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98 illinois buck

1998 started out with a promise of disaster due to unexpected surgery and resultant difficulty in shooting my bow. I had booked and made partial payment on several hunts before I was aware that the surgery would be required.
As you can see, the year was not a total disaster! Read on for the story of this buck and more photos.


Another View

98 illinois-2


I had two buck tags while hunting at a camp that had a "one Buck" policy. On the sixth day of the hunt I became aware of a vigorous buck fight taking place behind my stand shortly before daylight. As the morning lightened I could see two very large bucks tearing-up the hillside eighty yards away.
Just after daylight a doe-fawn dashed past my stand to the right with a small one-horned buck in pursuit. The two larger bucks broke off their fight and one of them took up after the doe. He passed my stand at full run within three yards but did not give me a shot opportunity. But I could see that he was a tremendous buck! He chased the one-horned buck away and herded the doe into a thicket about fifty yards from me. Then the buck that he had been fighting tried to sneak into their love nest. This buck was smaller in body but had a larger rack.
The fight resumed with a fury and continued for another twenty minutes or so. The larger bodied buck was doing triple snort-wheezes and was clearly the dominant buck --- even though he had a smaller rack!
Soon the doe tired of this and casually walked away. She stopped every ten yards or so and urinated. The big bodied buck followed and also stopped at every spot she had scented. Each time he lip curled and made a low guttural groan, like a drawn-out grunt. When the doe stopped twenty yards in front of my stand, I knew I would get my opportunity --- I got ready. The buck soon followed and as he strethed his neck and curled his lip my A/C/C arrow zipped through his lungs.
I immediately knocked another arrow but the buck made an obvious death dash into the brush about forty yards away.
As I tried to compose myself I heard a noise in the leaves to my left. Turning slowly I saw the other, larger-racked, buck. I studied him for about thirty seconds. He had a massive near-perfect ten point rack with heavy bases, thick, long beams.
His G-2's and G-3's were in excess of a foot long and there were no obvious deductions. He would easily score in the high 180's! He didn't have a clue that I was there as I drew my bow and held my sight on his vital area. This was my first hunt in this camp and it ocurred to me that I wanted to be able to return to hunt here again --- I let my bow down!

The outfitter later told me that I should have shot the buck!

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