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Harvest of Jakes and Hens

2509 Views 63 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  fishshooter
So with the numbers of turkeys decreasing over the last few years, should hunters voluntarily choose not to shoot Jakes or hens in permitted seasons? I personally choose to never shot hens when I can and have passed up several jakes this season. I believe that hunters should act and react to changes they see in the habitat and populations of wildlife. I think any hunter who doesn't isn't thinking about the future. With numbers being on the decrease, any decrease in pressure should be beneficial.
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I shouldn't be fileting 12" smallmouths?
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I haven't shot a Jake on purpose in years. Only shoot fall hens occasionally. I do a lot of other things like habitat work to benefit turkeys. When that no longer was enough i started removing nest predators and greatly improved my hatches.

Responsible hunters should always adjust their harvest strategy based on their localized situation . 02.
I haven't shot a Jake on purpose in years. Only shoot fall hens occasionally. I do a lot of other things like habitat work to benefit turkeys. When that no longer was enough i started removing nest predators and greatly improved my hatches.

Responsible hunters should always adjust their harvest strategy based on their localized situation . 02.
That is some wisdom right there. Game laws are almost always set state wide. I am all for responsible management. But I hate it when people act like they are above eating a bass or shooting a fall hen. Because they are more responsible than the next guy.
I like turkeys so I don't shoot the baby makers. I've shot one jake ever and that was to see what the Indian Creek would do. Tried to decap that lil dumb dumb at like 17 yards and didn't quite do it.
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I like turkeys so I don't shoot the baby makers. I've shot one jake ever and that was to see what the Indian Creek would do. Tried to decap that lil dumb dumb at like 17 yards and didn't quite do it.
You feel the same way about baby maker deer?
Ive never shot a bearded hen and dont plan to. Shot a few jakes in the past but mostly in special situations like doubling with a buddy on his first turkey etc.

That being said, shooting the bearded hen isnt going to make a difference one way or the other. Their natural mortality rate is pretty high anyway. Shooting the jake likely would help next year as they survive at about a 80% rate.
I shouldn't be fileting 12" smallmouths?
Maybe not if that's the biggest size in the river. Not really a sound comparison in my opinion. Have low numbers of smallmouth and one should be happy to release it for future generations to enjoy. Plus I hate the taste of smallies so...
We try to pass on jakes,we dont fall hunt with a gun so the hens arent an option anyway.I found it intriguing that it was illegal to shoot Jake's in Arkansas....I think I would go for that in an effort to get the hay days of Missouri turkey hunting back for my children to experience.If I remember the #s correctly didnt we used to have close to a million birds or a little over?
We try to pass on jakes,we dont fall hunt with a gun so the hens arent an option anyway.I found it intriguing that it was illegal to shoot Jake's in Arkansas....I think I would go for that in an effort to get the hay days of Missouri turkey hunting back for my children to experience.If I remember the #s correctly didnt we used to have close to a million birds or a little over?
Estimates vary widely. Saying between a half million and a million should be safe with most people.
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I have shot thunderous gobbling jakes with white heads thinking they were adults . Then said “what the....” Should have waited to see the beard .
Have not shot a hen in 25 years since the decline.
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We try to pass on jakes,we dont fall hunt with a gun so the hens arent an option anyway.I found it intriguing that it was illegal to shoot Jake's in Arkansas....I think I would go for that in an effort to get the hay days of Missouri turkey hunting back for my children to experience.If I remember the #s correctly didnt we used to have close to a million birds or a little over?
No, we have never had 1 million birds as a spring population estimate. The 1 million number has been misinterpreted wildly. It was a statement based on excellent summer production and a late summer estimate. The statement was "approaching 1 million birds". Thats not how many would have been available for spring hunting the next year after natural mortality losses of poults.
That's why I said 1 mill tentatively,but I would hope we could all agree the #s then were much better.Maybe it is due mostly to weather and hatch issues but one would think there could be something management wise that could help bring those #s up at least some.
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Haven't seen or gotten photos of any young birds including jakes in years. Same old flock of 6 hens that run together and 3 old Toms for the past 3 or 4 years. I need to do like henry...take out a few nest predators. All I need is one good hatch from one old hen and I'd be happy.
I can see passing hens if population is down. Jakes, well they are all gonna die soon anyway, and they don’t lay eggs. :D. It’s just a bird. :tup:

Btw, 3 Jakes walked through my dekes yesterday, and I let em pass. This coming weekend, they better be careful. :D
That's why I said 1 mill tentatively,but I would hope we could all agree the #s then were much better.Maybe it is due mostly to weather and hatch issues but one would think there could be something management wise that could help bring those #s up at least some.
Honestly, there has been multitudes of research and projects done regarding different harvest regulations and Ive not heard of one that has ever made a difference, especially in a state like MO. We dont kill a very large percentage of our turkeys in general, and and even smaller portion of hens. When populations were booming we were killing similar numbers of adult gobblers, the big difference was the amount of jakes we killed. Some of those "golden years" guys pine for we killed 30-40% jakes in the spring and 25-30,000 birds in the fall. Now we hardly kill any fall birds and jake percents rarely approach 20%. Im sure there is data out there but I dont believe AR has seen big benefits from the no jakes rule. I could be wrong though....
I’ve never shot a hen. I see no problem with shooting jakes.

The turkey population where I’ve hunted my entire life is abysmal.....I have no plans to kill a turkey there....even if I could lol.
my folks live in north central Arkansas and it hasn't helped one bit.. big big timber with a little logging in the past 10 years otherwise the 5000 acres that surround them hasn't changed much in a 150 years and turkeys are still declining... when agf restocked the area years ago, they came to my grandad and asked him to keep an eye out for them as they would be interested in his sightings.. I believe they went to a 2 week season also
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We stopped hunting fall seasons for turkey close to 10 yrs or so now. I'll kill one in the fall during bow season while I'm hunting deer if the opportunity arises but that's really been seldom. I can't say that it has made much of an impact to be honest . Our turkey #'s still seemed to follow the trend ... ebbing and flowing with the rest of the neighboring counties and the state. The neighboring land owners don't turkey hunt at all so that's probably a contributing factor. As been stated by other LO's here... we plant a lot of food via plots and practice TSI improvement. All of our large fields are pastured. So we aren't busting up nests or negativity affecting fields via haying operations.. We also trap a fairly large area and do portions of our neighbors property.. Not saying your idea won't work... but I've found it's hardly ever any ONE thing that makes a noticeable difference!
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Kansas is looking at removing their fall season. I find it funny the main reason for defending fall season is funds for local economy's and tags. Should be the last worry.
http://www.newspressnow.com/sports/...cle_3821ba7d-7c8a-5827-af63-6915d5890c53.html
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