Now I know there is a large contingency of turkey chasers that feel a turkey is a turkey and will readily take a jake with ill effect to their psychy. Understand I have nothing against them. I like jakes. Heck, my dog is named Jake. But true to their upbringing, jakes can screw up a hunt like nobody’s business.
Jakes are like a gange of teenagers. Young adolescent birds that hang out together. By themselves they are not much threat to mature birds but put them in a group of two or more and the become like a gang of bullys wiht a penchot for pouncing on Toms whenever given the chance.
My daughter and I were hunting last weekend and of course this happened. We had been working a tom, a big tom, for over an hour and he was only 80 yards out when…you guessed it! A couple of younger birds hanging together ran into the field began to thump him like no tomorrow. They chased him out of the field like the Kentucky Derby. We were left speechless while all I could do was mumbler small words like “bird”…”big bird!”
One thing that tends to bring jakes in is hunters who like to keep a tom gobbling all the way to the blind. I have said it before and will again. A gobbling tom can be your worst enemy. Too much noise and he is bound to bring in hens or other males which can all spell trouble for the hunter.
May is round two for turkeys and things are looking good. Lots of henned up toms but that is changing fast and loners are starting to find callers. Stay at it and persevere. We have a whole month left of this awesome season!