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Jason Pollack Tells Us about Taking His Greatest New York Gobbler


I've only mounted one turkey as long as I've been hunting, but that old bird was really special. I had set up on this turkey several times during turkey season and actually gotten him to within gun range one of those times. However, I was hunting with a turkey scope on my shotgun in a driving rain. As I looked through my scope, I noticed that the front lens of the scope had rain all over it, and I couldn’t see clearly enough to shoot. So, I reached up and rubbed the scope with my gloved hand, not realizing I’d put that hand on the ground and had mud on it. When I wiped the lens, I just put mud where the rain had been. I was upset. That morning was the first time I had called that gobbler into shooting range, and now I couldn’t take the shot, because I couldn’t see him through my scope. I was so aggravated at missing an opportunity to take this ole gobbler that I went back home that day and took the scope off my shotgun. I sighted my shotgun in, so I could aim without the aid of a scope. 

Pollack_day4On May 28th that year, I decided to go back and try to take that turkey again. The weather was bad. Rain was coming down, and the temperature was about 35 degrees. I invited my wife, Megan, to go with me. But for some reason, she just didn’t want to go hunting that morning. I reached the edge of a field where I planned to hunt the gobbler. Just before daylight, I heard him gobbling, but the bird was about 350 yards from me. Because the foliage was budding out, I was able to move, get fairly close to the bird and set up to take him. Then, I started calling to him. On that particular morning, that gobbler would answer any type call I gave him. Before long, I saw what looked like a flashlight turned on bright, coming through the weeds. That gobbler had the biggest, whitest head I'd ever seen on a turkey. When the gobbler was at 18 yards, I squeezed the trigger and saw him go down. I was fairly confident that he was a really old turkey. When I finally got to him, he had one spur that was 1-5/8-inches, and the other spur was 1-1/2 inches long, and he was a double-bearded gobbler. His biggest beard was 11-1/2-inches, and the second beard was 9-1/2-inches. He weighed 23.8 pounds,which was a very big gobbler for New York. 

I'm often asked, “Did you name that gobbler?” I always answer, “No.” Turkeys get quite a bit of hunting pressure here in New York. Most of the turkeys I take don’t live long enough to warrant a name. I never will forget that bird, the nasty weather I hunted him in twice, the size of his spurs, the length of his beard and his weight. I decided that gobbler was so special he had earned the right to be mounted.  

Day 3: Jason Pollack Remembers His Toughest Turkey Fight in New York

Tomorrow: Jason Pollack Tells Us How He Deals With Turkey Hunting Pressure

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Field edges are a common feature many wildlife managers are familiar with working around. Row crop fields, CRP, food plots, and pastures all have edges where they transition into timber, pine plantations, or thickets. Often times these edges serve as travel routes for people and wildlife and need some maintenance to allow farm machinery and vehicles access to areas without driving over crops, native grasses and food plots.

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