Illinois hunter Jay Lopez killed a 23-point buck in mid-November 2010. Here's Jay's story in his own words:
"I work for an ambulance service and I was getting off a 24 hour shift the morning of November 17th. I climbed in my truck and started changing into my Realtree AP hunting clothes, I know it isn't safe, but didn't want to waste any time, had to be out of woods by 2 pm to pick up my daughter at school. I arrived at my hunting spot just after 9 am. I climbed my Summit Tree Climber about 20 foot up and began my hunt. I seen a spike at 35 yards around 10:30 and a doe around noon at 80 yard. I was getting frustrated. Granted I have seen 2 deer.
"Myself and my fiance see deer in the morning, but not in the evening. Here we are in the heat of the rut and the only time we are seeing the big bucks is in the middle of the night on our Moultrie and Wildgame cams. We haven't hunted during the mid morning to early after noon and we rarely see the big buck on the cams during daylight hours. On November 8th, we seen a nice buck on the Wildgame Innovations Cam at midnight by my fiances stand and again on the 10th around 2 am same buck. This buck looks like he has 3 main beams.
"Back to the 17th, I hear some commotion in front of me on a hill. At first i didn't pay to much attention to it thinking it was a squirrel. Then I seen him sliding down a hill. Looked to be a large 8 point to a 10 point and he is coming my way. I am using Doe-In-Heat by J & S Scents in and around several scrapes around my stand location. This nice buck gets within 35 yards, but it is too thick and can't get a shot. All of a sudden he stops and heads back to where he came from. I am already unsteady from the adrenalin going through my body. He gets to a 55 yard shooting lane. I know I am accurate at 55 yards. I have practiced this shot over and over again, but I am shaking bad enough I can't get my release connected to my D loop. Finally, I'm ready but he has moved pass the 55 yard shooting lane and is now at 60 yards. I pull back my Mathews Z7, with my Carbon Express Mayhem arrow and G5 T3 broadhead at full draw, aim a little high and let the arrow fly. As I watch the arrow flying, it starts to go to the right and then a loud smack sound and the buck takes off through the brush, stops and walks away. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach and I just held my head down. I knew I missed, I tried grunting, bleating, and even rattling. No sign of him. I sent a text message to my fiance telling her I just missed a big buck. I was so disgusted in my shot that I climbed down the tree and went looking for my arrow.
"After I found the direction I was shooting in, I found small drops of blood, but no arrow. Thinking I wounded the deer, I started following the drop which kept getting better with every step I took. Then I see the pools of blood and a 6 to 8 inch trail of blood. I have hunted long enough to know, I need to get out of the woods. The problem here is the blood trail is leading toward my ATV. So, I stay on blood trail for 60 yards. Now, I have a decision to make, walk strait to ATV or go left and follow blood. My curiosity got the best of me and I followed blood and jumped the buck. He ran 15 yards and laid down in front of me. I nocked my number 2 arrow and missed. I nocked my 3rd arrow, took a deep breath, and shot. A second hit! He looks at me and jumps up and heads deeper in the woods. Being completely out of arrows, I stop and think what do I do now? The thought did cross my mind of getting my knife out and slicing his throat, but my knives were in the truck. So, I left the woods. I get home and tell one of my best friends about this deer and the blood trail. We decide to go back out there. We found him 10 yards past where I shot him the second time. A non typical 23 point buck! The first shot, severed the femoral artery and the second pass through liver."
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