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#3229300 - 04/23/13 10:01 AM Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter
jlmustain
6 Point


Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 786
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Called a silent one in yesterday afternoon. Once he got close, though, I saw he was a bit young, so I let him walk. 4-5" beard, smooth, rounded spurs, maybe 15 lb. It's the first one I've let walk, so even though I didn't take him, I still felt pretty good for showing a little judgment in the field in my first year hunting long-beards.

Have y'all ever let one go? What's your criteria?
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#3229304 - 04/23/13 10:11 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: jlmustain]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1326
Loc: south TN

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As of this point of my life, I currently shoot longbeards, or mature birds only. I remember when I would shoot anything that was legal. Then one day I went hunting, set down to some gobbling birds, and when they pitched out of the tree it was two jakes with several hens. That was the first time I passed on a legal bird, and it made me feel pretty good to finally do it.

I once let a longbeard go. It was on my personal property, only 68 acres. I knew my little brother wanted to kill it. He couldn't go opening morning, but I went and called up the gobbler and let him go. I knew I should have shot him, because 68 acres isnt much and he coulda went to the neighbors and been dead easily. But he didn't and my brother got lucky enough to shoot him the next morning. I felt food about that one.

I have no issue with anyone who wants to shoot a jake, as long as it makes them happy and they aren't killing just for the sake of killing.

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#3229313 - 04/23/13 10:21 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: woodsman87]
PinchPoint
8 Point


Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 1928
Loc: Knoxville Tn

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Let many many birds walk... Try to shoot longbeards only
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#3229322 - 04/23/13 10:31 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: PinchPoint]
REN
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Wilson County, TN

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yup let a bunch walk this year already. Some you have to save for a good population the next year. Personally i think the KILLING part get to much play, if you go enough you eventually see the "game" and the "show" are the true enjoyment in it all. Dont get me wrong i love shooting them in the face but these days I just am thankful the good lord has allowed me the time and health to get out as much as i do.
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#3229323 - 04/23/13 10:33 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: jlmustain]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1332
Loc: Hardeman

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Hopefully your topic doesn't turn into a jakes or no jakes discussion but I for one, choose not to kill them. My reason is simple: I just love hearing them strut, drum, and gobble too much to shoot them as youngsters. To me, it's far less about toting a bird out of the woods and more about the whole experience that IS turkey hunting.

If they didn't gobble, spit, and strut I wouldn't be be nearly as crazy about chasing them. I happily pass on jakes with a focus on future springs in the turkey woods. As an aside, I've seen more jakes this year than I ever have. Calling them in and letting them pass has become pretty rewarding in and of itself.

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#3229339 - 04/23/13 10:46 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: Boll Weevil]
jlmustain
6 Point


Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 786
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Yeah, let's just ignore the jakes vs. no jakes comments to keep it on topic.

I was proud to have called him in. I had a 20 yard shot, but I chose to watch him and analyze a bit. He'll be a good-looking man one day.

I guess I'd say my criteria (so far) is 1. Estimated beard length of 8"+, 2. Pointy spurs (hard to see, sometimes), 3. Whether or not I have a bird on the ground already (ha!). If I hadn't gotten a couple this year, I'd have hit him.
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#3229359 - 04/23/13 11:24 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: jlmustain]
deerhunter10
10 Point


Registered: 08/21/12
Posts: 3542
Loc: maury county tn

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I let lots of birds walk. I only shoot long beards. But that's just me shooting small birds out even small deer just doesn't float my boat. But I try to to knock anyone who does. Although being your first year that's pretty impressive not to many people pass up a shot when they have it when they are new at the sport.
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#3229387 - 04/23/13 11:58 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: deerhunter10]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17592
Loc: Franklin TN

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I passed jakes this year. But I'm a little less picky during the fall season. Try not to shoot poults but sometimes there is no reference for size and its hard to tell. They have more tender meat though \:D
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#3229389 - 04/23/13 12:02 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: catman529]
RUGER Administrator
Bambi Killa
Non-Typical


Registered: 11/19/99
Posts: 4106600
Loc: TN

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I have let them walk before.
I have killed them before.
Day / mood dependant for me.

Congrats on a great hunt though.
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#3229512 - 04/23/13 03:07 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: RUGER]
easy45
Non-Typical


Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 30563
Loc: Chester County

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congrats
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#3229522 - 04/23/13 03:14 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: easy45]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16954
Loc: Allardt, TN

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I would like to just take 3 year old birds or older but its just to hard to see spurs in the woods or grass with any height at all so I shoot if its a longbeard. Last year I let one longbeard walk that was staying in one area alot so my wife could get it, she killed it and it had 1.5" spurs LOL I couldnt tell that when it came by me at 30 yards a couple of days prior. Improved habitat, Laying off of jakes, and making sure to leave several longbeards for seed is what got my property to actually having turkeys.
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#3229584 - 04/23/13 04:37 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: smstone22]
Gravey
16 Point


Registered: 07/20/05
Posts: 19786
Loc: Rutherford / Wilson County Lin...

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I went this morning and could only hunt til 7ish. Had 3 hens pitch down in front of me and had a bird gobble to me imitating a flydown with nothing but a wing. Thought it sound jakey so I waited and nothing. After the 3 hens fed off I got up and eased through the woods until I could see him. There were actually 3 jakes all fanned out with at least 5 hens. I could have gotten closer than 75 yards but when I saw they were jakes I backed out. In my earlier days I'd shoot them and not think twice. If I see one on public land he may not get a pass. If my son who is 10 wants to kill one I'll tell him to hammer down. Just seeing them was good enough for me as I haven't seen that many birds all year. Hopefully they're coming back to this particular property and the big boy will show. Seen him once.
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#3229758 - 04/23/13 07:55 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: easy45]
Onelow69c10
4 Point


Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 180
Loc: Nashville

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My first bird was a Jake 5in beard probably would have been a nice bird if he had lived after that it has been only longbeards. I don't have any problem with anyone killing whatever they want to though just my personal preference. I actually passed on a bird last week just because it may or may not have been a Jake. I had a Jake and a tom gobbling and where it came up all I could see was his head his whole body was covered up. I kinda regret not taking the shot but would have been dissapointed if it had been the Jake.
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#3229794 - 04/23/13 08:14 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: PinchPoint]
redblood
16 Point


Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 15381
Loc: Lewisburg

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 Originally Posted By: PinchPoint
Let many many birds walk... Try to shoot longbeards only



only longbeards for me. full fan and i shoot them in the neck
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#3229811 - 04/23/13 08:23 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: RUGER]
PalsPal
8 Point


Registered: 10/01/12
Posts: 1630
Loc: TN

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 Originally Posted By: RUGER
I have let them walk before.
I have killed them before.
Day / mood dependant for me.

Congrats on a great hunt though.


Wisdom speaketh again \:\) !

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#3229827 - 04/23/13 08:36 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: RUGER]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 8269
Loc: Grundy county

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 Originally Posted By: RUGER
I have let them walk before.
I have killed them before.
Day / mood dependant for me.

Congrats on a great hunt though.
x2!
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