Illinois Bow Hunting Trip Success

Illinois bow hunting kill

I took this buck bow hunting Illinois.

I just returned from my first Illinois bow hunting trip, and was lucky enough to take my first big buck deer hunting with a bow.

Illinois Bow Hunting

We arrived in southern Illinois on Saturday November 1,2008 during the afternoon. And were greeted by very warm temperatures. We immediately unpacked and headed for the woods. We were all excited to be in Illinois bow hunting. My three buddies and I did some scouting and hunted that afternoon. My buddy Brad shot a big doe that evening and we saw a few deer. We took the deer to the local deer cooler that night and there were several big bucks hanging in the cooler. We were pumped. We hunted very hard all week and saw a lot of does and several small bucks chasing does. But the temperatures remained very warm during the day and in the upper forties in the mornings. We just weren’t seeing the sign or big bucks. We found a few scrapes and rubs here and there but nothing that really got your blood boiling and made you think a big buck was in rut in the area. After hunting hard all week in the warm temperatures  we decided to extend the trip a couple of days because we knew there was a cold front coming in and the does should be going in heat any day, they were so close we could tell by the smaller bucks chasing.

After a rainy windy Thursday ,Friday brought cooler temperatures and even though we were all exhausted from hunting hard all week we weren’t giving up even though we were so tired physically and mentally. Thursday morning my buddy Mac saw ten bucks chasing a hot doe all morning and he saw several nice bucks and he saw a big buck that would have been a shooter but he was broken off just above his G-1 on his left beam. So he let him and a fairly nice eight pointer walk by at about twelve yards. We were reluctant to come down from the stand but did and returned to the room and regrouped for the afternoon hunt. That evening the temperatures warmed up and we only saw a few does.

Southern Illinois 10 point big buck

My first Illinois bow hunting trip turned out to be memorable.

Friday morning the temperatures were in the upper thirties and we knew it should be a great morning. I was so tired it was all I could do to get out of the bed, I had been fighting some type of stomach virus for a couple of days and I was weak and drained. But I didn’t come to Illinois to be sick. We headed for the woods early and got in our stands well before daylight. I was hunting a spot where there were several fresh scrapes and some really nice rubs near a big hardwood ridge where it met a big thicket near some pines. There were loaded persimmon trees all around and plenty of honeysuckle and white oaks all over the ground. I put out doe in estrous urine and mega tarsal scent and was about twenty feet up a pine in my new TREEWALKER climbing stand. I was pumped, early November 38 degrees and I was on the edge of my seat. It was just one of those magical mornings every deer hunter dreams about. I walked up on two does right were I was going to hunt. About 6:50 I decided to make some racket. I gave a few grunts and a couple of bleats then I got my rattle bag and did about a minute rattling sequence. After about fifteen minutes I gave a few more grunts and bleats and did a more aggressive rattling sequence. I then settled in and and sat very still and scanned the area. Then about sixty five yards in front of me I saw horns coming across a hardwood draw. My heart started pumping, I got my bow and got ready. The buck was kind of going away from me so I hit my grunt a couple of times and he turned and started heading straight towards me, like he was on a string. He came in to some thick stuff about thirty five yards away and I couldn’t get a shot. I had to compose myself and be patient. He was coming to an opening about thirty yards away and had his head down eating acorns taking his sweet time. I didn’t want to draw to soon so I waited until I saw his horns come out from behind the thick stuff and I came to full draw. I had ranged a pine at twenty three yards about seven yards directly in front of where he was now standing. I put my thirty yard pin just behind his shoulder and let it fly. He ran off back the same way he came. I think I hit some small limbs that I had not seen. I was shaking I wasn’t sure what had happened, I couldn’t tell if I made a good shot or not. I got my cell phone and called my buddy Mac who was hunting near by. I told him what had happened and told him I was going to wait a while before getting down and checking. A few minutes passed and I decided to give a few more grunts and bleats. Then my phone vibrated it was Mac, I was telling him I wasn’t sure what happened, then while I was talking to Mac I saw the buck coming back for more, I couldn’t believe it, I hung up on Mac and got my bow and got ready again. He was working his way further away from me so I grunted and he turned and came straight to me again. He took his time and finally came back where I had just missed him. He stepped into an opening a thirty yards and this time I put the thirty yard pin on his vitals and smack, he wasn’t as lucky! He walked about five yards and I could tell he was hurt, he walked another five yards and started getting weak kneed, then he walked another five yards and laid down and expired. I was so excited, I had just harvested my first big racked buck with a bow. My PSE Stinger with Beman ICS Bowhunter 340 carbon arrows tipped with G5 Montec 100 grain broad-heads did a number on him. I called Mac and gave him the good news. It was down to the last hunt of our trip and I had taken a mature trophy whitetail in southern Illinois. It’s a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The big ten pointer was huge, I have never been hunting outside of Georgia and have taken some heavy bucks, but this deer was like a horse. He was easy 250 pounds live weight, what a brute. He had a torn ear and scars on his neck and obviously wasn’t afraid of a good fight. I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to be able to hunt such a magnificent animal and enjoy the great outdoors in such a beautiful place. If you get the chance to go bow-hunting in Illinois I would definitely recommend it.



Big Buck Trail Camera Photos

trail camera photos

Trail camera photos can help you figure out big bucks feeding patterns.

Well it looks like the big bucks are coming along just fine. I received an email of some trail camera photos at our club. It looks like the supplemental feeding and food plots are providing good nutrition for the deer. There are some really good shots of some trophy bucks.

Trail Camera Photos

It looks like these two big bucks are eating good!

buck showing off

This is one of my best trail camera photos.

It looks like a full moon! This buck is showing off for the camera!

buck feeding

I got this trail camera picture of this buck feeding during daylight hours.

big buck

This is Rosco a big buck that is very elusive.

These are some real good shots of some mature whitetail bucks. It looks like it is going to be a good upcoming season. I can’t wait to get out and get after some of these great bucks.

Do you use trail cameras to scout your deer hunting property for trophy bucks? Have you got some good shots of big bucks this summer? Aren’t trail cameras a great tool for helping us deer hunters figuring out mature whitetail bucks? I think it is so cool to see hunters get trail camera photos of big bucks and then harvest that buck by using the photos to pattern the buck and figure him out. Have you ever used trail camera photos to help you pattern and harvest a trophy buck? If you have some trail camera photos you would like me to put on here send them to me and I’ll gladly do it.

It wont be long until deer season is here. I am already fired up about it! How about you?



Archery Trip To Illinois Might Just Happen

Well folks, I am so pumped, yesterday some friends decide to go on a archery trip to Illinois. We applied for a Prairie State archery deer hunting permit. I have always wanted to go on a big time deer hunt and it looks like this could be the year that dream becomes a reality.

archery trip to Illinois happening

It looks like the archery trip to Illinois just might happen.


Archery Trip To Illinois

We are planning to go on our archery trip to Illinois in late October to early November. Right in the heart of big buck country. I have always wanted to hunt in Illinois, where the chances of getting a world class whitetail are very good. It’s a lottery to get drawn for so hopefully we will get drawn.

If you are wondering why I am so pumped up about hunting in Illinois check out this video, and if you are a deer hunter you will understand.I have already made my self a hunting equipment checklist and I just ordered a new bow that should be here tomorrow. The bow that I have been using for years has been a great one, but it is time for an upgrade. I have never shot a carbon arrow and I just can’t wait to start practicing with my new PSE Stinger. I bought it on-line at They have ready to hunt bow packages that come set up and paper tuned and ready to hunt right out of the package. I just don’t have a lot of spare time, so this is a great deal for someone who doesn’t have the time to get a bow tuned and set up properly. Of course I will need to get in a lot of practice between now and hunting season, which I plan on doing. If you are looking for a good deal on a bow package you can check them out at or click Hunters Friend, or call 1-877-410-7811.

A while back I decided to set a deer hunting goal for my self, of harvesting a Pope and Young buck with my bow. Bow hunting in Illinois just might help me achieve that goal. They have some real trophy whitetails there and I just might get a bruiser, you never know. I have been deer hunting twenty seven years and have never been hunting outside of the great state of Georgia. I have taken some real nice bucks in Georgia, but I really hope to get the chance to go bow hunting in Illinois. I am pumped up just thinking about it.


Also I will be moving to Kentucky real soon and I here there is some great hunting there also. I am looking forward to hunting in some of these states that I have only read about and seen on television. I here there is a lot of corn up that way. I bet those tenderloins taste real good. Not to mention those world class  racks.