It was an easy decision. I'll never shoot at any animal I can't positively identify. Yes, it was a legal male turkey. But to shoot a turkey in the hope that it was a gobbler was foolish. I let the birds walk away and never got a solid look at the trailing bird.
An hour later, I heard a jake yelp behind me after I'd called. Then I heard drumming on the ridge directly above me. I somehow managed to get turned around but never caught a glimpse of the bird.
"I'll bet that was the gobbler," I thought. "I might have missed my chance."
Perhaps. But considering the circumstances, I'd make the same decision today. Any turkey -- gobbler or jake -- deserves that from me.