hen, jake or Tom?

Discuss turkey hunting's "second season" here
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maineute
 
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hen, jake or Tom?

Postby maineute » September 15th, 2011, 6:00 am

In the fall in Maine we are allowed to take a male or female bird, in the spring a bearded bird only. I have only ever shot a male bird in the fall. I am trying to decide if I should take a female bird this fall and I would like some other hunter input. I have trail cameras on a field that I have permission to hunt. I currently have a large group of Hens mixed with 3/4 grown birds, about 15-20 birds and a group of 6 toms and jakes that come to the field on a regular basis. I am guessing that several of the younger birds are males but am having trouble identifying the sex. My point is that in the years past we have had 8-10 birds total in the area and now we are in the 25 bird range. I think I need to thin them out a little, if nothing else to keep the other hunters from getting interested. I honestly think there may only be one other hunter hunting them.
I haven't burned a tag in 3 years now, and I have been very careful to shoot males. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Uncle Nicky2
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby Uncle Nicky2 » September 15th, 2011, 7:29 am

My opinion is that you can NEVER have too many turkeys in an area. :D

It's a lot harder to kill a gobbler in the fall. If you're looking for a challenge, I'd try & kill a gobbler. If you're pressed for time or want better eating, I'd shoot a hen or a jake.
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dewey
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby dewey » September 15th, 2011, 10:04 am

Uncle Nicky2 wrote:My opinion is that you can NEVER have too many turkeys in an area. :D

It's a lot harder to kill a gobbler in the fall. If you're looking for a challenge, I'd try & kill a gobbler. If you're pressed for time or want better eating, I'd shoot a hen or a jake.


I second the comments from Uncle Nicky2! Check out the fall turkey hunting strategies for tips on fall hunting, here is a link to the thread.

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=5330

Dewey
Last edited by dewey on September 15th, 2011, 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." --Mahatma Gandhi

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

       

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maineute
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby maineute » September 15th, 2011, 10:24 am

I agree, you can never have too many turkeys, I have only ever shot jakes and toms in the fall, but my question is coming from a management perspective. maybe I shouldn't worry about management?

charlie elk
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby charlie elk » September 15th, 2011, 12:49 pm

Shoot whatever your heart desires. From a management perspective it is better to shoot poults at least half of them die before spring and they are least equipped to survive a bad winter. There can be too many turkeys in a given area, here in central WI we had the highest turkey population ever seen going into winter. Winter featured deep snow requiring turkeys to feed on buds, seeds above the snow line and insect larvae in the bark of trees. The flocks were huge and when they came into an area they stripped all the feed within a few days. Come March I found what looked to be whole flocks of dead turkey remains. Mother nature thinned them out and my spring turkey sightings were down. This fall we have lots of poults, the hatch was good.
Also I have read that dense populations of turkeys are very susceptible to host of poultry diseases.
I am going to respectfully disagree that a gobbler is any harder to kill in the fall than in the spring. Using the right strategies I have found gobblers a bit easier to kill in the fall than hens protecting broods. The proof is in my icon; those 3 turkeys are fall gobblers. One sported 2 ten inch beards and the others had 11 inches of beard each.
Besides does anyone else ever find themselves wishing for slightly fewer hens in the spring when those toms get "henned-up"?
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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Turkeybuster
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby Turkeybuster » September 15th, 2011, 9:15 pm

I agree with Charlie forget the management part and shoot whatever you choose.
Winter is a killer if the weather is severe and prolonged in the North East.

Jon
Turkeybuster

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kygobbler
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby kygobbler » September 16th, 2011, 12:58 am

I agree, take whichever sex feels right to you, its just a matter of personal choice. Down here we are allowed to kill 4 birds in the fall but only one tom with a beard of 3" or more. These 4 birds can all be killed in the archery season but you are only allowed to take 2 birds during shotgun season. So hopefully this fall I will get either 4 hens or 3 hens and a gobbler. Good luck to you.
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grizzly
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby grizzly » September 16th, 2011, 5:17 pm

here where i live you can take two birds hen or tom with gun or bow i prefer a nice tom but i won't pass on a big hen if i get the chance ... wayne

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rsmithpa
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby rsmithpa » September 17th, 2011, 4:11 pm

Go with what feels right for you and do not second guess your decision. Fall season is fun and the flocks are vocal. The challenge is in a mature gobbler but if all is legal, its all fair game. Enjoy and good luck this fall!
Full Fans, Longbeards, and Sharp Spurs

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turkey junky
 
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Re: hen, jake or Tom?

Postby turkey junky » September 20th, 2011, 10:33 pm

ive caught heck 4 this b4 but what the heck im with your past prefernce of takeing gobblers or jakes only dureing the fall season maineute so was ed jackson in the fall issue so u should be proud of only take n males dureing the fall most guys will just blast the 1st bird that comes in it dosent hurt 2 hunt only gobblers/jakes... yes when i was younger i had the same feeling of charlie elk & i wanted 2 shoot/kill hens for takeing my gobbler away from me in the spring but im happy that i never killed a jennie/hen & i most likely never ever will harvest a hen wild turkey at least not in the fall in some states its legal 2 harvest hens in the spring its goofy but legal in some states i dont know how i feel about that? but if its legal i think id rather shoot the jennie b4 she had her poults then after she had them in the fall...??? SHOOT GOBBLERS & JAKES SAVE THE JENNIES it wont hurt u i promise...

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