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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I have a quick question. I just got my turkey tag and this will be my first hunt (of any species) and I am super excited. For whatever reason, I thought that jakes were legally off-limits, but upon reading the regulations, it looks like it just needs to be a bearded turkey. Is this correct? Is it unethical or frowned upon to shoot a jake? Obviously, I am going to try my darnedest to get a big gobbler, but I was just wondering what everybody's opinion on shooting a younger turkey is. Thanks so much!
 

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Jakes, toms, and hens are legal as long as they have a beard.

Odds are nobody except for you is going to know if you shoot a jake. I have no problems shooting them since they are mighty fine eating.
 

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There is absolutely NO stigma related to shooting a Jake. Unlike many big game hunters, most turkey hunters are not "horn" crazy. We all have shot jakes...and liked it! Good luck and hunt safely.
 

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There is no biological reason not to shoot a jake. Sometimes they can be very challenging to kill and make for a great hunt. Sometimes, particularly if they are ganged up, they come readily to the call and make for a less challenging hunt. And that can be a very good thing, particularly if you're new to the sport and need to get some success under your belt. But no reason not to kill one if you want to.
 

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What is the difference between shooting a Jake, and a Two point Buck? NOTHING! IMO. Its up to the one that will be pulling the trigger. I didn't shoot a Jake this year because I wanted a "Bid Tom" to mount a full strut. I've gotten use to Tag Soup. Not to bad if you have a lot of Pepper. :mrgreen:
 

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After four days of exhausting hunting last year (my first season), I shot a jake. I was tired and my wife was ready to have me home. I was very pleased to bag a nice jake; he was delicious, and i quite obviously lacked the skills to make it a fair fight between me and a nice mature tom. Come to think of it, I think it was the hens that kept outsmarting me. Obviously my preference is to get a more mature bird this year, but I pitty the poor jake that walks in front of my gun at the same time that I'm feeling tired, or sore, or thirsty, or sunburned, or I have a little sliver in my soft hands:).
 

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My first turkey was a jake. We called in a tom who was closing to about 50 yards and a group of 5 jakes ran him off so only 4 of the 5 jakes got out of there alive. IMO, the perfect way to start turkey hunting.

I took a jake last year after hunting a long way from home after the 3rd day. Big beards and long spurs are cool, but turkey hunting for me is about being outdoors in the spring and hearing turkeys gobble and hens yelp in the wee hours in the morning. The only reason I don't shoot the first jake that walks by is I don't want my hunt to end. I will always put the hammer down on a big tom, but when I'm ready to be done due to being out of time or out of money, I take the first legal turkey that walks by.
 

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Dont worry about what other people think man. Im going on my first turkey hunt as well and im telling first turkey with a bread comes in close it getting hos head blown right off. if people have a problem with it. tell them when they buy your tag and pay for you to go then they can tell you what to shoot man. good luck and have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. I got out today and did some scouting. I hiked a good bit and came across what looked like scratching and turkey droppings. so I sat down and just tried a few yelps on my box call. Two gobblers responded right away. It was SO cool. Can't wait to get out there next week. What time does everyone try to be set up by? An hour before sunrise? More? Thanks again.
 

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Unless you're into breaking records--can be your own personal best--take the first legal animal you have the opportunity on... you may not get that opportunity again.

If you can roost the birds, be where they'll fly down by 5 AM and wait it out.
 

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I went on my first turkey hunt on the last day of the LE hunt with a guy I work with, he had the tag. He ended up shooting a jake the last hour of shooting light. I have a general season tag and I would not hesitate to shoot a jake, the first bearded turkey I see will have problems.
 

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Thanks everyone for your input. I got out today and did some scouting. I hiked a good bit and came across what looked like scratching and turkey droppings. so I sat down and just tried a few yelps on my box call. Two gobblers responded right away. It was SO cool. Can't wait to get out there next week. What time does everyone try to be set up by? An hour before sunrise? More? Thanks again.
Sounds like you found them. Get in there before it starts cracking dawn and listen for gobbling in the trees. Then make your approach towards them to get about 100 yards from them if you can do that without being spotted.. Sit down against a tree and make a couple soft calls to them. And then once they fly down call them in and shoot one. If they start moving off in a different direction, swing around in front of them without being seen and tried again.
 
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