Being that she was a new hunter, taking the best shot opportunity, was my answer. That's were the interesting discussion took place. Most of the guys said, you always take the strutter, if possible. Looking at it from the conservation side, that would be the bird you wouldn't want to take. He's the boss gobbler for a good reason, he's the bad azz of the bunch. He has the strongest gene pool to survive, he's able to fight off all the other gobblers and jakes to keep his throne, and service all the hens he can, he's learned the best ways to survive the coldest weather or hottest days, all the preditors, and quite frankly he's the bird with the most intelligents, by being able to do that. If you took that bird out of the system, how much effect would it have on your flock, having a sub-gobbler doing the breeding or jakes? If you have a small area to hunt with only a few birds on it, wouldn't keeping your best seed in the flock make more sense? It's like up here, we have a good population of birds, and quite often we see a group of 3/6 jakes ganged up and running single gobblers off. If you don't bust those jake gangs up, most of your adult birds stay pretty quiet, not much gobbling, because as soon as a gobbler starts to sound off, the jake gang head for them. I've never had a problem taking a jake, if they are grouped up, IMO it helps the flock and preserves a better hunting area? Like I said it brought up some interesting discussion and gives you something to think about? They say there is no fixing stupid, but as hunters we can, you pull the trigger on stupid (a tag along bird) and leave the best of seed to reproduce to help your flock as much as we can? If a single bird comes in, there is no way to tell if he's the boss gobbler or not, or if he's a sub-gobbler that got ran off by the boss? If a group comes in you can tell which bird has the dominance over the other birds.
WI Youth & LTH Mentor
Dodge Co. NWTF