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It was my second year hunting in Illinois and I couldn’t wait to get back. Unfortunately I was not able to harvest a buck last year, so I was hoping that this would be the year I would get my first Illinois whitetail. I was very fortunate to be able to hunt on Joe Schultzs’ farm; he and my dad (Coon Dog) work very hard at getting the farm ready. With the short time that I have to hunt each year, I really appreciate everything they do! My mom, Kathy, put in a lot of time as well logging pictures from the Reconyx camera and keeping track of all of the great deer that are on the farm.

On Friday evening we saw a lot of movement from the new blind that my dad had built for me as a birthday present. We were so shocked that a buck didn’t step out that night that we decided that we had to get back in there Saturday morning. It was definitely a good call. Although it was raining, we hadn’t been in the blind for more than 45 minutes when we saw a doe run into the field. She was moving so quickly that were hoping something else was coming right behind her. Not a minute later, out stepped my buck! He moved swiftly across the field until he was about 65 yards in front of me.

Using my Thompson Center Dream Season Omega Muzzleloader, I was able to harvest my first Illinois buck. I’m not sure who was happier; my dad or me! Even the wet weather didn’t put a damper on our exhilaration.
I always go on my hunting trips with both my parents, so it’s nice to have some family time. The entire weekend, my dad kept saying, “you never know when one is going to step out,” and he was right. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to hunt with my dad and share something with him that he is SO passionate about. Both Pam and I were able to harvest a deer in the short time that we had, so it was definitely a successful weekend. Now my dad will have next weekend all to himself to get another deer. Go Team MAD!