Ducks, Bucks, and Spurs Outdoors - Illinois - This spring, I lost my family farm to an estate sale, which had given me an excellent place to hunt for years. In fact, I have had the chance to shoot 2 bucks per year for the past 5 years and up until yesterday hadn't missed a deer for 5 years all with a bow. So this year, I was forced to join the ranks of many and head out on public land in pursuit of whitetail. For some reason I can't seem to hit a deer with a gun, so I only bow hunt. I spent numerous hours in the off-season scouting and looking for a good area to be in come the fall. All my hard work payed off and luckily, I was still able to tag out this year with 2 incredible public land bucks.
The first one, a 10 point, was harvested 10-28-17 and was killed over a scrape and the second buck, also a 10 point, was harvested just 2 weeks later on 11-11-17. Before I shot the second 10 point, I had an 8 point and a doe pass right by the stand I had hung 2 days prior. He would disappear and reappear in and out of the brush chasing the doe. I was finally offered a 50-yard shot but my arrow hit a limb and deflected off course. I climbed down anyways and checked for blood and as expected found none. It was still kind of early in the day, so I climbed back up in my stand but on the way up I accidentally knocked my bow out of the tree. So back down the tree I climbed, grabbed my bow, and climbed back up for the 3rd time. I hooked my safety harness back up, shut my lighted nock off, and I sit there not even 5 minutes before the 10 point comes cruising by the same trail the doe and 8 point were on. Only this time, I saw the buck just before he got to my shooting lane which left me with only about 2 seconds to grab my bow, pull back, and shoot before he was through. I quickly ran through this sequence, manage to stop him, and shoot. Luckily my sights had not gotten bumped during the fall and I managed to make a great shot. He ran through a valley and was on his way up the hill side when he slid back down under a few trees for his final resting spot. If it wasn’t for public land that is available to all, this season would have never happened and I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity that I did despite the circumstances.
The author with his first public land buck, a 10 point harvested on 10-28-17
The author's second public land 10 point killed just 2 weeks later!!