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Illinois Dream Buck

Old 12-10-2021, 07:44 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: LaPorte, IN
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Default Illinois Dream Buck

After losing virtually my entire 2020 deer season to a severe case of Covid last year, I canít describe how great it was just to be in a tree this fall. I spent the peak rut quarantined 10 days on a cot in my Kodiak 10'x10' tent. Getting out just once to go to the ER for oxygen. It was so awesome just to be outside to watch the leaves change and take in the views. On November 3rd I took a nice 140Ē buck with my first Illinois tag. Then on November 16th, after 32 years of bow hunting, my dream buck finally paid me a visit.

That morning I overslept an hour and had to rush just to get to my stand at dawn 6:15 am. That may have actually helped me. Wind was light and variable. I always move around between trees and areas to keep my setup clean. This buck may have been patrolling and scented me had I been there longer. Will never know. Was set up in a telephone pole tree 22í high with a primary bedding area marsh to my back. Facing a thick briar filled clear cut. With timber, lots of rubs/scrapes beyond that 30 yards. Forty minutes later at 6:55 am this buck walks out of the marsh to my right 30 yards and I freeze. He was downwind but not completely. I had about a 15 degree advantage. My next pacer checkup at Central DuPage the cardio nurse is probably going to ask me what I was doing 11/16/21 at 6:55 am.

The buck stared me down for about 20 seconds, but I did not budge. To my surprise, he then just put his head down and proceeded across the clear cut. Later I noticed he was blind on the driverís side, likely from a fight with another buck. When he went behind a shrub, I was able to stay seated and pivot my legs to the right, in position to draw. 8Ē Tree was too thin to stand up and not shake. Buck walked up a trail I had ranged the evening before at 25 yards. My only chance would be to draw now, before the trail split, because if he took the right trail I would only see his rump. My mode shifted to stone cold and I held the 20 yard pin a bit high, rock steady at release. (My 30 yard pin had bent the day before pulling it through some briars) The pop sound on impact was right, but he bounded off before I could see the arrow. It was not an easy shot. I had to squat down to send arrow under an overhanging branch. And the buckís bottom 1/3rd of his torso was covered by grass. Despite my confidence, I stayed on stand for 2 1/2 hours, giving him time.
At 9:30 I climbed down and began searching. Found no arrow and zero blood for an hour of searching, so began a grid search. Not ten minutes into it, looked up and saw an image I thought was a mirage. A bow hunterís dream mirage. Afterwards measured my shot at 28 yards. A center punch heart shot. Found buck 50 yards from impact. Really thankful I was able to hold it together to make this shot after waiting so many years.

Taxidermist green scored him at 205Ē but said he would not trust his number because he was not sure how to measure all the junk. Most folks who looked at him said more like 190Ē. I have no idea because Iíve never shot anything close to this caliber. Will find out in January when Iíll have him measured by P&Y. Was very fortunate to buy the last real Illinois lifetime hunting license back in 2006. Finally paid off when I bailed on the state and moved here to Indiana two years ago. Otherwise I could not have even bought a 2nd archery buck tag this year, much less for only $26.

I need to thank my best hunting bud, Don, for storing and taking home the venison from my doe and first buck, and my portable boat and motor from our first hunt. I donít know what Iíd have done without that. Also need to thank Hunters Haven in Champaign for staying late to install new string & cables on my bow. It had blown up October 15th. They also put that pink whisker biscuit on my bow, as my old one was worn out.
Gear: My bow was a 14 year old Redhead Toxik made by Bowtech. Tree stand was a 14.7# Lone Wolf Assault climber at 22í up. I donít use trail cams. I donít use scents or any gadgets.
Attached Thumbnails Illinois Dream Buck-2021-2nd-buck-1.jpeg   Illinois Dream Buck-2021-2nd-buck-2.jpeg   Illinois Dream Buck-2021-2nd-buck-4.jpeg   Illinois Dream Buck-2021-2nd-buck-3.jpeg  
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Old 12-11-2021, 01:41 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kountze, Texas
Posts: 5,290

Awesome deer and a great shot.
You shot him on me and my wife's anniversery, Nov. 16.
My wife's only regret about our marriage is that she married me during the rut.

C. Davis
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Old 12-11-2021, 04:09 AM
Dominant Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On an Island in Vermont
Posts: 22,150

A true trophy. Congratulations.....
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Old 12-11-2021, 04:56 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 14,997

What a beauty! Congrats.
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Old 12-11-2021, 05:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,743

well congrat's to you on a fine buck there
and you never know what a season will bring, and reason to never give up!
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Old 12-16-2021, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 9,306

They don't even get that big in my dreams!

You shot more inches of antler this season than I'll get in ten years! Lol

Awesome buck

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Old 12-16-2021, 04:55 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central VT/Big Horn WY
Posts: 1,524

Beautiful buck, congratulations!
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Old 12-16-2021, 05:24 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: LaPorte, IN
Posts: 1,111

I am just a regular Joe Hunter, primarily hunting public land and Iím totally foreign to seeing bucks like this. I hope you others can experience what I did. The rack is sitting in our guest bedroom and I canít even look in there. I donít know what to think after chasing the dream 32 years. Had my fair share of bad hunts leading up to this.

Last edited by Zim; 12-18-2021 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old 12-18-2021, 06:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,359

yep, thats a giant...congrats
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Old 01-15-2022, 06:31 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: LaPorte, IN
Posts: 1,111
Default Score

Had my November 16th buck officially scored today after 60 day drying period. He made both Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett at 185 5/8Ē nontypical.
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