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It’s always exciting to hunt the “Land of the Giants” state of Illinois.  It’s even more exciting to be hunting with good friend Jim Thome.  There is never a dull moment when around Jim.  He keeps everything fun and lighthearted.  At times we lose sight of the “fun” part, as our serious side somehow always gets in the way, but not around Jim! 

Having recently acquired a small parcel of property near Jim I was anxious to scout, hang and hunt the uncharted territory.  Numerous phone conversations between Jim and I had us planning, plotting and strategizing on how to outwit these whitetail giants.  Next thing I knew Jim and brothers Chuck and Randy were hanging a video set for us on a lease adjacent to the newly acquired parcel (within 100 yards). 

Awesome, how good can it be?  Arriving at 9 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday November 12th, found us scrambling hurriedly to climb a tree by 10 a.m.  The moon waxing full lends itself well for a mid-day hunt.  After a quick coin toss to determine which set to climb we were shimming up the set Jim and brothers hung. 

I was staring at our newly acquired parcel wondering what monsters it may hold when one stood up and slowly followed a doe into the brush.  High hopes soared quickly after the sighting.  Then the long dry spell set in.  When at about 2 p.m. a cough or sneeze alerted our attention to a 4 ½ year old directly down wind and walking right through it (out of bow range!).  Thank goodness for all the ScentBlocker products!  I allowed him to proceed past us then began to grunt, growl, snort wheeze all to no avail. 

When he just tipped out of sight I picked up the horns and clashed them together as if two dall sheep collided on a mountainside.  Instantly he bolted in to our position, again to our down wind side, only this time cut our track where we walked in and slammed on the brakes!  He began to turn slowly and cautiously to exit the scene quartering away perfectly when my PSE cams rolled over, pin settled at 37-28 yards and KAWHACK heart shot!  He runs 60 yards and falls over on camera in the CRP field. 

What an exciting mid-day hunt during the rut.  A BIG thanks to the Thomes’ and the “Lucky Coin Toss.”

Talk about a trip around the world over 500 miles.  Joe and Dog left Illinois to check out a Missouri farm that Team members Rod and Keith were kind enough to let them hunt.  After checking out the farm for Joe’s wife, Pam, and Dog’s daughter, Alisha, it was time for a pit stop at Dog’s North Missouri farm. 

With Dog having a Missouri tag in his pocket, they decided to hunt a set the next morning.  The set was hung for structure and from an inside tip that Terry Drury gave him during turkey season.  Joe and Dog did not have to wait long.  Just after day break Joe spotted a buck in the green field.  As the buck began to scent check the timber, dog gave two soft grunts and the buck turned and came straight into the timber.  After the buck stood his ground checking the area for the grunt that he had heard, he made the fatal mistake of walking within 20 yards of Dog.  So with the PSE in hand, dog was able to put down his 2nd buck of the year.  With 2 days before Missouri gun season, Joe and Dog cannot wait to put the girls in front of the camera!

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