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Bob Hartman’s 17-pointer

October 10, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 17

Kill Date: Nov. 19, 2009

County: Jefferson

Season: Shotgun

Last year, deer season was so exciting we were watching a trophy non-typical buck, my neighbor (Aaron) was lucky enough to get this buck on video while he was feeding in a bean field; Aaron was 15 feet away from this buck he had the wind in his favor and went undetected and then the battery went dead on his camera.

I had gotten down to my hunting land the following weekend, I checked my trail cam and oh, my god, I had this buck on there, it was one of the biggest deer I had ever saw. I showed it to my farmer (Bob), and the following weekend Bob had this deer along with others feeding out in the pasture across the road from his house, Bob started recording this buck, there were other nice bucks out there but for some reason the camera kept focusing on this buck.

Soon the word got out that there was a real nice non-typical buck in the area and the traffic picked up, people from the local archery shop was asking us if they could hunt out on our land.

Shortly after bow season opened up, the word in the area was someone from out of state shot a real nice 19-point non-typical buck; Aaron and I were both bummed when we heard this so since Aaron was from down there and knew a lot of the people, he was lucky enough to see a picture of the downed buck, he was so excited to see this was not the buck we were hunting. Aaron called me and told me the “Big Boy” still lives, this was a real nice buck but not “Big Boy”!

We hunted this buck for countless hours and real long days in the tree stands without seeing this buck, we passed on a lot of nice ones. “Big Boy” went totally nocturnal, he was not posing for our cameras anymore, we were starting to worry that someone had pouched our buck.

The week of the first shotgun season, I was on vacation, sitting in my stand for countless hours trying to get an opportunity to shoot this buck with my bow with no avail. Friday night my son and wife come down to our deer camp to be there for Saturdays hunt. I am sore, my back is killing me, it’s misting rain and my alarm clock goes off at 4:45am. I hit the snooze button, the clock keeps ticking, I guess I must of hit it too many times because my wife starts in on me to get up and get to the stand. I tell her I am burnt out, it is raining, so she throws out the, well, how are you going to shoot the “Big Boy” if you are lying in bed,

Thank god I always listen to her, I got up, got the camo gear on and headed for the stand; it was kind of foggy in the bottoms, and other than the rain drops hitting the trees, it was real quite in the timber, I am walking real slow and quietly to the “old wooden stand” the platform of this stand is very slick, I am afraid to move, all of a sudden, I hear a small stick break. I look to my right and there he is 37 yards away from me! My heart started to pound, this was the first time that I have seen this buck. I grabbed my Moss-berg 835, looked through my scope and squeezed the trigger. He kicked his hind legs and I watched him run into the fog into the real thick cover where he quickly disappeared. I sat down, I hung my gun back up and started replaying what just happened, I called back to camp via our little Motorola radios, no one responded! Reality was sinking in and I needed to call someone but I had no service on my cell phone either!

I got down after about 30 minutes. I finally was able to get a signal on my phone, so I called my son who was still sleeping back at camp and tried to convince him that I had just shot the “Big Boy.” I asked him to bring the ATV and the deer cart to Studebaker Ridge and help me track this deer. I went to the spot the buck was standing when I shot him, got on the blood trail and knew that he wasn’t going to be very far, I walked 30-35 yards and no more blood my heart sank. I started looking around when all of a sudden I smelled him. OMG, there he is and by the way he stunk is was definitely in full rut.

I heard the sound of the ATV, and my son come crashing through the timber. He had seen the buck and ran over and give me a big hug and a hi-five. We loaded it and went back to camp, where my wife was waiting for us, she was really amazed with the size of him. I called Aaron and told him that he was not going to shoot the “Big Boy.” He asked why and I told him that I just shot him. He didn’t believe me at first and told me he was coming to see. Aaron and his son arrived a few minutes later. Aaron said he called his brother to come see this deer, and well, he called a friend who called a friend, and we had 10-15 people up there in a matter of a few minutes. everyone wanted to see him and get a picture. I have him on my wall and I dedicated him to a hunting friend who had just passed away, I also re-named him from “Big Boy” to “Big D”. R.I.P Dallas!

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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