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October 4: Carol Graham

Feeling good after a successful hunt in North Dakota, we climbed into the stand for the afternoon sit here in Illinois.  I was lucky already as Joe had given up his turn to hunt and chose to get behind the camera instead and let me be the hunter.  To make it more special, today was my daughter Erica's Birthday!  How nice it would be to take a buck on her birthday, I thought.  
 
The afternoon started out with hot temp's, but lots of active does and fawns in the clover followed by at least 5 different bucks.  Watching them at 25 yards for about 40 minutes was great.  
 
After they wandered off to the bean field, I saw a big bodied deer limping towards us along our edge of the clover.  He struggled along stopping to eat while watching the other deer in the distance.  It was then I saw what a mature buck this was!  Joe remembered him from trail photos from '05 as a three year old, making him a 6 year old now!  
 
As I watched him through my binoculars I could see how badly his front leg was broken and decided to do the right thing and end his suffering should he come close enough.  As he cleared the brush along the edge I drew my bow and waited for the right shot.  After connecting, he bolted as best he could on three legs.  Hearing some thrashing in the timber where he was, and not sure of the shot, we opted to get down after dark and go back to review the footage.  Turns out the Rage did a great job and he was found less then 50 yards from the stand!  This is my first Illinois bow buck and the oldest deer ever taken at Tall Tine Outfitters.  A Birthday buck after-all!