If I could imagine my dream hunt, it would be killing a big rut crazed buck in the middle of some mature hardwoods. It wouldn’t involve my cameraman’s stand accidentally shifting 6 inches to get the buck’s attention or involve my Dad shooting the same buck I just double lunged! Well all of the above mentioned happened, I couldn’t make this stuff up!
Illinois was dry and hot, but the first night I was at full draw on a fully mature 8 point at 50 yards, however I just didn’t like the shot angle so I passed. This turned out to be lucky for me and for that fat bellied 8 point - as 2 nights later me and my Dad decided the fields were played out and we headed to the timber. He went to one of his favorite spots on a tall ridge next to a big cedar thicket and I was going to a ladder stand I had never hunted before. Lil’ Jon and I were walking into our stand and there already was a nice 10 point that I had tons of pictures of chasing a doe all around my stand. We got out the camera and almost killed this buck on the ground but he was just a touch out of bow range. We let him chase her off the ridge and hopped up in our tree. A couple of hours passed with no action and then we noticed a doe and her fawn feeding in the bottom below us. A few minutes later, a large framed buck came in grunting and bumped the does up the hill. I immediately looked at Jon and we both agreed this buck was way bigger than the one that was under our stand earlier. He paid no attention to the grunts from my Hypergrowl prototype, he was just interested in the does. Well the next time Jon looked over my way his stand somehow dropped down the tree, making a loud noise. We decided to call again because now we KNEW we had his attention. I grunted twice and snort wheezed – he then made a beeline for our tree, I finally stopped him at 15 yards and sent a Rage through both of his lungs. He took off running down the ridge and obviously up the next one where my Dad was waiting. He had no idea I had shot the deer and put one through him again, the deer then ran about 150 yards and fell over. We knew we both had made good shots so I started trailing mine and he started trailing what he thought was “his” buck.
Well after our blood trails led to the same deer we all had a good laugh and enjoyed this wild story, both knowing that he was a dead deer walking when my arrow went though his ribs. A crazy story that had a happy ending with a big buck on the ground at the end of 2 blood trails. He turned out to be my biggest Illinois buck ever, final score was 175 0/8” on the nose and I felt like one lucky hunter! - Jeff