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  • would you have shot this bird?

    maybe a 4 or 5 inch beard, around 1 inch spurs. A deep, full roll gobble and a full tail fan. in range for 6 minutes, and maybe 8 yards at one point. would you have taken him? keep in mind its about midway through the season, with only one tag left.
    if he was walkin around n gobblin n front of me hed been dead rite there. i wouldnt ben able 2handle it lol. but if nothin happens hell b there next year and b bigger..
    You know my answer already....It depends on IF it was Private or Public land...He's a NICE Gobbler!! So on Public Land as my only option, I would shoot him BUT if on Private land with multiple Birds and low pressure, I would wait to see what the last half of the season had in store. Me and a Friend doubled up a several years ago on Public land on 2 Gobblers that came in Strutting fast..I let him shoot First and then I did..My Bird weighed 20 lbs with a 9 3/4 wide Brush of a beard and His was a monster 24lb Gobbler but beard was only 3 inches long from Beard Rot...I remember him running up and saying I shot a dang Jake!!! I said BS!! That's a HUGE Gobbler, Don't he have a Full Fan? Had Huge 30+ inch Fan but the Beard was gone...So if this Bird eats Good and gets back on track..He could be a greater Bird next season..Good Luck!!!
    It really Depends
    I agree that it depends on different circumstances: If you see a 7 or 8 HUGE toms every time you go out..if you go out 3 or 4 times a week, if it's private land, etc... Then I might wait.

    But if you don't see one every time, or you only get 1 day a week ( Sat) to go out and hunt( like me) or there is alot of activity on the land that keeps them scarce ( like farmer tilling, plowing, planting his fields I hunt) or the turkeys only make an occasional appearance, or there are only 3 or 4 out there to begin with -


    The property where I hunt had a bunch of big toms on it. But it turns out they can read a calendar and knew when to go into hiding come turkey season! :)
    I habeen wwatching
    a bunch of nice toms all winter long. Watched them into the weeks preceding turkey season. Watched them during youth week.

    Come regular turkey season, they must have packed upm and went of vacation.

    The few times I did see some, things went wrong:
    1 time I should have shot, but thought the distance was too far - turns out I later paced it off at around 25 yards from where tom was standing from me. Looked alot farther while crouching in the bushes on my side.

    Next time, I shot at one and he fell over, got up, flew straight over my head into the trees. Went looking for him but never found him.

    Another time, I waited for a better shot, but ended up losing the chance.

    Another time, a freaking dog comes strolling out into the field. He didn't even know the turkeys were there, just sniffing and peeing on everything anf scared them off.

    So come the last day of turkey season, I shot at a less than ideal turkey. At first, I wasn't sure wether it was a jake or bearded hen, but a well experienced hunter confirmed it was a medium jake.

    I didn't set out to shoot a jake, but the grass he was in kinda clouded his features. I saw him strutting, took aim and took him down.

    Still proud as it was my first turkey and i even had to crawl on my stomach for 25 yards or so to even get close enough to him to take the shot.

    That was actually kinda cooler than getting him.

    So, depending on circumstance, I'd have no problem shooting the bird in your picture.
    thanks for the feedback
    thanks everyone. It is private land with light to no pressure on the weekdays and heavy on Saturdays. I was lucky enough to be able to hunt just about everday of the season from sunrise until 1 or 2, until I tagged out, so I had no problem giving this bird a free pass. I missed a good one this year. it was the same situation, only 1 tag left so I made the mistake of waiting for the perfect footage and he never cleared the brush. when he turned around and started walking off I took a good look at him with the binocs and seen he had some daggers so I tried him at about 40yards. it looked good on camera but I don't know what happened. I hated it but hey it happens.
    After only seeing hens all season and not being able to go where the Toms were at because it was posted land, I would have DUSTED that bird. Already looking forward to next year. Planning now.
    I saw a lot of hens myself this season. The hatch off should be great if all goes well and all the hens I saw have nests. And these were all on gameland. Great attitude you have though ,already looking forward to next season.