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Bob Johnson’s 12 Pointer

November 10, 2008

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 12

Kill Date: Nov. 10, 2008

County: Sangamon

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of Springfield hunter Bob Johnson is the story of his hunt for a 12-point buck.

Well, sometimes it’s just “Your Day”, and Nov. 10, 2008 was definitely mine.

That Monday I left work at lunch to go out and hunt the afternoon in search of a big buck that I had been seeing. I had seen this deer crossing the road and in the neighboring fields for the last few weeks but never knew if he visiting my piece of hunting ground.

That was until Nov. 3 when I got a trail-cam picture of him over a scrape. With a drop tine on his left main beam and a double main beam on his right, I knew right then he was the one that I would set out to get. But I really never would have expected it would all come together like it did.

My brother decided to come in town and hunt with me over the weekend not knowing about the buck that I had been watching. The night before our weekend started I pulled out the trail-cam pictures of the big buck. Needless to say, we were very anxious for morning to come. We hunted Friday watching a lot of deer
movement but not the buck we were out to find.

Saturday morning we sat as long as we could. But after not seeing any movement because of extremely high winds, we got out of the stands and went back to the house to warm up.

As we are talking in the garage trying to figure out how we are going to harvest this exceptional buck my dad pulls in the drive and tells us he saw a buck with a drop bedded down in a wide open field about an eighth-mile from my house. Thinking it had to be the same buck we drove down the road to check him out. It was him!

We drove back home and came up with what we thought was a good plan for a stalk. After making a big loop around him to get down wind we were about in position when we kicked up a doe. The doe jumped up, ran across the field right in front of him, causing him to get up and chase her, running across the road and out of sight into a small patch of timber.

We walked home with our head hung low in disbelief of what had just happened.

After talking it over again on what we should do next, we decided to see if we could spot him in the area he ran into. We circled the timber and decided to come in the field on the backside and to our surprise, the drop-tine buck and three other bucks were chasing does in the field that we were going to approach through.

We split up working around the deer and eventually we were able to get on both sides of the deer. Both of us slowing working closer to him, I had moved as close as I could, I was in position at around 35-40 yard but the buck was behind some debris so I would have to wait for him to move before I could take any shots.

My brother was still crawling down the edge of a hedgerow working closer. He was now about 50-60 yards from the deer. All the deer had bedded down
and seemed to not know we were in the area until my brother worked to get a little closer. Then one of the smaller bucks spotted him. The bucks all stood and started to get a little nervous.

Trying to get to them before they bolted, we moved too fast on them and they were gone.

We watched our prize buck running half way across the country.

After two unsuccessful stalks we were done for the day. Sunday I hunted a different area to let my area rest a little.

Monday I was supposed to take off all day to hunt but decided to go into work until lunch and hunt in the afternoon.

It was a perfect day, no wind, cool and crisp. But I didn’t see anything until around 4 p.m. when some small bucks started chasing a doe in the neighbor’s pasture. After a while the chasing ended up right around my stand. They were running so hard it sounded like someone was knocking down trees. Three small bucks were chasing two does right under my stand when I heard a grunt to my left.

When I turned to look I thought it was just a big 8-pointer that I had seen before so I was going to pass on him. When he turned and started heading straight to me I noticed it was him, I saw the drop tine!

As I was shaking uncontrollably he walked straight to me and turned broadside at 10 yards but behind a couple small trees. I pulled back and shot an arrow trying to thread the needle between two trees. He jumped and ran about four steps. In my disbelief there was no arrow in him.

Somehow I was able to get another arrow knocked. He even looked up at me once, but he was so interested in the does that he started grunting at them, forgetting about me. I pulled back and hammered him quartering away and watched him fall at about 50 yards. I looked at my watch after I shot him. It was 4:45 p.m.

After getting out of the tree I noticed the first arrow was stuck in one of the trees that I tried to shoot through.

Walking up to him laying on the ground I couldn’t believe what had just happened. He was just as awesome as I thought he would be.  With a drop tine and a double main beam, and shooting him instinctively (no sights) with my recurve, he was my “Lifetime Buck.”

This buck is extremely special to me because in October of 2006 I fell from my deer stand, breaking bones in my legs, back, and neck. I wasn’t sure at that time if I would be able to get back in a stand or even hunt again. Thanks to my family and some hard work I am back in the woods again and loving every minute of it.

I green scored the buck as 166 gross, 151 3/8 net non typical.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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