One of the most enjoyable parts of turkey hunting is just watching the action. It’s not unusual for a gobbler and a few hens to be out of reach for a well-placed shotgun shot but well within a comfortable eyeshot. Not only do you get to see a big tom as he struts and sways but you get to also watch all of the subplots that surround the main story. One of the most entertaining shows happens when the jakes show up. These teenage males gain confidence when they’re with other jakes and they will gang up on an older bird but when by themselves they know they had better keep well away from the action. What’s most hilarious is the way they try to communicate. If you can imagine an older boy going through puberty, you can begin to get an idea. The young jake tries to sound like an adult male but he just can’t seem get the full volume and fullness of a real gobble. But he does yelp like the hens and it sounds sort of like a woman with a deep bass voice. Try to imagine the voice of a woman who has a beard and you get the picture. All in all, he tries to sound and act like he’s one of the older, wiser guys but it doesn’t take long for him to reveal his immaturity.
What goes for jakes in the turkey woods also goes for some men and women in the real world. It seems that many are convinced that if they can just run in the same circle and rub shoulders with older “toms” they will gain maturity by osmosis. They try to use the same words the older and wiser individuals use but they do not resonate with the same fullness and convinciblity. Instead they are thin, hollow, and do not ring with the surety that comes from those whose life experiences have shaped their words. What Shakespeare said about life can be said about these hollow phrases. “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” On the other hand, it seems that some individuals can put together the simplest phrase and it will come across as words of gold in pictures of silver. For them, words have not shaped their lives but their lives have shaped their words. That is not to say they have not been influenced by other’s words, but it is only to say they have recognized the difference in owning your own truth and renting someone else’s. When you own truth from experience, words are crucial for accurately conveying the depths of that experience. When you rent someone else’s truth, you sound like a young jake trying to be a big gobbler.