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Brian Kiel’s 9-pointer

October 12, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 9

Kill Date: Oct. 12, 2009

County: Christian

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of Taylorville bowhunter Brian Kiel is the story of his hunt for a 9-point Christian County buck.

It was a Monday as any other Monday, long and slow. I had worked that morning from 8-12 followed by Organic Chemistry class until 3. I had a Biology test Tuesday evening and an Organic Chemistry test Wednesday afternoon. My brain was tired and I was stressed. So I did what I always do to relax. I went to the woods. I climbed in my stand at about 3:30 p.m. and the rest is history. 
The weather was perfect. The temperature was cooling off and it had rained a little the few days prior to my hunt. The wind was out of the east at about 5-10 mph and I knew these deer would be coming from the south east so the wind couldn’t have been more perfect. Earlier that week I had three pictures of a great 8-pointer with a drop tine on my trail camera and I was so excited at the thought of seeing him in action. 

It was 5 p.m. and I had yet to see a deer. That was quite alright with me because I was really enjoying sitting quietly in my stand, listening to the woods. At about 5:15 p.m. I heard some movement on the levee to my left and I caught three does making their way up to the corn fields. I could still hear movement on the levee and about 5:45 a small buck trotted by on the same trail but I could still hear something behind him. 
I hadn’t really planned to shoot towards that trail because it was about 35 yards off and covered with thick brush. Not to mention it seemed like there were a million leaves on a thousand branches between me and that levee. I grabbed my bow off the hanger and listened to the crunching of small sticks getting louder. Buck Fever set in. 

I knew in my heart that this was the drop-tine buck I’d been waiting for. I started looking for a hole that I might be able to shoot through and I found one. It wasn’t much, about the size of a basketball. I grabbed my range finder and hit a small tree through the hole where I thought the deer would make his way through. It was 38 yards. 

I only have a 20 and a 30 yard pin on my Mathews Drenalin right now so I was pretty worried about the distance, but I knew I was good up to 40 yards. 
Finally he stepped out past some brush and I knew this was the one. Luckily I didn’t have long to look at his antlers or I might have not even been able to pull my bow back. My heart was pounding, probably 180 BPM, and I was ready. I grunted to stop him but when he stopped I realized it was 10 yards too soon and I thought I blew it. 

I couldn’t get a shot through the thick cover and I had to wait.  About a minute later he kept walking and I refocused on my basketball-sized hole. I grunted again and he stopped on a dime. I drew back and put my 30 yard pin just under the horizon of his back. I held my breath to keep me from shaking so much and let the arrow fly. 

I have never shot a deer with my bow in the five years I’ve been hunting but the second that arrow hit him, I knew I was right on. It thumped him hard and sounded almost as if I had just shot and popped a basketball. 

The area he was in was so thick I could only see him run for about 20 yards. I knew I made a good hit when I saw his back legs kick up and heard that arrow hit him. I immediately called my dad and barely muttered the words, “I just shot that drop-tine buck!” 

He was already on his way before I finished the sentence. I didn’t find my arrow right off but I had blood on both sides of the trail, so I was relieved. We tracked this monster for 120 yards. When Dad and I ran out of blood we both shined our lights up and sure enough, 10 yards ahead of us lay the biggest deer I’ve ever shot, my first bow kill, and a deer that has changed my life. 

I hugged dad as hard as I could and lit up my face with a smile as wide as my mouth could stretch. He said, “Where’s that drop tine?” with a laugh in his voice. I could barely speak when I muttered, “It’s a different deer!”
Boy was I glad it was. It was a magnificent animal and I thank God, my dad, the landowners, and all who support me in my quest to find peace and serenity through the outdoors. Thanks to all of you.

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