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.
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!