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"Destiny"

The Illinois shotgun season is always something that I have looked forward to and this year was no different. I had a great year so far and was hoping to make it even better with a good gun kill this season. I had only one deer one my mind and he was the one i wanted to go after he was a fully mature 8 point with 2 small drop-tines. This deer was like a ghost last year never laying eyes on him once when he was around so many of our best spots, but this year we found out why. We were hunting in our favorite stand the last week of October right next to a bluff and deep draws and we have had awesome success because the deer are forced to walk right past us... at least we thought so. I looked down the hill and saw a giant buck and I knew right away it was the drop-tine 8. I thought for sure he would come by, but he turned and took a route that we have never saw a deer take before going through an area that is almost impossible to get threw and I knew this was the route he always had taken before and my heart dropped. This deer would be a hard one to get, but I hoped later in the season a hot doe would bring him by one of us.

The first couple hunts of the first shotgun season were very slow and the bucks just weren't on there feet. So the last evening I could hunt we decided to go to a spot were there were more shooter bucks than anywhere on the farm. Walking in we jumped up a nice 8 point and I had a feeling that the night was going to be a good one. Getting closer to the stand I started to get a smell from a rutting buck and before long I saw the drop-tine 8 standing 50 yards from the stand we were hunting.  He was a long ways away from where we have always gotten pics of him, but the doe had other plans and took him out of the field before getting close enough for a shot. My heart dropped once again, but my uncle told me he would be back because he wasn't spooked. We were seeing great activity that night, but I had only one deer on my mind and right before dark I look up and see a doe come out and I've never been happier to see what was behind her. I grabbed the TC and and waited for the 70 yard shot...it found its mark and the deer ran right at us and died 20 yards away from the stand and excitement is an understatement for the way I felt when I put my hands on this buck.

My Uncle Dale has always been a good luck charm for me and earlier this year he was diagnosed with cancer, but finally he was ready to hit the woods again!  I couldn't be happier to see him doing so well and him being there to experience this with me and doing an awesome job behind the camera made it that much better.