Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby Deebz » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:35 pm

I have some great news to report...

The wife and I went out Thursday morning and planned to hunt all day if necessary. (we had parent teacher conferences monday and tuesday night, so we got thursday off, and we had veteran's day off as well) Got a late start and the sun was starting to come up when we got to her stand... i peeled off and hot-footed towards my stand. I was pushing 2 does ahead of me out in the cut corn, so I was kind of down about that... I figured everything around would be scared away. Got to my stand, got set up, and started glassing. I had estrus scent wicks out, and the wind was blowing the scent down the draw where i've been pretty sure some bick bucks bed. About 7:15, I see a big deer about a half mile out in the field directly down wind from me. He was angling across the field, then turned and came on a run for a bit, stop and scent for a bit beeline straight towards me. I got the binos on him, and he was absolutely HUGE. He dropped into the depression at the end of the draw and I lost sight of him. He must have bedded down near the water there, because I never saw him again. I decided to do a rattle/grunt sequence to coax him out...but nothing.

I sat down after standing for the next 15 minutes or so, never taking my eyes of the draw. He absolutely could not get out of the cover without walking directly under my stand, or popping back out into the cut corn. I finally sat down, still glassing hard out to the east, when I heard a noise from the west, I look left, and there is a very nice 10 pt 3 yr old standing 20 yards away working a scrape... I contemplated for about 10 seconds on whether to let him walk and hope the buck bedded 300 yards away comes in, or take a perfect shot at the biggest buck i've ever had a solid chance at... I stood, drew my bow, waited till his leg went forward and let her fly... absolutely perfect shot, double lung. I heard him crash a few seconds later and forced myself to stay in the stand for a half hour. I got down finally, AWESOME blood trail, found him easily.

As I began to walk back towards my wife's stand, I heard some noise in the bottoms, crept over to peek, and saw another BIG buck with 2 very large does. they also saw me and bolted. I kept walking out down the lane, and noticed a bedded doe at the bottom of the hill next to the creek. She just stared at me as I walked on. I made it back to my wife, who had been watching several nice bucks (1 huge 8 pt) cruising back and forth anywhere from 80-100 yds away on the other side of the field. I got her out of her stand, we dropped all but the essentials, and returned to try to stalk on the bedded doe. We got to the location and she was till there. We got within 45 yds, but she got nervous as my wife maneuvered into the open lane for a shot, then she stood up with her butt towards us and took off... We headed back, got the truck and retrieved my deer, then called it a night.

The next morning we headed back out (me without my bow) to sit on the ground closer to where the deer had been cruising the day before. About an hour after first light, I heard some noise in the weeds off to the west, and tried to alert my wife. She couldn't get turned quickly enough as a small 8 point came down the trail completely behind where we expected to see deer. This deer passed withing 10 FEET before catching her movement trying to get on the deer. I was telling her to shoot, as I could see she was clearly lined up on the vitals, but she had weeds obstructing her view in the scope, so she held off. We moved around the small tree we were leaning against so she could have more shot opportunities, and not 10 minutes later a nice doe shows up directly in front of me (where she had just been sitting) at 20 yards broadside... again she busted us as Erin tried to get into position for the shot... The wife's frustration level went through the roof...

We re-positioned one more time so that she would have the most available shot opportunities, and about 35 minutes later I picked out an ear flickering through some weeds off by the creek. We had enough time to get turned around, and Erin got her crossbow up on her shooting stick and picked up the deer in her scope. She was able to watch him walk all the way up the trail and stop 10 yards away. I barely had time to whisper shoot as she let the bolt loose... the deer whirled and went on a "death run", as fast as he could go in a straight line... I grabbed her hand and all she could do was shake and whisper, "I did it! I did it! I did it!"... I made her sit tight with me for 30 minutes, we snacked on a breakfast bar, snapped a few pics of us sitting there, and then began to trail the deer. There was an AMAZING blood trail (my cheapy wal-mart expandables came through again), and 30 yards later we walked up on my wife's first deer ever. What we thought was a small doe turned out to be a button buck, but both of us were super excited. I couldn't believe she managed to shoot a deer from the ground with only a half-wall blind and some tall weeds for cover. Definitely one of my best hunting weekends ever... I'm pretty sure she's hooked now too. This morning getting ready for work she looked at me and said, "I wish we were going hunting..."
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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kellory
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby kellory » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:49 pm

AWSOME! great job Erin on your first! Congrats to both of you! I can't wait to get out myself this weekend. Hope I do as well! :)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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bobow
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby bobow » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:57 am

Deebz wrote:I have some great news to report...


Congrats to you & the wife!
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 July. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

Life Member: NRA, ISRA; Member CCRA

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bobow
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby bobow » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:01 am

I was out this morning (Tues) for a few hours not expecting much but at 0710 two nice sized does came up from behind just browsing. They never got closer than 30 yards through the brush but they hung around for 30 minutes.

They were in no hurry and no bucks in sight. These are the first does I have seen since the 2nd week of October. I wish I could have sat out all day. It is such a great day.
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 July. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

Life Member: NRA, ISRA; Member CCRA

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4khorn
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby 4khorn » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Congrats Deebz! Good to see atleast someone is experiencing some success. Have not hunted in a few days. Planning to hunt Wed and Thursday evenings. The wind will finally be from the North. Hopefully I can get something into bow range. Good luck during gun season!
My pursuit of a buck of a lifetime is much like the Chicago Cubs pursuit of a World Series...the season ends with a "wait til next year"

Luke

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby Deebz » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:33 am

Thanks guys!!

finally got pics up on the photo corner page...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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bobow
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby bobow » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:24 pm

I was out Friday AM until 1300 & today, Saturday all day. I did not see anything. Disappointing for sure.

Friday with the wind I heard one shot & that was not until @ 0750. Usually it is like WWIII before legal shooting. Saturday I didn't hear the first shot until a couple of minutes past legal shooting. I did not hear the normal volume during the day and the last few minutes there was a flurry.
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 July. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

Life Member: NRA, ISRA; Member CCRA

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby Deebz » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:38 am

I experienced about the same bobow... i think the high winds had the deer hunkered down and not moving very much. My wife's uncle did well, he killed 3 deer in about an hour on Friday morning, but he hunts ditches and levies in the middle of open ground. The deer really concentrate in those areas... I got a doe on Saturday, but again I was pushing through tall grass on the levy. I pulled off a 50 yard running heart shot on a small doe...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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jonny5buck
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby jonny5buck » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:20 pm

Went out this afternoon- Tues/ Nov-22-2011----------- Took the climber down in the ''bottoms''...at 2;15 pm i was picking a tree and and climbed up 22ft...it was wet...and the rain was slow and on and off....than it started coming down...[damn that weather man]...it was soaking in and let up some.---------3;35 pm--------- year and half buck ]..comes in downwind... checks a scrape and walks south!

3:42 pm doe and a button to my right[upwind]....meander about and i blew the shot at the momma doe...maybe caught some of my jacket collar or punched the shot...got my arrow when i got down...soaking wet i was glad to make it out of the field edge that i parked my truck in..soaking wet and another hunt down.

During shotgun season i usually hunt Shabbona Park in Dekalb county,Il.-this yr i found another park that allows bow hunting during the shotgun season...the first evening hunt i cradled the bottle-neck between an oak flat and the river.....sure enough a nice 8pt came behind me and i caught the flicker of an ear...and could make out his face in the honeysuckle.I thought he was going to get a drink as he approached the river bank....instead he gazed across the 200yds of river....i couldn't believe it.....he walked right in and swam across as if it were nothing....i sat in amazement and watched ...stunned i sat down smiling watching him enter a downed corn field.
10 minutes later---- another buck comes the opposite way [from the West]...and almost if on a string walks broadside at 16yds....he was too small for what i want to release my arrow on...so he got a free pass.The next morning i set my buddy in that spot with his hopes at talking a buck....It was cold and windy..real windy...we saw nothing after that and the memory of the Buck swimming that distance in a river with a strong current made the trip memorable..for me....good hunts....waiting for the opt at Mr. big...im fine with hanging that tag on him or posssibly eating it---either way im fine with it....Peace..be with you all...have a great Thanksgiving...God bless JON~

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2011

Postby Deebz » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:42 am

That's awesome Jon! I've seen deer on TV swimming across open water, but I've not seen it in person. I've camped and fished at Shabbona Lake, pretty awesome place.
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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