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Jason Pollack Remembers His Toughest Turkey Fight in New York


I found this gobbler just before youth season one year on about 400 acres. I hunted him regularly throughout the season right up until the next-to-the-last day of turkey season. Every time I called to him he'd gobble and gobble and gobble. He’d come in to about 50 or 60 yards and hang up. Some days, he'd fly up on a limb to look for the hen who was talking to him. I was able to see this gobbler about every day I hunted him, but I couldn’t get him within gun range. Some mornings,I’d let the gobbler walk off. Then, I’d make a half-circle around him to get in front of him, and I’d call again. The gobbler would come to me, but he'd hang up every time just out of gun range. I couldn’t get that gobbler closer than 50 - 60 yards to me. This bird was one of those that had the ability to drive any turkey hunter nuts. So for me, harvesting this bad bird became an obsession. 

Pollack_day3I gave up on the idea of being able to take this bird by myself. The day before the end of the season, my wife, Megan, and two good friends, Taylor and Dave Stratton, and I developed a plan that we hoped would enable one of the three hunters to bag this demon bird. On the back side of these 400 acres, a path ran parallel to the property. So, I had Dave and Taylor Stratton and Megan get in a line behind me on the path. I started calling, and all of us ran about 75 yards away from the gobbler and stopped. Then, I’d call again. When he answered me, we’d run away from the gobbler. After we had gone about 200 yards, my other hunters sat down on the edge of the path, and I got behind them,calling and walking away from that ole bad gobbler. As he gobbled and came closer, I would yelp back to him and continuously move away from him. When the gobbler was 20 yards from Dave Stratton, Dave put that bird’s lights out. 

When we picked up the bird, we were really surprised. He had a gobble that sounded like a 300-pound gorilla. But when we picked him up, he was extremely light. He only weighed 17 pounds, had an 11-inch beard and 1-3/4-inch spurs. He was a very nice old gobbler that almost drove me crazy until we devised a plan to take him. I’d decided I really didn’t care who bagged this gobbler. But to save my sanity, somebody had to take him. 

I had 8–10 videos of that gobbler, because he had gobbled really good and would come to me, but he was smart enough to know that if the hens didn’t come to him,he didn’t need to move until he saw them. I think that gobbler had been hunted so long and so much and was so good at judging distance that he realized that if he couldn’t see a hen coming to him at 60 yards, he didn’t need to go any farther.  

Day 2: Mossy Oak Pro Jason Pollack Takes His Daughter Turkey Hunting

Tomorrow: Jason Pollack Tells Us about Taking His Greatest New York Gobbler

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