After knocking down a 205 5/8 inch buck in Oklahoma and a 163 in Texas, this guy is back to shooting Coondog deer.

What exactly is a Coondog deer? It’s any deer, regardless of size, that captures the enjoyment of that particular hunt. A “management” deer? A “cull” buck? In Coondog’s eyes, they don’t exist. He gets just as excited about shooting a 130s class deer as a 170s…so long as it fits the property’s management plan.

In Illinois for the shotgun leg of his 2016 season, Coondog and partner Joe had been hunting hard all across the Midwest and only had three days to make something happen in the Land of Lincoln. Deer movement was slow and they weren’t seeing any shooters.

As daylight began to ebb on their southern Illinois hunt, this busted up ten pointer stepped out. The rut had been hard on him, as evidenced by his matching broken G4s. Coondog brought the Traditions muzzleloader up to his shoulder, sighted in the buck and pow baby pow. Their Illinois hunt was in the books.

Losing that rush of excitement over killing a deer is a sure sign that the hunter ought to consider hanging up their weapon. If that’s so, it looks like Coondog’s got a lot of deer chasing years left in him.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik