Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby Big Horse » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:46 pm

October 13, 2013

We didn’t make it out in the morning, but the daughter and I headed back to stand that evening about 4:30. We went to a stand I hadn’t hunted yet this year. It’s located west across a small picked corn field from the stand where I sat opening night and had seen several deer. We slowly worked our way up through the thicket covered ridge to the corn field on the top side. I peered out across the field and didn’t see anything, so I stepped on out into the field only to hear a deer blow at me. As I rhetorically asked “what was that?” My daughter quickly informed me there was a doe standing along the tree line, straight south of the stand. Having run off, we went on to the stand.

We hadn’t been in the stand 5 minutes and my daughter saw the doe through the trees heading up the ridge but it never came back out in the open. A short period later we could hear something going through the still standing corn in the bottom behind us. Whatever it was, was not visible and went around us to the north.

A short time later we saw a doe with fawns come out across the field to the east. They were walking around in the field for a little while, moving closer a little at a time, when another deer entered the field. My daughter saw it right away, and exclaims, “A buck! A nice buck!”

The eight point buck worked his way to the doe and was checking her out, and then he turned and walked right towards us. He circled and offered a broadside shot at about 30 yards when the youth model 870 barked and I watched the 20 gauge slug smack him just behind the front leg. He jumped and started running out across the corn stalks as we watched him start to weave and go down.

Excited, we anxiously watched as the buck lie in the stalks. The doe had run off after the shot but the two fawns had stayed in the field, oblivious as to what had transpired. The fawn slowly worked out to the buck, and checked him out, and we couldn’t see any movement. So after about a half hour we climbed down from the stand anxious to see him up close. But we had only taken about 3 steps into the stalks when he lifted his head and looked at us. Now what?

He was father out than I was comfortable at letting her take a follow up shot, and I didn’t want to jump him trying to get close enough for a shot, so we backed out, and went to the truck.

An hour later, about sunset, I decided to go back before darkness took over and see if he had died. But to my dismay, he was gone! I quickly found where he had laid with lots of blood everywhere and there was a trail of blood Ray Charles could have followed going towards the tree line. I followed the trail to the trees, found a trail where he had entered the trees, and was marking the trail, when all of a sudden he jumped up at the bottom of the ridge and started going around the outside edge of the standing corn in the bottom ground. At this point I decided to leave him and return in the morning. It was going to be a sleepless night.
Live to Hunt, Hunt to Live.

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby Big Horse » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:48 pm

October 14, 2013

Shortly after sun up, my daughter and I headed out to resume the search. Instead of picking up the blood trail from where I last saw him the night before, I decided to walk the field edge in from the other direction. About half way to where I had marked blood the previous night, I picked up blood on the corn leaves on the edge of the field. We followed the blood on the corn until he turned south and entered back into the ridge of trees. It was a fairly easy blood trail to follow and was a great teaching experience, showing my daughter how to move off to the side of the apparent route of travel as not to disturb the ground where you think you may find blood. How to mark the trail as you locate blood, using toilet paper as markers that you can look back and see the trail you have left, and showing the line in which the deer is traveling, and teaching her how to look for changes in direction when you don’t find blood exactly where you think it should be. Then the moment we had been waiting for arrived, when I pointed ahead and was able to ask, “what is that laying right up there?” A proud father moment if ever there was one. Reason 6,400,978 that my little girl rocks!


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And by the way, that same night I was able to fill a bow tag taking home that slick head…



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Live to Hunt, Hunt to Live.

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kellory
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby kellory » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:05 pm

The grin on her face says it all! well done to both of you, and tell her for me "You done good!" :D
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.

buckwild
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby buckwild » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:26 am

Great job Big Horse! That is very exciting...
Semper Fidelis!

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4khorn
 
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Location: Central Illinois

Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby 4khorn » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:41 am

Awesome story Big Horse! And certainly a beautiful buck! Congrats to your daughter.
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

buckwild
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby buckwild » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:32 pm

Hey Debz - I had a pse stinger. Good bow. Shot tight groups. The only reason I sold it was the max draw length of 30" was a bit too short for me. Hope you have lots of success with it!
Semper Fidelis!

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Deebz
 
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Location: Illinois

Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby Deebz » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:10 am

I like it so far. I need to turn the poundage down some and take about 500 more shots, but I'm getting comfortable with it.
"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

stu27
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby stu27 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Anyone see much over the weekend? I've talked to quite a few guys that hunt various areas all over the state and it seems a pretty common theme was that movement was limited at best. Hoping that changes some now that crops are coming out at a good pace and the weather seems to be headed in a direction that it should this time of year.

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby Big Horse » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:32 pm

I didn't make it out. The family went on what will probably be our last camping trip of the year. But I'm heading out tonight.

There was a big ol' harvest moon this weekend so I'm not surprised the movement was slow. They were probably out feeding all night long.
Live to Hunt, Hunt to Live.

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Hunting Journal 2013

Postby Deebz » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:34 pm

Didn't do any deer hunting, but I did take advantage of the Fall Trout Season at Kickapoo State Park on Saturday. Caught my limit (as usual), but I managed to catch the 2 biggest trout I've ever caught. A 20" male (hooked jaw and all), and about a 17" female... hard fighting and good eating fish.

I was plannng on hunting Sunday afternoon, but the high winds and full moon persuaded me otherwise. I try to not hunt my timber when the conditions are crappy. It's a small parcel, and I have the best luck with low impact hunting.
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"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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