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Blake Bushman’s 16-pointer

October 18, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 16

Kill Date: Oct. 18, 2009

County: Livingston

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of Groveland bowhunter Blake Bushman is the story of his hunt for a 16-point Livingston County buck.

I have been hunting since I was 10 but this was only my second season of bow hunting, needless to say I was pretty excited for this season after eating my tags last year. 

I didn’t have a chance to hunt that weekend until Sunday evening and my Dad had not even seen a single deer all day on Saturday so I was a little on edge going out to the stand on Sunday evening around 3:30 p.m. The wind was out of the south that day which was what I wanted for that stand in an evening hunt because of a fence line through a cornfield that the deer like to travel.

At 6 p.m. I could hear cornstalks getting shaken around behind me but didn’t think much of it since squirrels had been getting at the corn all afternoon. As I watched the stalks move I realized that they were shaking pretty good and then I saw a large shadow moving through the corn.

I started to get really excited and then I caught a glimpse of antler through the corn stalks and then the adrenaline really started to pump and I stood up and got ready. My Dad had hunted this stand the weekend before and had seen two 6-pointers by it so I wasn’t fully ready to shoot until I got a clear look at the left side of this buck, that’s when I knew he was a shooter.

At this point he was already at 20-25 yards but on the other side of the fence. I watched him walk a little further and then step through a spot of downed fence at about 10 yards. His head was behind some bushes so I drew back and shot.

The buck took off running back the way he had come from and I had to sit down because my knees were weak, I called my Dad who was hunting a different part of the property and managed to tell him I had shot a big one. I never had seen his rack in its entirety so I thought it was a big 10-pointer.

I waited for about a half hour then got down and found my arrow, that’s when my heart sunk, there wasn’t much blood on it at all and I was afraid I had shot high. Once my Dad came over we started looking for blood but didn’t find any until around 50 yards away from where I shot. Dad said we had better wait until the next day to keep tracking him. 

Talk about a rough night, I was terrified that I had blown the shot on a nice buck not to mention my first deer with a bow! I hunted again the next morning while I waited for Dad to get through an office meeting but my mind was not on the current hunt at all, all I did was worry about that buck.

At about 10:30 a.m. I got set up on the end of the field that the buck had run down in case Dad bumped him as he tracked the blood. It wasn’t 10 minutes after that when I got the best phone call of my life, “You got him buddy! Oh my gosh he’s a monster!”  So I hang up grab my gear and take off down the fenceline towards my Dad and as I’m going I hear this yell, well it was my Dad letting off some excitement. Ha Ha.

When I walked up to the buck I just couldn’t believe my eyes I had never seen a deer that big before it was incredible! 16 points for my first deer with a bow, I couldn’t believe it, and he had a huge scar under his right eye from fighting, just and awesome deer. I gave my Dad a big hug and we just looked at it for a bit and thanked the Lord for the chance to be hunters. I have always been thankful that I had a Dad who raised me as a hunter and this definitely takes the cake on our hunting experiences.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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