This year was the toughest hunting on my farm since buying it in 2012.
With the record setting rains this spring my farm did not get planted. Normally I’d have corn or beans to hunt over but this year I had 9ft tall weeds and hardly any deer. My food plots also looked terrible, so it wasn’t looking very good.
The cameras were disappointing all summer long with not one shooter buck over 140” so I went into the season with very low expectations. I pulled cards again upon my arrival on November 5th to reveal a few pics of just an absolute monster, the largest buck I ever had on any farm I ever hunted. I won’t get into to much more detail about him other than I never seen him and none of the neighbors seen or shot him either. Even though I didn’t see him, he would show up at other stands that I was not in during daylight hours. It was very frustrating, but miraculously even without any food on the farm two other real good bucks started showing up on my cameras that were easily in the 160” range so it was game on! I hunted 20 straight days hoping to get a glimpse of the mega giant while contemplating the possibilities of shooting one of the other two really good bucks. I ended up seeing the buck I killed three times before killing him with my bow on the 8th day of my hunt. I seen him from two different stands and once while walking out at 11:30 for a quick bite. I had planned on alternating hunting with the crossbow and my compound, but As fate would have it I had another catastrophic failure on day two of the hunt when the damn crossbow blew up while discharging at the end of the day. Thank god I shoot my Mathews compound everyday so I was good to go. ... however my effective range has diminished over the past two years to no more than 40 yds. I can no longer effectively shoot out past 60yds Ike I was doing just a few short years ago, getting old really sucks!
On day seven I almost got it done while sitting in a redneck tower-blind. If the crossbow didn’t blow up earlier in the week, I-would have been done when the buck offered me a brief 50 yd broadside shot, I just wasn’t able to take that shot my mathews. I’m actually kinda happy the crossbow failed, because the buck offered me a 30 yd chip shot the next day while trailing a hot doe and I blew his heart out with my Mathews. He’s a great buck I honestly couldn’t be happier.... he has 15 scorable points grossing 163 6/8”.
Rather than sitting around doing nothing for the next week waiting for gun season to start, I bought a 2nd archery buck tag and got right back in the tree the next day hoping for an opportunity at that mega giant, but I spent the rest of my trip in a tree with both gun and bow without ever seeing him. I’ll be back for 2nd gun or for some more winter bow hunting so there’s still a chance at at least seeing the giant. Either way, I am super happy with the buck I killed and am grateful to the deer Gods for again blessing me with another great illinois buck. On a side note, I picked up last years illinois crossbow buck from Jim kelly last night, what an a zing job he did! Jim’s the best taxidermist, it looks like a museum piece. ( see pic on bottom of page )