Northeast Wyoming. The cards fell just right for good pals Brian Moore and Beau Kearns on their 2010 Spring Turkey hunt at the Solitude Ranch, just miles from Devils Tower. Both experienced hunters were on their debut quest for Merriams and both were going to attempt to not only try for a double kill on the same day, but to harvest their birds with a bow and arrow.
They arrived at the Solitude a couple days early to take in the beautiful scenery, scout some birds and even find 40 sheds while cruising the grounds of the enormous ranch. Needless to say, the duo was chomping at the bit to begin their quests. Brian was set to go first as the hunters entered their ground blind about an hour before the crack of dawn. And it didn’t take long for the Merriams to head their way.
With Beau filming the action of the birds on the ground with a trusty camera from Campbell cameras and Intrepid Outdoors producer Bob Lott capturing the reaction from the hunters, Brian was ready to get his entire experience on film from two different angles. He began his morning with an effective call sequence that soon had a Merriams running right in front of their blind within an hour. Brian pulled back his bow, calmed his nerves and thwack. His first Merriams gobbler took an arrow, strutted its last steps and soon expired.
Brian and Beau couldn’t get too excited, though. Beau still needed everything to go right to make this hunt a true double. So the pair waited around, calling in the meantime. Like Brian’s hunt, it didn’t take long for another group of Merriams to approach the hunters after they had called. And like his close friend, Beau put everything together and made a beautiful shot to take his first Merriams gobbler.
Both hunters were surprised at how quickly their rare accomplishment of a spring double had occurred. It was even sweeter because the duo had harvested their birds on the opening day of the Spring Turkey season. Their smiles told the tale of two happy hunters. As they walked to toward their downed birds, they had to take a minute for it all to sink in.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Brian said about the grounds of the Solitude. “(This) is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.”
Brian and Beau admired their birds for a while, gawking at the size of the beards and spurs. Beau’s tummy must’ve started to rumble, though, as he knew their was a long walk ahead of them and he suggested they go “get some lunch.”
Brian’s response was to the contrary, however. He knew their time in Wyoming wasn’t over because in their pockets lie a couple more turkey tags.
“I don’t care if we stay here all day,” Brian said.
They would go back out for another hunt. And you can follow that adventure in next week’s “Challenge of the Hunt” video blog.
Tune in for this weeks episode of Intrepid Outdoors, as Adam is fulfilling a lifelong dream of taking a B&C class bear with bow and arrow. You can watch the show on Monday nights at 6:30 PM ET, Fridays at 3 PM ET and Saturdays at 12 PM ET.