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Chris Johnson’s early October buck

October 07, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 10

Kill Date: October 5 2010

County: Peoria

Season: Bow

This deer was shot by Woodford County Conservation Police Officer Chris Johnson. I enjoy hunting like all the other ethical hunters. It’s my therapy and release from stress.  One of my neighbors calls it doctor deer stand and I feel the same.

This Peoria County buck was taken a few days after opening weekend.  It was a deer I had been pursuing for a couple years but wanted to wait till he was mature.  This was not easy because I have only been bow hunting for three years, but I hoped it would work out.

I started hunting that morning and was in the stand by 6 am.  I saw several deer moving just west of my stand, following a route they took last year.  At 11am I got down and decided to move my stand closer to that route. 

At noon I finished hanging it, and as I was getting down, I saw this bruiser 10 point buck.  I remember cursing myself for not paying more attention, when getting down,  but decided I needed to hunt that evening too.  I sat in the stand till 5:45 pm and didn’t see anything.  I then said a short prayer asking for one chance to see him again.  I then heard a loud crashing noise about 80 yards behind me. 

It was him and he looked like he was ready to fight.  He was thrashing his head at some low hanging branches and he would do short charges at other branches.  I think the early cold snap must have got him pumped for the preseason rut.  Whatever the reason he was good to go.  I then started rattling him and he took the bait.  He charged toward my stand looking like he was going to rip my tree down.  He stopped 50 yards away and I gave him an aggressive grunt. He came within 30 yards and I tried not to look at his antlers as I took a shot.  I missed, hitting a small branch, but luckily he walked about 10 feet and gave me another shot.  I released and heard a loud crack. I saw the arrow go in around his liver area and he walked away.  I waited to get down and walked around but could not find any blood.  I walked for about an hour and was going through a range of emotions, almost giving up.  I walked back towards my stand and decided whatever plan the man upstairs had it would work out.  It was then I saw the arrow on the ground.  It was covered with blood and I backed out and decided to wait till the morning.  The next morning my lab followed the blood trail and found the deer.  I also thank my neighbor Greg Edwards and CPO John VanZant for their help.

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