I have been monitoring a flock of Merriams in Lassen County for a month and anxiously waiting for the opener. The gobblers have been grouped up as have the hens in their winter flocks. Usually these flocks don't break up until mid-April. Yesterday I hiked in to their roost trees and they were not there. I climbed up on a ridge to listen and never heard a cluck or gobble. Today I went back and still no birds. They are in an area with about 2 foot of snow left on it, so my movements are pretty limited. I can hear forever from my listening ridge, so they must have made a substantial move. I have been looking for signs that someone else found them, but I think they just decided to try a new county... THIS SUCKS!! A week to go and suddenly my primary spot seems to have gone down the toilet. I can devote a few hours on Saturday to snowshoeing to try to find them, but then PANIC mode sets in.