Dream Buck Down

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
After losing virtually my entire deer season to a severe case of Covid last year, I can’t describe how great it was just to be in a tree this fall. I spent the peak rut quarantined on a cot in my Kodiak 10'x10' tent. Getting out just once to go to the ER for oxygen. It was so awesome just to be outside to watch the leaves change and take in the views. On November 3rd I took a nice 140” Illinois buck with my first Illinois tag. Then on November 16th, after 32 years of bow hunting, my dream buck finally paid me a visit.

That morning I overslept an hour and had to rush just to get to my stand at dawn 6:15 am. That may have actually helped me. Wind was light and variable. I always move around between trees and areas to keep my setup clean. This buck may have been patrolling and scented me had I been there longer. Will never know. Was set up in a telephone pole tree 22’ high with a primary bedding area marsh to my back. Facing a thick briar filled clear cut. With timber, lots of rubs/scrapes beyond that 30 yards. Forty minutes later at 6:55 am this buck walks out of the marsh to my right 30 yards and I freeze. He was downwind but not completely. I had about a 15 degree advantage. My next pacer checkup at Central DuPage the cardio nurse is probably going to ask me what I was doing 11/16/21 at 6:55 am.

The buck stared me down for about 20 seconds, but I did not budge. To my surprise, he then just put his head down and proceeded across the clear cut. When he went behind a shrub, I was able to stay seated and pivot my legs to the right, in position to draw. 8” Tree was too thin to stand up and not shake. Buck walked up a trail I had ranged the evening before at 25 yards. My only chance would be to draw now, before the trail split, because if he took the right trail I would only see his rump. My mode shifted to stone cold and I held the 20 yard pin a bit high, rock steady at release. (My 30 yard pin had bent the day before pulling it through some briars) The pop sound on impact was right, but he bounded off before I could see the arrow. It was not an easy shot. I had to squat down to send arrow under an overhanging branch. And the buck’s bottom 1/3rd of his torso was covered by grass. Despite my confidence, I stayed on stand for 2 1/2 hours, giving him time.

At 9:30 I climbed down and began searching. Found no arrow and zero blood for an hour of searching, so began a grid search. Not ten minutes into it, looked up and saw an image I thought was a mirage. A bow hunter’s dream mirage. Afterwards measured my shot at 28 yards. A center punch heart shot. Found buck 50 yards from impact. Really thankful I was able to hold it together to make this shot after waiting so many years.

Taxidermist green scored him at 205” but said he would not trust his number because he was not sure how to measure all the junk. Most folks who looked at him said more like 190”. I have no idea because I’ve never shot anything close to this caliber. Will find out in January when I’ll have him measured by P&Y. Was very fortunate to buy the last real Illinois lifetime hunting license back in 2006. Finally paid off when I bailed on the state and moved here to Indiana two years ago. Otherwise I could not have even bought a 2nd archery buck tag this year, much less for only $26.

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nfh

Long Time Member
Messages
6,702
You and I have the same dream for a dream buck. You beat me to it..

Congrats on a toad!!!!
 
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RR2012

Active Member
Messages
150
Heck of a buck! Congrats on a giant. Illinois lifetime resident myself. Illinois has produced some awesome bucks this year.
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Wooow Zim, congrats! That's truly a buck of a lifetime!
Thx jims, Did I ever let you know my Sept. Denver training got morphed into a Zoom meeting? lol It actually made sense, but I was bummed about not getting to go.
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Congratulations-great buck. How many people followed you home
Well unfortunately it was roasting hot that day 75 degrees and I was racing the whole time to get to truck stop for ice, then direct to processor locker. So I had no time to share. Did have several folks take photos at the truck stop, LOL.

The whole thing was kind of a shocker though, as I am a serious hunter, but very ordinary. In 32 years my best two deer were only 162" & 141". So this was once-in-a-lifetime for me for sure.
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Lol took this selfie moments after my shot. This was how I felt about it despite not seeing the arrow hit. I heard it pop.

Can you image not finding a speck of blood for an hour and ten minutes, losing hope, then seeing that rack just sticking up out of the grass? It was genuinely as if I was hallucinating. I wish every bow hunter could have that feeling.

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desperatehills

Very Active Member
Messages
1,293
Can you image not finding a speck of blood for an hour and ten minutes, losing hope, then seeing that ....

Yes I can. I watched my arrow disappear right in the crease on my mulie this year. I was so sure of the shot I did not even look for blood at first. 2 hours later I found my first drop of blood and he was piled up 30 yards from there. I quit bowhunting there for a bit.

Congrats on a incredible buck
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Yes I can. I watched my arrow disappear right in the crease on my mulie this year. I was so sure of the shot I did not even look for blood at first. 2 hours later I found my first drop of blood and he was piled up 30 yards from there. I quit bowhunting there for a bit.

Congrats on a incredible buck.
Did your arrow exit? I had two identical bucks same thing heart shots, hit off shoulder. Frustrating.
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Ohhhhh your photo reminds me of the AZ Kaibab, where I stand hunt out of firs like that. Lone Wolf climber very effective in those trees, over a tank. Will draw again soon.

Curious why your buck did not leave a blood trail. Seems center punched from a stand height.
 

desperatehills

Very Active Member
Messages
1,293
Curious why your buck did not leave a blood trail. Seems center punched from a stand height.

Not real sure. There was a lot of bare dirt in the area that is not good for spotting blood in. He did cross some bare logs that should of been easier to find blood but nothing. When I found the first blood there was quite a bit like he stood for a moment but that was far from the tree. He piled up not far from there.

Those 2 hours from when I shot to when I found blood were agonizing. For a bit there I had a bow for sale.
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Those 2 hours from when I shot to when I found blood were agonizing. For a bit there I had a bow for sale.
Yup that's what was going through my mind as well. Questioned everything. Like how could I miss when I practice in lot at that distance every day and put it in a teacup!

Not too long and I'll have a score here. Drying period ends Jan. 15th. Did measure his trash at 20" so he will definitely go in the book as a nontypical. Found out there's a 15" minimum for that category.
 
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trophyhunter

Very Active Member
Messages
2,146
Awe
After losing virtually my entire deer season to a severe case of Covid last year, I can’t describe how great it was just to be in a tree this fall. I spent the peak rut quarantined on a cot in my Kodiak 10'x10' tent. Getting out just once to go to the ER for oxygen. It was so awesome just to be outside to watch the leaves change and take in the views. On November 3rd I took a nice 140” Illinois buck with my first Illinois tag. Then on November 16th, after 32 years of bow hunting, my dream buck finally paid me a visit.

That morning I overslept an hour and had to rush just to get to my stand at dawn 6:15 am. That may have actually helped me. Wind was light and variable. I always move around between trees and areas to keep my setup clean. This buck may have been patrolling and scented me had I been there longer. Will never know. Was set up in a telephone pole tree 22’ high with a primary bedding area marsh to my back. Facing a thick briar filled clear cut. With timber, lots of rubs/scrapes beyond that 30 yards. Forty minutes later at 6:55 am this buck walks out of the marsh to my right 30 yards and I freeze. He was downwind but not completely. I had about a 15 degree advantage. My next pacer checkup at Central DuPage the cardio nurse is probably going to ask me what I was doing 11/16/21 at 6:55 am.

The buck stared me down for about 20 seconds, but I did not budge. To my surprise, he then just put his head down and proceeded across the clear cut. When he went behind a shrub, I was able to stay seated and pivot my legs to the right, in position to draw. 8” Tree was too thin to stand up and not shake. Buck walked up a trail I had ranged the evening before at 25 yards. My only chance would be to draw now, before the trail split, because if he took the right trail I would only see his rump. My mode shifted to stone cold and I held the 20 yard pin a bit high, rock steady at release. (My 30 yard pin had bent the day before pulling it through some briars) The pop sound on impact was right, but he bounded off before I could see the arrow. It was not an easy shot. I had to squat down to send arrow under an overhanging branch. And the buck’s bottom 1/3rd of his torso was covered by grass. Despite my confidence, I stayed on stand for 2 1/2 hours, giving him time.

At 9:30 I climbed down and began searching. Found no arrow and zero blood for an hour of searching, so began a grid search. Not ten minutes into it, looked up and saw an image I thought was a mirage. A bow hunter’s dream mirage. Afterwards measured my shot at 28 yards. A center punch heart shot. Found buck 50 yards from impact. Really thankful I was able to hold it together to make this shot after waiting so many years.

Taxidermist green scored him at 205” but said he would not trust his number because he was not sure how to measure all the junk. Most folks who looked at him said more like 190”. I have no idea because I’ve never shot anything close to this caliber. Will find out in January when I’ll have him measured by P&Y. Was very fortunate to buy the last real Illinois lifetime hunting license back in 2006. Finally paid off when I bailed on the state and moved here to Indiana two years ago. Otherwise I could not have even bought a 2nd archery buck tag this year, much less for only $26.

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some buck, congrats post him back up after the taxi mount,
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,111
That is one hell of a deer, congratulations!!! I love the detail in your write up. Very cool. 👍🏻
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
That is one hell of a deer, congratulations!!! I love the detail in your write up. Very cool. 👍🏻
I haven’t written up any of my hunts in years. However, did it this time because the buck was special and I’m unlikely to ever top it. And only took me 32 years to find. Lol
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,111
I haven’t written up any of my hunts in years. However, did it this time because the buck was special and I’m unlikely to ever top it. And only took me 32 years to find. Lol
It’s a great deer for sure & beyond worthy of the write up. Congratulations again!!
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Returning rack to taxidermist Monday so took opportunity to scout a few days for next season. Marked some nice trees.

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trophyhunter

Very Active Member
Messages
2,146
After losing virtually my entire deer season to a severe case of Covid last year, I can’t describe how great it was just to be in a tree this fall. I spent the peak rut quarantined on a cot in my Kodiak 10'x10' tent. Getting out just once to go to the ER for oxygen. It was so awesome just to be outside to watch the leaves change and take in the views. On November 3rd I took a nice 140” Illinois buck with my first Illinois tag. Then on November 16th, after 32 years of bow hunting, my dream buck finally paid me a visit.

That morning I overslept an hour and had to rush just to get to my stand at dawn 6:15 am. That may have actually helped me. Wind was light and variable. I always move around between trees and areas to keep my setup clean. This buck may have been patrolling and scented me had I been there longer. Will never know. Was set up in a telephone pole tree 22’ high with a primary bedding area marsh to my back. Facing a thick briar filled clear cut. With timber, lots of rubs/scrapes beyond that 30 yards. Forty minutes later at 6:55 am this buck walks out of the marsh to my right 30 yards and I freeze. He was downwind but not completely. I had about a 15 degree advantage. My next pacer checkup at Central DuPage the cardio nurse is probably going to ask me what I was doing 11/16/21 at 6:55 am.

The buck stared me down for about 20 seconds, but I did not budge. To my surprise, he then just put his head down and proceeded across the clear cut. When he went behind a shrub, I was able to stay seated and pivot my legs to the right, in position to draw. 8” Tree was too thin to stand up and not shake. Buck walked up a trail I had ranged the evening before at 25 yards. My only chance would be to draw now, before the trail split, because if he took the right trail I would only see his rump. My mode shifted to stone cold and I held the 20 yard pin a bit high, rock steady at release. (My 30 yard pin had bent the day before pulling it through some briars) The pop sound on impact was right, but he bounded off before I could see the arrow. It was not an easy shot. I had to squat down to send arrow under an overhanging branch. And the buck’s bottom 1/3rd of his torso was covered by grass. Despite my confidence, I stayed on stand for 2 1/2 hours, giving him time.

At 9:30 I climbed down and began searching. Found no arrow and zero blood for an hour of searching, so began a grid search. Not ten minutes into it, looked up and saw an image I thought was a mirage. A bow hunter’s dream mirage. Afterwards measured my shot at 28 yards. A center punch heart shot. Found buck 50 yards from impact. Really thankful I was able to hold it together to make this shot after waiting so many years.

Taxidermist green scored him at 205” but said he would not trust his number because he was not sure how to measure all the junk. Most folks who looked at him said more like 190”. I have no idea because I’ve never shot anything close to this caliber. Will find out in January when I’ll have him measured by P&Y. Was very fortunate to buy the last real Illinois lifetime hunting license back in 2006. Finally paid off when I bailed on the state and moved here to Indiana two years ago. Otherwise I could not have even bought a 2nd archery buck tag this year, much less for only $26.

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Nice job, awesome buck, lots of character, congrats
 

Zim

Very Active Member
Messages
2,071
Very happy at 62 my shoulder issues healed up and I could take him with my compound.
 

PRCnut

Active Member
Messages
188
Awesome buck congrats! Looks like 195 2/8 gross score with no deductions(SCI) nets are for fish! Lol 😂
 

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