Merriam’s Turkey and the Quest for the “Grand Slam.”

By Sandy Hamaker, “Down Home” Ranch Guest House

Grand Slam

Merriam’s Turkey were reintroduced in the Pine Ridge of Northwest Nebraska in 1959. At the time, just 28 Merriam’s were released, and their numbers increased quickly and steadily. 

The Merriam’s are known for their unique white-tipped tail feathers. In Nebraska, a non-resident quota of 10,000 permits was sold out by January 25, 2024. Nebraska turkey hunting season is from the middle of April to the end of May.

The Grand Slam is a prestigious achievement recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation. A hunter must harvest and register the four most common subspecies of wild turkey in North America to accomplish the Grand Slam. Turkey hunters from all over the US travel to the Crawford area to harvest a Merriam’s Turkey!

The other 3 turkey species a hunter must harvest are the following:

  • Eastern Turkey – which inhabit the eastern and northeastern US.
  • Rio Grande Turkey – which are native to the central and western regions of the US, including Texas.
  • Osceola Turkey – also known as the Florida turkey because it is found exclusively in Florida.
  • After completing and registering for the Grand Slam, the hunter receives a pin and certificate from the National Wild Turkey Federation.

There are several Wild Turkey Slams to try to achieve beyond the Grand Slams:

  • Royal Slam – the Grand Slam plus the Gould’s (found in Mexico and limited areas in the Southwest)
  • World Slam – Royal Slam plus the Ocellated wild turkey (found in Mexico and Central America)
  • Canadian Slam – harvest the Eastern and Merriam’s in any Canadian Province
  • Mexican Slam – Rio Grande, Gould’s & Ocellated wild turkey harvested in Mexico Only
  • U.S. Super Slam – harvest one wild turkey subspecies in every state except Alaska

Happy Wild Turkey Hunting!!

It has been a successful season for these Down Home visitors.

You may also like…

Making The Dream a Reality

Making The Dream a Reality

This amazing place that houses up to 32 people in bunks plus RV sites, and showcases an authentic 1880’s village.

Moon of the Pink

Moon of the Pink

This month’s full moon is April 23 and called the Pink Moon or Moon of the Pink.

Ash Creek Ranch

Ash Creek Ranch

Sandhill Cranes have taken to the air, heading north, on the great migration to Canada.


Submit a Comment

Verified by MonsterInsights