I've hunted Eastern and Rio Grande turkeys but not the Merriam, Osceola or Ocellated turkeys. Is one species of turkey harder to hunt than the other, whether it's calling, location of the hunt or time of year the hunt takes place?
I'd say the hardest to get would be the ocellated. They'll cost you a few thousand dollars and a plane ride to Guatemala which makes it pretty tough lol. As far as calling I've heard that merriams respond the best to the call out of all the subspecies although the eastern isn't too bad either if you can get on the birds. I would say the osceola and rio grande would be the two toughest from a calling perspective.
The tough thing about the Merriam's is the fact that they are more nomadic than the other subspecies. You will typically find easterns, rio grandes etc in the same creek bottoms year after year. Merriam's move around a whole lot more. Unless they are being fed which is a problem in a lot of places here. There is nothing more annoying than finding that the birds are holed up on some jerks land because he is feeding them. I have seen anti-hunters do this to keep "their" birds from being harvested and I have also seen guys to this so they can hunt them for themselves. It really gets on my nerves. I had to backpack in for turkeys last year because of this.
The goal of all hunters is a quick, humane kill where the animal drops in it's tracks and is dead within seconds. But in a pursuit that has as many variables as hunting, sometimes things don't quite go according to plan. However, game can be tracked and recovered with the right skills and with patience.
First of all, you need to wait the right amount of time after the shot before tracking a wounded animal. I've heard estimates of waiting 30 minutes for a hit in the vitals and 5-8 hours for a...