Shooting Jakes???

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunters Forum' started by DrakeDuster01, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. DrakeDuster01

    DrakeDuster01 Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Callahan, FL
    This will be my first season chasing spring gobblers and I have a question. Whenever anyone talks about turkeys all you hear about are the longbeards. Is it considered taboo to shoot jakes or is it just personal preference? I have managed to bag a nice tom during our fall season by luck but was not targeting turkeys. (Right place , right time) I don't expect the spring season to be a cake walk and want to know if it's acceptable to harvest a jake if I'm fortunate enough to call one in. BTW, in Florida all bearded birds are legal so this a question of ethics not legality. Thanks for the responses in advance.
  2. huntinkid

    huntinkid Elite Refuge Member

    Feb 28, 2003
    Evansville Indiana
    I shot my first turkey last year, which was a jake. I think it is all personal preference. I don't see why anyone would look down upon you just because you shot a jake.
  3. SCTC

    SCTC Elite Refuge Member

    Jan 17, 2005
    SE Washington
    Shooting a jake is fine if that's what you want to do. You'll see a lot of guys who refuse to shoot them (me included) after they have some turkeys under their belt because we prefer the challenge associated with a mature tom. Jakes are considered by many to be an easy quarry, especially early in the season. I've noticed that they smarten up pretty quick over the course of a spring season, though. It's your hunt, do what you want. Don't let anyway give you any grief over shooting a jake. A lot of us started off with jakes as our first turkey. Enjoy the season and who knows what will happen, you could get a big gobbler when you were thinking jake.

    I will be taking my 9 year old son next spring for his first turkey hunt with a gun and he will have the green light if the first bird that comes in is a jake.
  4. olduckhunter

    olduckhunter Elite Refuge Member

    Jul 1, 2001
    they are legal. don't feel bad about shooting them and don't let anyone put you down for shooting a jake. i've seen'em come in full strut and just as wary as a longbeard. their eyesight is just as good and they eat better.

  5. rouser1

    rouser1 Senior Refuge Member

    Jun 26, 2002
    Iowa....juuuuust a bit outside West Des Moines
    I've shot them generally as a last resort to fill a tag. I have yet to take a bird with a bow...if I get a shot at a Jake this year while bowhunting...I am taking it.

    Nothing wrong with taking a jake at all.
  6. duckcommander 101

    duckcommander 101 Elite Refuge Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Metamora Couteau
    If you've never killed a turkey before, shoot a jake if you get a chance, this will get the big zero off your mind and you will have some success to keep you motivated when pursuing a big tom.

    My first was a jake, luckily enough he had two beards.

    Both of my sons first birds were jakes on their first days ever hunting turkeys.

    I am of the school of thought that if the hunt is steadily closing in on its end you take what is offered.

    Here in MI you apply for a hunting area and set dates you can hunt. Some hunts/areas only run 6 days which isn't alot of time to get on a bird if you're hunting a long ways from home and cannot scout alot ahead of time.
  7. flywaycontrol

    flywaycontrol Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 10, 2002
    Ky Lake West,TN
    Shooting a jake is fine to get you first few,but remember this years jakes are next years longbeards.
  8. offroadbaby

    offroadbaby Elite Refuge Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    Lewiston, ID
    I don't know if you've seen Double Bull Outdoors, but I agree w/ their philosophy 100%....if legal and in range, it's in trouble. I'm not a trophy hunter, just an avid outdoorsman. I'll shoot a Jake in a second. I think the hunting community has gotten way too caught up in "size matters" crap. It's about the hunt, challenge and experience; not trophy status. Shoot what makes you happy, don't worry about worry about what some nuckle head with an inferiority complex thinks. To give you an example of what I mean, we have an either sex fall season here and I take the first bird that gives me an ethical, clean shot...yes, even hens. They taste just as good as a tom. Don't get me wrong, I have taken some nice toms, but not because of their size, but because they gave me the shot before another one did.
    Good luck, and enjoy your hunt.:tu
  9. BamaBuckshot

    BamaBuckshot Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 27, 2002
    Northeast Alabama
    Here in Bama, we are allowed to shoot 5 toms. I will take a jake every once in a while. It all depends on where I'm hunting. If I see a group of jakes, you better believe one of them is going down. But if I see one or two, I'll let them live another year.:)
  10. duksnbuks

    duksnbuks Senior Refuge Member

    Jun 27, 2004
    the first turkey i ever shot was a jake and i was as proud of it as any longbeard i have ever taken! i have taken a few jakes since then, it just depends on location, time of the season, if i have killed anything yet or not. i agree to harvest a jake or two for the experience and to get a little confidence, then concentrate on the longbeards. also remember that a jake today will be a longbeard next year. :tu

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