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Joined: 04:04pm - Apr 27,06
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Post Posted: 10:46pm - Dec 13,20 
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I took up bow hunting again after 35 years absence from the sport. When I started in the 80's, it was too time consuming to continue with practice and hunting. The short gun season was better for my career and my marriage. I've been gun hunting every year since 1979 but I was invited on a bowhunting trip in November and I thought it would be much easier for me to ease back in with a crossbow. What a technological marvel! If you can shoot a gun, then you can shoot a crossbow after very short time in practice. I practiced in September and October and I was ready to go on November 2nd when we began hunting.

The bow hunt was on a private farm in southern Illinois for 5 days. The owner asked us to pass up all small bucks under 130 inches. Obviously not everyone comes home with a trophy over 130 inches. However, if everyone passes on the small bucks, then they grow into the 4 and 5 year old bucks that are trophy sized animals. This hunt was during prime rut and the deer were acting crazy. The does and fawn were terrified of the bucks and very skittish. We saw quite a few deer every day, including small bucks, fork horns, 6 points and even small eights and tens which we passed up. You know a shooter when you see one.

On the 3rd day, after watching multiple does and small bucks chasing around, I finally had a shooter come with in 40 yards (38 to be exact) but I only had 3 seconds to decide whether he was big enough and whether to take him. His body was large and the antler bases and main beams were massive. But there was no time to count points. I had to shoot between two trees and he was moving. I decided he was "him." I placed the scope in the opening and got the crosshairs on his chest. When the bolt launched, he was hit behind the shoulder, he hunched up just like a slug or rifle shot and he ran right into the tree in front of him! Then he gathered his poise and ran into a 2nd tree, fell down got up and ran into the woods. I figured he was dead within 100 yards. I waited 30 minutes and followed a very wide blood trail right to where he wasn't. After 100 yards, I figured I'd better stop and give it more time. Long story short, we spent the whole afternoon following the blood trail until dark and then resumed in the morning until the blood petered out. The deer was lost and we weren't allowed to rove the neighboring farms searching the area. Of course I was sick and upset, not for me but for the deer being wounded and possibly dying a slow death.

About one month later, the owner called me and said they found my deer. Another hunter on the adjoining farm found it during 2nd shotgun season, He sent me a picture of a skull and rack and it was definitely my buck, a thick and heavy eight pointer. The coyotes and vultures had picked all the bones clean. He died about 150 yards onto another farm to the north. The owner invited me to come visit and pick up the trophy and hunt another day. Of course I accepted the invite and went there on Friday.

On Friday, Dec 11th, the weather was mild about 40F with a high of 55F. There was rain coming and the barometer was dropping. There were deer everywhere- I saw 18 bucks and does by 9 am, even passing up a small 10 pointer because he didn't meet minimum standards. I saw some turkeys during the midday lull and got ready to be serious around 2:30 pm. The sky was cloudy and threatening rain soon. At about 2:45 pm, 2 skittish and very nervous does showed up and began feeding in front of me. Then a 6 pt, then an 8 pt and then Mr. Big, a very wide and tall 10 pointer, a true shooter. My heart was pounding through my chest and the big one stayed 100 yards away, much too far for my level of skill with this weapon. However, one of the does spotted me in the tree and began walking over to me with her tail up. The other doe did the stiff legged walk to exit stage right. The wind was in my favor all day but it began swirling and I was worried about them winding me. The 2 small bucks got nervous and began to depart also. The big one was oblivious to the drama and continued feeding until he realized he was alone Then luck intervened. Just as the doe got very serious about snorting and stomping, the shooter turned and began walking towards the doe, i.e. towards me! What a great turn of luck! I was watching these deer for 20 minutes frozen without moving and the big deer is walking right towards me and the upset doe. Before I knew it he was 60 yards, 40 yards, then 30 yards and all I needed was him to veer sideways for the broadside shot. He did and I got the perfect easy shot broadside, double-lung, arrow through the chest and into the dirt shot. He hunched and ran 100 yards, dead as a doornail, so much different than my experience on November 4th.

What an exciting experience. Now I know why people bow hunt. It's difficult and time consuming and such a thrill when you connect. I've shot larger deer but this challenge has been a thrill for sure. Will post pics when I find an enabler.


Last edited by Monty on 06:26pm - Dec 14,20, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: 10:14am - Dec 14,20 
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Wow amazing hunt, good for you!

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Joined: 11:31am - Feb 12,07
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Location: Around Carol Stream

Post Posted: 01:35pm - Dec 14,20 
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Congrats, great story!
Glad you got redemption, it's hard to loose a deer and then wanna go back for more. Way to persevere and make it happen! I wanna see thoes pics!

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Last edited by colddriver on 04:41pm - Dec 14,20, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: Around Carol Stream

Post Posted: 04:28pm - Dec 14,20 
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Monty's buck!
Image

Image
Image

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Post Posted: 09:26pm - Dec 14,20 
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Thanks guys and especially to colddriver for posting my pics! I appreciate it.

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Post Posted: 12:43pm - Dec 15,20 
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Great story and congrats on the nice looking buck.

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Post Posted: 09:17am - Jan 10,21 
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Thanks Guys, I appreciate it.

I learned something I didn't know and I'd like to share. One of my buddies told me to get a salvage tag for the skull and horns pictured above. Whether you salvage a deer from the roadside or the woods, the salvage report makes you legal for deer parts in your possession. The taxidermist needs the report if you want to mount what you bring him. Even though it's called a "Road Kill Deer Report" it applies to any deer parts, fresh or old, you take into your possession, where ever you find them. Go to the DNR website and look for "Road Kill Deer Report" and that's the one to use. They send you an email report you can print to make yourself legal.

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Post Posted: 05:26pm - Jan 10,21 
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Wonderful story and experience Monty. Fine looking buck.

Thanks for sharing. :D

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