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25 year Tom/Jake behavior observation.

Discussion in 'Ohio Turkey Hunting' started by StrutZoneAssassin, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. These observations are from the same farms in Kentucky.
    25 years ago I can remember hunting for a week and going home excited that I even got the opportunity to work a Tom. But at the same time we could really get a Tom hot and bothered he would double and triple gobble and you knew it was game on. This past week in Ky I only got single gobble answers. 25 years ago the toms would bolt across an open field to come to the call this year they were very reluctant to leave the wood line. I know the population has rose significantly and they seem henned up, but I also have seen a major change in Jake behavior over the past 4-5 years where 25 years ago a Jake would sneak around and even leave an area when a Tom appeared and toms would run over a Jake decoy and tear it to shreds in the past, but in the past few years I have seen Toms run from a Jake decoy, and Jake's are now traveling in groups of 4-7 and pursuing toms verse just taking the hen and being happy with that. 4 years ago I watched 7 Jake's destroy a pretty boy decoy. 3 years ago saw a group of 4 patrolling a 100 acre pasture and not let a Tom on the green until we waxed 2 of them. This year Toms were quieter than usual and sneaking into the call and the one I took came in silent and reluctant, and when working a Tom for my son the Tom hung up at the edge of the woods 20 yards short of the shot. After about 30 minutes he tucked tail and boogied away and then 4 Jake's came running in passing the hen and going after the Tom. This morning I saw a Tom strutting at the edge of the woods and then sprinted off like his tail feathers were on fire as soon as the same 4 Jake's entered the pasture and I could not turn those Jake's by calling they just wanted to chase down that Tom. I also saw a Tom in a little tucked away corner of the property strutting for a hen where there has never been a sighting of a turkey there ever before. It might be just me but I am starting to think these birds are going to College now as they are behaving like some of the entitled youngsters we are seeing on the news everyday. I believe that calling less and being more patient even late into the morning may be the only way to beats these groups of Thugs.
    Let me know if you have had similar encounters.
    cambridgezowie likes this.
  2. I've been seeing goroups of 4 to six jakes for the last three years or so traveling together with beards any where from 2 inches to six inches you don't see the paint brush beards out in the fields anymore.Heck you hardly hear a gobble due to so many hens.Saw five of them strutting so close together it was hard to count how many was in the feild they were so on top of each other.

    Last year at the end of season I was still seeing gobblers with six to fifteen hens in tow going to the roost.

    Opening morning and the first week use to be prime time go out.Hit the call get 7 different birds to answer.Standtheir with a stupid look on your face and contemplate wich way to go,over a cigarette... Now it's go out hit the call and if your lucky you get a response..

    I think some of these dominate gobblers just don't gobble.Theyhave enough hens with them to keep them satisfied and have learned not to give away their position. Due to the aggravation that comes from the Jakes.

    That's why now days I rely on the second half of the season with majority of the birds I get to answer coming after ten o'clock in the morning.

    I'm sure coyotes play a part in this as well if they are bad in your area.

    I know their are some big birds around me for ceartin. I just don't think they are very vocal.I personally hunt them for the high,the adrenaline,You get when you get one fired up and gobbling and they get so close when they gobble your chest vibrates and then they start strutting and spit ticking n the moment comes when they pop that head to the side and raise it up and that split second of a moment comes they realize oh Boom!!!

    Disclaimer I don't think Turkeys are in shortage around me. Their is plenty the state has done an excellent job of reintroduceing them to the state. I think a few hens need killed by fellas in the fall season to get them birds fired up a little more.In my neck of the woods..
    bywayofthearrow and Bryan six like this.

  3. 25 years of killing those that biologically ran to the call gets them and those genes killed off, those that stayed away from fields and being quiet and sneaky survived to pass those genes on...numbers seem great but gobbling while moving is way down, hunters figured out where they were going and ambushed those dumbbells off, those quiet sneaky birds were left to breed, coyotes also can change everything in an area instantly!
    mrex likes this.
  4. As another on here has said, "we've shot the gobble out of them". Twice this year I've seen my "Jakes Mafia" run off single Toms. Usually 6-8 jakes going after one tom.
    mrex likes this.
  5. I hate to say it, but we should probably roll a few jakes as well. We all love the 2 year olds, but this is not the first time I have heard jakes beating up on mature birds. I do believe the turkey population is unbalanced, and maybe we should consider some alternative management practices. reinstitution of the coyote bounty wouldn't hurt either.
  6. I have no real past experience with turkeys gobbling or not but I can say I've noticed a significant difference in how whitetails act when a pack of coyotes moves in. They will mess up bedding and feeding patterns just as much as uneducated hunters. Coyotes walk around with their ears on high alert leading them to dinner. A turkey gobbling near by would surely lead a coyote to a tom in quick order. I'd imagine where there's a lot of coyotes the birds learn quick.