How picky are you with your birds?

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How picky are you with your birds?

You shoot the first bird that comes in (jakes and toms)
6
24%
As long as they are toms you'll shoot them
16
64%
You wait for the big boys and that's it
3
12%
 
Total votes : 25

How picky are you with your birds?

Postby fowlhunter » Sun May 03, 2009 6:12 pm

I'm asking this just out of curiousity. I've only been hunting turkeys for about 4 or 5 years not, and I'm becoming more and more picky each year. The first year I didn't get one the second shot a nice tom and a jake. From there on out I've been beard hunting. Another thing is how do you tell age with out seeing the spurs? I mainly hunt alfalfa fields so I can't see the spurs.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby A-Bomb » Sun May 03, 2009 8:03 pm

Im not particular, if its a long beard, i bust em!

EDIT: To clarify, i let the jakes walk 99% of the time...I only shoot long beards, full fans etc etc, unless its down to the last day and i havent gotten a bird yet, then ill take a jake if the opportunity presents itself. In all honesty, where i hunt i have great opporutnity and there are LOTS of Toms with 8-10"+ beards. Needless to say, i havent shot a jake in quite a long time, but i dont look down upon someone if they do. Im just happy people get out and enjoy the sport and if they get a jake or tom with a 12" beard im tickled to death for them....Thats what its all about. :thumbsup:
Last edited by A-Bomb on Mon May 04, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby woodduck31 » Sun May 03, 2009 8:14 pm

I'm originally from Emporia, Kansas and when hunting Kansas I always hold out for a big bird since their are lots of opportunities. I'm not sure how good the hunting is out west at Russell, but I would suspect you have good numbers there as well. Here in Idaho where there are fewer birds and a lot more pressure I would shoot a jake in a heart beat.

There aren't any real great ways to tell and adult at a distance other than if they are strutting or you can see the beard. I have hunted alfalfa down there and wheat that was too tall to see beards clearly. A nice round fan is a good tip off of an adult bird where the jakes have those two side sections of their tail being shorter than the center section. You certainly can't tell from the gobble, I've been fooled several times by a bird I thought was an adult gobbler and it turned out to be an early hatch jake with a 6 inch beard, we didn't get him to strut, so no way to tell. The beard is your best bet if you can see it and the tail is a tip off if the bird will go into strut. I've never identified a tom by looking at spurs.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby fowlhunter » Mon May 04, 2009 7:59 am

I can tell the dif between jakes and toms, but unless there is more than one tom I can't tell.

I do have alot of opportunities, but I'm also friends with alot of farmers who don't hunt. Public birds are getting tougher everyday. They get hunted pretty steady.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby meatwagon8 » Mon May 04, 2009 9:27 am

If they will gobble, have a full fan, and come to the call they are goin down. There is no way to tell the age of the bird untill he is on the ground (unless its a jake). A bird with 3/4 inch spurs dies and tastes just the same as a bird with 1 1/2 spurs.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby woodduck31 » Mon May 04, 2009 11:27 am

If you have multiple adult toms I always pick out the strutter in only one of them is strutting, that tends to be the dominant bird, but doesn't always mean the biggest one. I also look for a half circle tail, a lot of the 2 year olds will still peak in the top dead center where an older bird will be round. Of course that only works if they will go in strut.

I don't think many people realize just how hard it is to find public ground to hunt on in Kansas, I think it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 4% public ground there, so you either have to put up with the crowd and pressured birds or find some private ground. Idaho is 75% public, but turkeys tend to be in certain areas that get all kinds of pressure from guys who think they can chase them down on their 4 wheelers.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby fowlhunter » Mon May 04, 2009 12:35 pm

I'm glad to see there are idiots in all parts of the world. I like the ones who think they can rush turkeys on foot and catch them, and then wonder why the birds leave that area.

Dont get me wrong I like to shoot big birds, but I'm not a trophy hunter. I was just wondering if you could tell the age that way if 2 or more toms come in I could get the old one. I'ld rather let the young ones get older.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby GroundSwatter » Mon May 04, 2009 1:40 pm

Personally, I want to shoot a big bird, but right now we're down to less than a week in the season and I haven't gotten one in, so anything thats a Male Turkey that comes in will die. Almost had one this morning before work, but he just wouldn't take the next step to get past some brush.

Oh well, I'll go out again tomorrow and try it again. Jake or Tom, I'll put them on the ground.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby REDGUN » Mon May 04, 2009 3:42 pm

Depends on where I am hunting.

If there are lots of birds, I will wait for a mature longbeard. If the birds are few and far between, the first legal bird is usually in trouble.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby Super Dave 32 » Mon May 04, 2009 5:32 pm

We get 3 in OKlahoma so not terribly picky with the first bird of the year. Once that monkey is off your back, then the hunt for a bigger bird is on. It makes it easier to pass when you've already put one in the fridge. My first one this year was a jake with a 4" beard and buds for spurs. Two or three of his brothers came by the next day, walked around the decoys and lived to grow until next year. The next week, a couple of nice birds (8 3/4" beard and 9" beard) walked through and paid the ultimate price for their curiosity. I love turkey hunting and sad that it's over!
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby Pete-pec » Sun May 10, 2009 4:53 pm

A-Bomb wrote:Im not particular, if its a long beard, i bust em!

EDIT: To clarify, i let the jakes walk 99% of the time...I only shoot long beards, full fans etc etc, unless its down to the last day and i havent gotten a bird yet, then ill take a jake if the opportunity presents itself. In all honesty, where i hunt i have great opporutnity and there are LOTS of Toms with 8-10"+ beards. Needless to say, i havent shot a jake in quite a long time, but i dont look down upon someone if they do. Im just happy people get out and enjoy the sport and if they get a jake or tom with a 12" beard im tickled to death for them....Thats what its all about. :thumbsup:


What he said! I don't shoot jakes, but I have. If I ever needed another jake fan for my decoys, I'd take another. In the fall, we are able to harvest any bird. Plumage sucks no matter what age or sex of bird you harvest, so it's only about the meat. So I'd personally rather NOT shoot a tom at this point. I'd rather him develop his pretty feathers for the Spring hunt. I have shot a hen, but I will never do it again, unless it was bearded, which is legal here, and I'd either mount it for my basement or for a decoy. She was a mature bird, but she had very little meat on her, so I felt sort of like a murderer, just on the premise of waste of meat, and her plumage was so poor, I couldn't even manage to make a crappy decoy out of her. This is however, when I will shoot a jake. Again, as long as it's legal, I am not to judge someone else's idea of what's a shooter or not. I've seen people shoot jakes that were as elated as someone who shot a 27 pounder with all the gear. I shoot for a full fan (if displaying) or a beard (when not displaying). All the other stuff like beards, weight, and spurs is all extra, and all of that measuring starts when the bird is done flopping. I can't believe anyone would wait to shoot a bird that had big spurs instead of a 3/4 inch two-year-old? But hey, if you have good optics, and want to make spur soup, to each his own! :beer:

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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby slothman » Tue May 12, 2009 7:37 pm

If it is legal, then I will shoot it. I won't pass up an opportunity to eat wild turkey. I might not get another chance. :biggrin:
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby Silverwidgeon » Wed May 13, 2009 1:00 am

I stand with slothman.
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Re: How picky are you with your birds?

Postby Jarbo03 » Thu May 14, 2009 8:41 pm

If the limit was more than two birds here in Kansas, i would be more likely to shoot any legal bird. Jakes and small toms tend to come in quite often, if i shot them it would cut down on my time in the woods.
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