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Illinois Mule Deer Down

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Illinois Mule Deer Down

Old 12-02-2010, 08:56 PM
Typical Buck
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englum_06's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 660
Default Illinois Mule Deer Down

The story kind of started the morning of the 16th. I was up early and had movement all morning. Around 8 I had a good buck hit the field with a doe, they caught my scent and they turned and headed back where they came from. Maybe 10 minutes after that and 70 yards up in front of me, I looked up into a thicket and I could see a big body and a rack, couldn't see any size. I grunted, he grunted, I grunted louder, and he GROOOWLED! I couldn't believe it, I had never heard it. So I wheezed at him and grunted, well then all of a sudden he took off and bolted after a doe. Was it him? I don't know.
11 o'clock came and I was getting hungry, had to go in town to eat and pay some bills, fun stuff. So I hurried up and was back out to the property at 1. When I was getting dressed in the field I looked out and a couple hundred yards off was a shooter buck chasing a doe- now I'm motivated even more! So I finished getting dressed, and it was hard, but I made myself go across the field to the opposite side.
Once up I really didn't have any action close. They were all moving really well around the stand I was in that morning though. I even had what looked to be a 130 standing in the shooting lane I had cleared earlier this summer in front of that stand.
So I was grunting at him when I heard "CRUNCH GRUNT CRUNCH GRUNT GRUNT CRUNCH" and I looked and 12 yards in front of me I had a doe hauling ass my direction! I already had my bow in my left hand, I reached back quickly with my right hand to hang my grunt tube and I MISSED MY HOOK, the tube fell to the ground! Luckily they were moving and didn't hear it. So I see the doe, she runs through in a matter of 7-8 seconds, I get my bow ready to draw when out from behind a cluster of trees came MR. MULE!! I drew Immediately, followed him with my pin as he came closer, he came to 7 yards, maybe less, stopped, and THWACK!!! I saw this buck for a matter of 6 or 7 seconds before I shot, that was it. It happened that freakin' fast!
So when he ran off, I saw I hit him high. With him being that close, I didn't hold down as low as I should have. I sat there for a bit, said a little prayer to God and to my uncle (who if you guys remember, passed away a few years ago from cancer) asking for help finding my deer. So after an hour I climbed down, found my arrow- cherry red from tip to tip. On the map, the red is the blood trail we followed. We gave him about 2.5 hours, then we slowly picked up the trail. We followed pretty steady blood most of the way until he hit the bean field, then it was like he dried up. We assumed he went in that point. We got in there nice and quiet, but expecting to find him when all of a sudden we heard LOUD crashing not 20 yards from us!!
I made the decision to pull out immediately and to come back in the morning. I go home with a pit in my stomach, worrying that I one-lunged Mr. Mule, and I would never find him.
4:30A.M. the next morning rolls around, I'm up and ready to rock and roll. Me and my girlfriend's dad go out, we see a shooting star go across the sky as we're walking back (You'll never guess what I wished for...). We pick up the blood back where we kicked him up, followed it for a while, real thin blood, not looking too good. We got to a point where the run he was on split off and so I went left, he went straight.
Well after about 15 minutes after we split up, I tripped on a stick and stumbled. About 2 minutes after, I hear real loud frantic whistling. So I get over there quick as I can, and my girlfriend's dad says "I found your buck, he's alive, when you kicked that brush up he started kicking- but I don't think he's going anywhere." So I nocked another arrow, walked over slowly, held my bow up, getting ready to draw, and then I couldn't believe what I saw- Mr. Mule lifted his head up, gasped, and then dropped his head to the ground! I ACTUALLY WATCHED HIM TAKE HIS LAST BREATH 15 HOURS AFTER I HIT THE TOPS OF HIS LUNGS!!!
As you can read in the post, I've named him "Mr. Mule". I called him that because of the way he splits off so many times, he reminded me of a Muley when I was getting ready to release. Mr. Mule is my 2nd buck with a bow.

He grossed 182 5/8.

englum_06 is offline  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:16 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Heaven IA USA
Posts: 2,597

Congratulations, I bow hunted many years without ever seeing a buck of that caliber...and he is only your 2nd buck with a bow??!!

Wow, what a dandy! Good for you.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:32 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,372

Son, that is a stud! Way to stay after him. Congrats on the buck of a lifetime.

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Old 12-03-2010, 03:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NJ transplant
Posts: 61

whata great buck man, congrats!!

Outdrdave is offline  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Warren County NJ USA
Posts: 3,894

excellent buck, congrats !!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:37 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jefferson City
Posts: 170

Dang, awesome buck, beautiful rack. I didn't even know that Illinois had mule deer.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:57 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Dover, De
Posts: 1,125

To Start off Congrats Great Read and love to hear a good ending, And that is a STUD buck man awsome Rack...

and MIzzouMonster, its a whitetail that has a Rack like a Mule Deer Hence the Nickname..

Congrats again Awsome BUCK!!!!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 14

That is what we all dream of! Great buck, congrats! What part of Illinois?
Buckkiller7 is offline  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:38 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: O-H-I-O
Posts: 851

wow is all i can say..way to go bro!
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:34 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: S. Illinois
Posts: 1,325

great buck no matter what the score.....but he doesnt look close to 182?????? But heck of a deer!
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