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

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

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?
No hunt is all skill. If not for a little luck, no one would hunt.

#3229304 - 04/23/13 10:11 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: jlmustain]
8 Point

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

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.

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

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

Let many many birds walk... Try to shoot longbeards only
Bowhunting is life, plain and simple

Genesis 27:3

#3229322 - 04/23/13 10:31 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: PinchPoint]
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point

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

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.

John 3:16

#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

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.

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

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

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.
No hunt is all skill. If not for a little luck, no one would hunt.

#3229359 - 04/23/13 11:24 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: jlmustain]
10 Point

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

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.

#3229387 - 04/23/13 11:58 AM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: deerhunter10]
16 Point

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

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

#3229389 - 04/23/13 12:02 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: catman529]
RUGER Administrator
Bambi Killa

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

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

Congrats on a great hunt though.
Youth is wasted on the young.

#3229512 - 04/23/13 03:07 PM Re: Feel Like a Real Turkey Hunter [Re: RUGER]

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

Work to live, Live to hunt

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