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HateHumminbird

Superjakes

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HateHumminbird

First off, let me say that things are looking up for next year's hunt already! I can honestly say that I've seen more jakes this year while scouting than I have in any year previous. It's a direct sign that last year's hatch was a successful one in the areas I'm hunting.

Last night there were 3 gobblers feeding in a field with 8 jakes. The gobblers ran the show, or tried, but I'm not sure how long this will last. Two of the jakes were actively strutting, while the lead gobblers seemed intent on picking through the corn-stubble.

I've ran into these super-jakes before, on one hunt, I called in a pair for a guy that took the largest one. It had a 4 3/4" beard and weighed 20 lbs!

3 miles down the road, another group of birds, 6 jakes with 3 hens. What in the world is going on.

Joel

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marbleeye2

I shot my first bird ever yesterday...a 17 pound bird with a 5 inch beard. He didn't have much for spurs, so was this likely a jake?

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RodNGun

Yes. Toms are also known as longbeards for a reason. Although there is a disease in the western states that eats the birds beard. I think it's called beard rot(thats what the hunters call it). Correct me if I'm wrong. Another way you can tell if it's a mature bird if the black line on the tail makes a perfect half circle(unless has been shot up).

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HateHumminbird

Congrats Marbleeye!!!

You bet, this seems like a jake for sure. The longer center tailfeathers, along with "nubs" or 1/8" spurs are tell-tale signs. A 5 inch beard is a longer one for a jake, but definitely not unheard of.

Again, good work, how did the hunt unfold?

Joel

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marbleeye2

My buddy and I had set up on the edge of a field surrounded by ravines. He was about 300 yards away from me. About 5:45 the gobbling started in the woods below. About 15 minutes after the gobbling started, a tom flew out of the woods and landed about 20 yards beyond the decoys. He strutted briefly, but wouldn't come closer despite my calls. He walked across the field to where my buddy was setup. A couple minutes after legal light his hunt was over as he dropped the hammer on a 21 pound bird with a 10" beard and 1" spurs.

About 7:15 a jake and a hen came across the field toward the decoys but stayed out of range. I scratched the call a few times to draw him in, but he never offered a shot. He didn't have much for a visible beard, so I wasn't too disappointed but was starting to think that I had perhaps blown my chance for the day.

Fortunately for me, a bigger bird that I hadn't seen was working his way toward the decoys from the ravine below. He popped out about 15 yards away. His head was bright red and I could see a better beard on this one, so I decided to take him if I got the chance. He worked towards the decoys and then ended up on the receiving end of a load of #5's at about 25 yards.

I was pretty pumped. It's my first bird, and although it's not huge, it was pretty memorable, especially after 2 previous years with no success. I think I'm pretty well hooked.

It was a beautiful morning, I saw at least 8 other birds, mostly hens, a bunch of deer, ducks and other critters. It was a great day to be out there. I may even go out tomorrow with a camera, just for fun.

I think next year, if I'm fortunate enough to get drawn, I'll go with a bow. If I'm not drawn, I may just have to buy the bow license for late season anyway.

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Ryan Becklund

what were you doing different then your buddy? Was he ao you using a jake in your decoys? Just wondering...I have had the same sort of problem in the past and was wondering what your buddy was doing different then you.

Ryan

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marbleeye2

I had a jake and two hen decoys set out, he had a hen and a gobbler in a sort of half strut. Actually, his hen had even tipped over and was lying on the ground when the tom came to it.

I would have thought that the sight of a jake with two hens would have aroused some fight in what certainly turned out to be a more dominant bird. He looked at them, but didn't really seem to react. Other birds did, but not him.

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