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After being fortunate enough to film Jim harvest his largest bow buck to date on December 7 we set out to try and lay eyes on another mid west monster for muzzleloader season which came in on December 9. We sat a standing bean field the evening of December 8 with high expectations of seeing a mature whitetail. We had been sitting for awhile and sure enough we saw a giant 8 point that had entered the bean field and started feeding. After glassing the buck we realized this would be a great deer to try a harvest the next day with the Thompson Center.

Opening day of late season muzzleloader had opened and Jim and I headed to the same bean field we saw the giant 8-point the night before. We felt as if the extreme changes in temperatures would have the bucks feeding a little bit in the morning before heading back to bed. After sitting for a while with only a few does visiting the field we decided to climb down and wait for the evening hunt. That afternoon we headed to a blind that has always been productive late season because of the amount of food that is left standing. We climbed in early that afternoon and shortly after a parade of deer entered the field. There were several does as well as a few small bucks. All of a sudden a yearling doe squirted out of the timber and had a big mature 9-point following her. Jim elected to pass this particular buck in hopes a bigger one would make an appearance. As the evening progressed another buck made his way onto the field. This particular deer was a deer Jim hadn’t had any Reconyx pictures of. The deer fed his way within range and after close examination we estimated the deer to be 6 years old. The buck was feeding broadside and Jim got situated for the shot. Once the window was open the buck became alert and looked as if he was going to clear the field. Jim took the shot at 50 yards and dropped the deer in his track. This was a great hunt and an excellent way to end the 2011 Illinois season.

As light faded away we gathered all of our stuff and climbed down to recover the deer. With limited time to hunt the late season this was an exceptional few days of hunting and it couldn’t have worked out any better. Now that the buck tags are filled it was time to celebrate before we had to depart the following morning. It was a great hunt and a great way to finish out the season.

Ryan Narup