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Lew Odom’s 9-pointer

November 24, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 9

Kill Date: 11/20/2010

County: Knox

Season: Shotgun

The background for my hunting story actually begins on May 11, 2010. I was getting ready for work at the 182 Air Wing. We were launching the first of our overseas rotation and, as I was shaving, I noticed a lump behind my left jawbone.  After a quick doctor visit, it was decided we should perform a needle biopsy, which subsequently turned up positive for Squamus cell carcinoma. A later scan pinpointed it to my left tonsil, which was removed in June.

After healing from that surgery, I underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments, followed by radiation starting in late August. Throughout these treatments I practiced with my bow as much as possible, determined not to let this affect the things that I liked to do. All was going well until late September when the radiation was starting to take its toll and my weight dropped off rapidly from 195 lbs in June to 154 in mid-October. I also could not consume solid food and my strength and stamina were suffering as well. I could no longer pull back my bow, which was set at what I considered to be a modest 60 lbs. So I took it to Presley’s and they dropped it down to 55 lbs, which I could manage to draw only 1 to 3 times in a practice session.

However two weeks after my last radiation treatment on October 11, my situation was improving and I started bowhunting on Oct. 29 in a ground blind. On Nov 1, I got the OK to get in a treestand after my bloodwork came back good and I no longer got dizzy or lightheaded. Took some vacation time after November drill period and still was not up to par physically but was determined to hunt anyway, and by the time shotgun season rolled around, my efforts had proved futile.

On opening morning of firearm season at first light, a large doe got up out of her bed not 40 yards away and I took a shot and missed. My buddy, also hunting that morning, shot a nice eight pointer and I went over to help him recover the deer as it had rolled halfway down a gully. After recovering the deer and field dressing it, I started to think about the miss I had earlier and double checked my scopes accuracy.

After about the third shot, the rear lens fell out and rendered the scope useless. The iron sights weren’t cutting it so I decided to use a different gun. The next morning I climbed back in my stand and immediately started seeing deer, but none came within range or they presented poor shot opportunities. At about 9:30 after getting busted in the tree by a large buck, I was disgusted and climbed down to go get lunch.

As I was walking to my truck I looked to my right down a big gully and spotted a deer. After the shot, the deer turned and ran and initially I thought I had missed, but after going over to where I thought he stood, I found fresh blood and tracked him to where he expired. The deer field dressed at 205 lbs with nine points.

As you can tell from the pictures he doesn’t have the biggest rack but he is definitely a mature deer and is a perfect example of how thirty seconds can change a whole season.

Lew Odum
Peoria Illinois

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