Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.

 

Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

Illinois hunting and fishing

Cornfused? Standing corn solutions

June 21, 2009 at 03:59 PM

With all of the jokes created lately with regards to standing corn, I thought it would be a great time to discuss hunting techniques with standing corn!

Yes, we all know the lame excuses used to dismiss the falling deer harvest numbers here in Illinois but in reality, standing corn can be a great opportunity to harvest some quality whitetails. I’ve hunted standing corn many times in the past with the latest time being last year. I’ve always noticed some really interesting common denominators that are associated with every hunt. I’ve used those situations to benefit myself and I’ll explain why I don’t mind the starch ridden, golden colored trees during the fall. 

In some of the smaller tracts that I hunt, the surface area of the timber is very limited, which in turn leaves little opportunity. Although I don’t want to sound contradictive, I do enjoy hunting limited places for several reasons. For now, I want to talk about how the limited aspect of the hunt is reversed by the corn itself. These limited areas will hold only so much deer because of the carrying capacity of the land itself. With standing corn, the area is expanded creating almost double the cover where I hunt thus allowing more deer to inhibit. Now I know this can’t be the case for all of Illinois hunters but it certainly can be the case for many who hunt smaller draws. The corn, for all practical purposes, is really an expanded timber ground for the whitetail. If you were to look closely, you’ll see that they make their favorite trails to and from their favorite spots. In many cases, the trails lead to and from watering holes, especially in the hottest months of summer. They make great ambush routes! Although you can’t really place deer stands in the corn, most hunters can place stands near the edge of the fields where the trails often lead to. If you are a ground hunter, it can be a sweet deal! With the wind blowing, it gets pretty noisy inside of the corn fields and that’s exactly what you want! Noise makes for great ground hunting as it is a very forgiving environment. 

I’ve gotten pretty close to some nice bucks and does while hunting corn. Although I’ve never killed a deer hunting standing corn, that was totally my fault. After hunting a really nice buck for several days in standing corn, the opportunity arrived only for me to mistakenly shoot over the top of him. Nobody to blame except myself. Can’t even blame the standing corn for that one!

Larger fields can really be a problem and I understand that but throwing the towel in is not needed either. If you are forced to hunt standing corn this year, get out there and scout the interior trails. Start with standing watering holes and work backwards if possible. One other advantage of standing corn that you should take advantage of is the fact that the deer will hurriedly look for cover once the corn is down. That gives you ample time to set ambush plans in the timber itself.

Get a plan of action in place now and look forward to the upcoming season!

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