Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

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

IDNR, here’s how it’s done!

September 18, 2009 at 12:59 PM

After only 2 rings, the telephone conversation went something like this:

“Hello, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, how may I help you”?

Good Morning, I would like some information regarding some of your wildlife management areas please.

“Sure thing, how can I help”?

Could you put me in touch with someone who can give me detailed information regarding a couple of WMA’s?

“I can do that sir, what would you like to know”?

I’m interested in 2 WMA’s and need to know if bow hunting is allowed during the full season, limited, etc…....................

I’ll look that info up for you now if you would be kind enough to give me a minute”.

No problem, thanks for your help.

“Here’s what you need sir”.

Can I have your name please?

“Certainly, wasn’t I able to help you? My name is Mary Nickles”.

You were of great help Mary! In fact, I’ve never had better service over the phone…ever. I appreciate the service you are providing for the sportsman and I will let everyone I know how good it was, if that is OK with you.

“Well, I would be happy for you to mention that, thank you very much”!

Of course, I left out the small talk but this is what I call service! Mary knew almost everything there was to know about each WMA I asked her about and when she didn’t, she happily (notice the word “happily”) went out of her way to get me the answer. The service was just incredible! I don’t think I can ever remember having someone answering the phone, or even calling me back when I’ve needed questions answered, etc. Kentucky, by no means, generates as much hunting revenue as IL., yet they have some great parcels for hunting that anyone can enjoy and excellent support to boot.

Where’s our hunting dollars going?


Illinois hunting and fishing

Getting ready for gun & bow season!

September 16, 2009 at 02:45 PM

Are you ready? I hope so because it’s almost here! I’m going to re-post some material from last year’s blog just to remind you what NOT to forget. Of course, safety is a REAL issue these days so please don’t overlook that department. It would be nice to hear no devastating news this year regarding hunters falling out of their stands, etc.

Here we go:

The beginning of deer season doesn’t just begin with scouting, it should be much more involved than that. Although I spend many, many hours in the woods each year looking for that “sleeping buck,” there are other points of interest that can’t be overlooked; safety and deer preparation.

The safety Issue
It’s so boring talking about safety. As I write about safety, I can just “feel” my readers skipping over this topic looking for the next exciting subject to be entertained by. But safety is absolutely everything! I reminded myself this weekend on how dangerous deer hunting can be and how fast things could go south if we don’t heed precautions. There is no excuse for falling out of a tree, cutting yourself field dressing a deer or having your gun go “off” when you trip and fall any more, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Basic techniques
Teaching a new hunter basic techniques in their early stages of the game can really pay off. For instance, walking with their firearm pointed away from anyone nearby, safety switch always “on” until ready to fire, safety switch back “on” after downing a deer BEFORE HIGH FIVING each other or crawling down from a stand, are just some of the subjects needed to be introduced to today’s new outdoorsmen/outdoorswomen. Teaching safety issues by rote (the definition of rote means to be trained repeatedly until that technique becomes habit) can be one of the most successful methods in preparing anyone to become a responsible and safe hunter.

Some things to consider when teaching new hunters safety:

When field-dressing deer, always, always, always cut away from your body. Too many people have slipped causing self-induced femur artery wounds in the field, far away from medical aid, only to die in the woods waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Basic cutting technique could have prevented such a disaster.

ALWAYS wear a safety harness in a tree stand. Today’s body harnesses are second to none when it comes to tree safety. The older safety belts are all but obsolete and have been replaced with the body harness. When used properly, the body harness will not only prevent serious injury or even death, but also can allow you to step back in to your tree stand, continuing with the hunt if you were unfortunate enough to have fallen out. They’ve come a long way and using them is a must. 

Bracing a young child with your hand while they are about to shoot from a tree stand can prevent a good time gone bad. Too many parents overlook this safety issue under the excitement of the moment. With today’s overcrowded public hunting places it is absolutely imperative to teach young hunters good firearm techniques. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the next person’s safety. 


For crying out loud, bring a cell phone!

In the worst case scenario if you were too injured to respond, most cell phones have a GPS chip embedded within that can aid in locating you, even if you don’t subscribe to that service!
If your tree stand has been out in the weather all year long, the time to test it is not on opening day! Check those stands out extensively. Nuts and bolts rust, wood rots, nails loosen (should always use galvanized screws) and trees grow, twisting brackets and so forth. 

The harvested deer

Another overlooked (or not thought of issue) is the preparation of your deer. I’ve broken this down into two basic categories;

The meat issue
You often hear people say “I tried venison once but I didn’t like the gamy taste.” Gamy? Do you think they would serve “gamy” tasting venison in “high end” Chicago restaurants if it tasted gamy? I don’t believe so. Then what’s the difference?

Think about this for a minute. How do you think your delicious Angus steak would taste if the butchers who killed the animal let it sit on the ground for several hours with its entrails still in it, soaking up 70 degree or so heat? While most of us have two tags to fill, it’s pretty common for hunters to shoot their first deer and wait several hours for another one to come by. In the meantime, that first deer is filling up full of gas almost immediately after being shot, thus causing the meat to fill with bacteria, gas and all sorts of stuff that we would normally find disgusting. The trick to good tasting venison is to get that deer field-dressed NOW and to COOL DOWN that meat! If you want to make an impression on who you serve (or just want good tasting meat), heed this advice.

The trophy issue
If only I could be a fly on the wall every time a customer brought a cape and a set of antlers to their taxidermist with the cape cut too short or the hide ruined, (and to have listened what was said after the customer left). But wait! I am a taxidermist, so I can tell you all of those nasty, mean and degrading thoughts that go through our heads (but I won’t, instead, just read below).

Cool it down
The same bacteria that causes gamy tasting meat is also the same bacteria that can cause your hide to spoil. That bacteria will also cause the hair follicles to lose their grip in the hide causing “slipping”. Slipping will ruin your cape. Slipping can’t always be detected right away and very often it is not until the hide is already tanned (and at that point you find out it is ruined). So as mentioned in the “meat issue” above, when harvesting a trophy head, make sure you get that hide cooled down NOW thus preventing any bacteria that will cause such a disaster. 

Cut it correctly!
If you have a trophy head and want it to be mounted, do yourself and your taxidermist a favor….don’t cut the cape too short! You cut it short, you don’t get a mount. This happens all too often. A general rule of thumb is to cut the cape past the front legs about 4”. Remember, it’s better to cut too much then it is to cut not enough. If in doubt, just pick up the phone and call your favorite taxidermist for advise.

The brisket

One other point I would like to make when cutting your cape is to NOT cut too far up the brisket when field-dressing your buck. You can field dress your buck just fine by stopping the knife just before the front legs. Now cutting the brisket isn’t the end of the world for your mount as it can be sewn back up, but you will most likely get charged and extra fee by your taxidermist. Bottom line; just be careful where you cut the hide.

The other stuff
OK, now that the technical stuff is behind us, it’s time to have fun! Don’t forget to clean your clothes with no scent suds, have your bleat/grunt calls ready and working, face mask, gloves, etc. handy. For those of you who like to run videos while hunting, make sure your camera braces work as planned and so forth.

I personally invite anyone to share any deer or turkey experiences with me. Photos are welcome also! 

Good luck this season everyone!

Illinois hunting and fishing

Kentucky hunt interactive

September 14, 2009 at 01:49 PM

Look at this mess! Over a 1000 acres of mostly timber, a little tobacco, a little water and some cut crops. The tan area is mostly cut corn and some grass-like substance. The wind prevails from the NW most of the time this time of year.

The reason I like this area so much is because of the massive amounts of cover. Look at those hills! The finger structure is out of this world. Do you think there is enough cover there to grow a big buck? Pay special attention to the lighter green color in the middle of the map. It’s a little hard to see unless you look at closely at it. Deer LOVE change of terrain! Anytime you have a sudden change of terrain, deer are most likely to wander in the near vicinity of these places. Why? Maybe it’s because they’re like humans in the sense that they like a little variety in their lives. I was just at this place last week and I cannot believe how many times this special place is getting no attention by the locals. As suspected, there was big buck sign all over one section of this piece.

Where would you think it is? Answers coming soon!!!

Illinois hunting and fishing


Page 3 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 > 

A Non-Typical Hunter's Hit List

To contact Marc Anthony

Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons