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Did I make the right call?

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Did I make the right call?

Old 05-14-2013, 07:48 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Colorado Springs
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Default Did I make the right call?

This past weekend, my buddy and I went out chasing longbeards. He got his the weekend before and it was time to get mine.
We got up on a ridge early in the morning and as soon as I got set, we started to call and 2 Jakes wandered in...followed by 2 more Jakes. None of them had beards. They all looked pretty young to me, but they had red heads and gobbled. (BTW, I had never seen 4 Jakes gobble simultaneously until then. They are LOUD!) They were about 15 yards away and I could clearly see that they didn't have beards.
I know that they probably had nubs under the feathers, but I just didn't feel comfortable pulling the trigger on the youngsters.
The rest of the day we saw 4 hens and that was it. That is probably the last chance I will have to go this season, and I didn't fill my tag.

It has been tearing me up that I had such an easy shot, but chose not to hurt next years hunt. Many of the more experienced hunters I have talked to said "smoke-em", but when you have about 45 seconds to make an ethical decision, it is more difficult than most people think.

So, what is the opinion of the people on here? Would you have taken one of the Jakes or let them walk, like I did?
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:22 PM
  #2  
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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I passed up a really nice looking jake about halfway through the season and don't know how many times ill get a chance to go back out and I'm wondering the same thing haha. My buddy who was filming said he would have shot it, which spurred a good discussion on whether it would have been worth it or not. He says a male turkey is a male turkey to him but I would rather wait on a tom.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:22 PM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
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Location: Maine
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I have shot 4 turkeys, 3 of them being Jakes. Alot of people go tom's only, and alot of times so do I. But when there's a Jake in front of me I just can't stand letting it walk.
But I'm not sure if I would of shot one of those Jakes ether. I like to see a beard before I shoot.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:04 PM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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I would have snuffed a jake. But I have yet to harvest.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:44 AM
  #5  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
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Shooting a jake is like shooting a spike buck. It gets you in the "W" column and is good eating, just not a trophy. I've done it both ways. It's your tag, your call.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:22 AM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Missouri
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My favorite birds to hunt are 2 year old toms they gobble strut and do all the right things. As for jakes my personal criteria has always been if they do it my way they go home with me. Meaning if they gobble strut and respond to my calls then I will almost always shoot one. If they come in silent or just walk by I will ussually let a jake walk.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:51 AM
  #7  
Giant Nontypical
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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In NC the Regulations say bearded birds only, if they didn't have a beard then no I wouldn't shoot...

I've hunted turkeys since the 70s and have never killed a jake, never saw the need to...
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:18 AM
  #8  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by nchawkeye View Post
In NC the Regulations say bearded birds only, if they didn't have a beard then no I wouldn't shoot...

I've hunted turkeys since the 70s and have never killed a jake, never saw the need to...
They had beards I promise! If they have a red head they have a beard. I understand someone making a personal decision not to shoot a jake but turkeys once they get to be 2 years old are all pretty much the same bird I hunted several states this season and shot a jake as well as a bird that was 25lbs with a rope of a beard but my favorite hunt was about an 18 lb 2 year old that gobbled 100 times for an hour before I was finally able to circle around for the 3rd time and get in a place he would commit to coming in.

I have met guys who pass on birds that are not big enough and that is fine if it makes them happy. That is why we are all out there to do it the way we want. Personally if its 18 or 22 lbs that doesn't change my enjoyment at all and I have shot many 3+ year old birds.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:34 AM
  #9  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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in my state you have to be able to see a beard before you shoot. It was your call and no one can second guess it after the fact. I know that not getting a bird doesn't make one feel any better, but you have to go with your gut. I commend you on not shooting that jake.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:30 AM
  #10  
Boone & Crockett
 
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I told my son the other day if I get a chance on a jake he's done then let 4 walk after calling them into 20 yards this morning. I know there are bigger birds around and thought I might get a chance on one today, had the one I want bad coming in off the roost only to get cut off by a hen.

I've called 8 Jakes in this year and hopefully they will be around next spring.

Son just called me and busted my butt for not whacking any of the four this morning.

I swear next time I'm out if I call in a Jake I'm blasting it. Unless.........
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