ANIMAL INSTICT: Natchez natvie complete turkey hunting grand slam on trip to Colorado

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 24, 2016

NATCHEZ — Daniel Cavin wants to kill a turkey in as many states as possible.

He expanded his list of states to double digits when he shot his first Merriam turkey on a hunting trip to Colorado on April 10, completing a grand slam.

A turkey hunter completes a grand slam when he or she harvests at least one of the four subspecies of turkeys — the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande and Meriam subspecies.

Email newsletter signup

Cavin said his schedule made it impossible for him to complete the grand slam in a year, but that is next on his list of hunting goals.

“My goal is to complete the grand slam and kill a bird in 20 different states,“ Cavin said. “Now, it doesn’t mean a lot because a lot of people have done it, but when I was a kid, it was just the kids on TV that had done the grad slam.”

Cavin said he travels out of state to hunt with friends every year. Cavin said he had tripped to Colorado last year, but came up empty. This year, Cavin said he tagged a bird within two hours of arriving at his cabin.

“As far as turkeys go, Colorado isn’t highly populated,” Cavin said. “You have to work to find them … I was just fortunate this year the birds were where we’d hoped they would be.”

Cavin said the cabin was approximately 7,500 feet above sea level, and he and his friends would hike as high as 9,000 feet to set up camp and hunt.

Cavin said it didn’t take a hike for him to cash in on his trip. There were birds around the cabin when he had arrived, and he tagged out on the first day.

“Colorado is different,” Cavin said. “You don’t hear about it. There is a population of about 30,000, and the birds are very scattered.”

Cavin said if you asked the average hunter where they want to go to kill their first Merriam turkey, it is likely not Colorado. Cavin said he mostly hunts on public land, and the cabin he stayed in is owned by an old acquaintance.

Cavin is no stranger to long-distance hunting trips, and he said the best advice he could give to someone planning a trip out of state is to know someone who could tip them off to land that is less crowded with hunters.

“If you know somebody or you can find private land, it makes it easier,” Cavin said. “We try not to spend any more money than we have to, so we’re going to find public land to hunt. We start on public land, and if we find someone with private land who we may have to pay a little bit, then we’ll do that.”