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Illinois shotgun was upon us and considering the rut was running late, we had high hopes that the timing of the 3 day season would be packed with rut action! We loaded up the RV, headed East to the Golden Triangle of Illinois and got settled in. The first morning produced multiple deer sightings but nothing bigger than a couple 2.5 year old 8 pointers on the move looking for a hot lady. We figured the mature bucks were either locked down with the does or in between does and we might get lucky and catch one cruising.

The first afternoon the weatherman was calling for a south wind and we knew exactly where we wanted to sit. A 3 acre patch of Biologic Maximum right next to the thickest cover on the whole farm. A cozy box blind was perfectly positioned overlooking the plot and we had a Reconyx camera put out on the field via time lapse that we were going to check as we climbed in. At 2 p.m. we found ourselves settled in reviewing the Reconyx pics and getting a little disappointed after only seeing a few does and 1 shooter buck on the card. We got our hopes back up knowing it’s the rut and any doe could drag a big Thumper buck out of the timber any minute.

The first deer in the field were 2 lonely fawns, then followed by a couple sets of does on the other end of the field. The fawns kept looking back acting bucky so we figured any minute some Lil’ buck was going to come out into the Maximum and clear the field. I was wrong, instead I looked up and seen the big 8 with the split I had just viewed minutes earlier from my Reconyx camera! He scent checked the fawns and kept cruising across the field, paying no attention to my loud mouth grunts to stop him for a better look. I made a quick decision and put him down with one shot, it all happened so fast. I was a tad nervous that I had made the right decision. We got down to check the buck out and he was a lot more massive than I thought, my split second decision was the right one and I was some kind of pumped. I had put in a lot of hours in November, seen lots of big deer but was having trouble getting one to play along for the TV show. The TC Dream Season Omega evened the score and Team HuntVe was on the board! This year’s Dream Season “The Journey” has been just that, a journey I am still living and enjoying every minute of it. Now it’s time for all of my out of town relatives to pay a visit to the Hawkeye state for a week of giving thanks and eating some turkey!