November 18: Kelly Turner


Kelly Turner experienced a run of bad luck early in the Illinois firearms season.

He had hunted two different farms, and had targeted good bucks on both places. His hopes ran high of wrapping his tag around one of those fine Illinois bucks.

Anyone who has deer hunted long, has experienced the highs and lows of the sport.  Hunters often sit for days without a sign of a deer, and when all seems to be lost, an animal shows itself, a good  shot is made, the animal dies quickly, and the hunter enjoys the triumph of filling his freezer with life sustaining venison.

In Turner’s case the good fortune fell to another hunter, when he shot one of Turner’s target bucks. No honest hunter can begrudge a fellow hunter who legally and  happily filled his freezer with a winter’s supply of good, red meat.

Turner returned to the second farm he had permission to hunt, in hopes of  taking his second target buck. He must have stayed out of the local poker games and failed to buy lottery tickets that week, because Lady Luck treated him horribly. Yet another hunter shot his second target buck. Depression time.     

Die hard deer hunters stick with it and make their own luck. Turner turned out to be a case-in-point. He went to a third farm, which he had permission to hunt, and scouted early in the morning. He found promising sign.

About 12:30 pm, Turner returned to the farm to put in a long afternoon on the stand. “It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around,” he said. “I headed to my stand and had not gone far, when I spotted a good buck hot on a doe. The rut had kicked into full swing and that buck would not give up on that doe.”

Turner maneuvered on the enamored pair of deer and worked his way to within 35-yards of their location . “I settled my sights where I needed to be and squeezed the trigger,” he said.

It goes to show you that the third time is charm. Turner preserved through hunting three farms and three shooter bucks, before putting a beautiful  7-point, 135-inch Illinois buck on the ground. “Perseverance does pays off,” Turner said.