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Brian Damery’s 14-pointer

December 07, 2008

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 14

Kill Date: Dec. 7, 2008

County: Macon

Season: Shotgun

No deer he will kill will ever compare to the 12-point buck Brian Damery shot in 1993.

At least not in terms of national interest, measurements in inches and the other details so important to trophy buck hunters.

But you know what? Every deer still makes Damery smile.

“I get excited every time I shoot a big deer,” said Damery, a Blue Mound resident. “I got excited the Friday of the first season when I shot the biggest doe I ever shot.”

And Damery became even more animated during the second season after shooting a 14-point buck in Macon County, the same county that had yielded his 200 2/8-inch typical with the record 231 1/8-inch gross typical frame. Click here to read more about that buck, which he shot Nov. 20 on the second day of the first firearm season.

His latest big buck came on Dec. 7, 2008, the final day of the second firearm season. The buck green-scored at 186 5/8 inches non-typical (gross) and netted 177 4/8 inches. The gross typical frame (11 points, 5 x 6) is 171 4/8 inches. The rack had a 19 3/4-inch inside spread, 15 1/8 inches of abnormal points and 9 1/8 inches of side-to-side differences.

Illinois hunting and fishing

“I’d heard there was a big one around the area and a couple neighbors had seen it,” Damery said. “But I never saw it myself until the Friday afternoon of the first slug-gun season. I was checking out a few spots and saw this bad boy out in the middle of the field with five other bucks, five does and three yearlings.”

Damery crept to the edge of the field and watched the deer all afternoon. Others driving past also stopped to watch the buck, who was bedded down with a hot doe. “His antlers were nice and white,” Damery said.

But eventually the deer moved on to a standing corn field. And he did not see the 14-pointer again until the day he shot his latest big buck. That came in a hunting spot Damery had been saving, a narrow pinch point where two fields came together in a grown-up waterway near four or five acres of brush. He had killed a nice buck there a few years earlier and though the latest big boy might move into the area.

“I had seen some bucks there while putting on anhydrous (fertilizer) so I thought I’d go down there and sit against a tree Sunday afternoon,” said Damery, whose farming duties this year ran late into season and kept him from getting much time to bowhunt. In fact, he had to take time off to shotgun hunt. “I got tired of sitting there and cold and it was getting close to 4 p.m. So I started sneaking down the fencerow.”

Then he saw a doe came out, so he laid flat. Then three more mature does and three yearlings came out.

“I was just darn near ready to shoot another doe and I’ll be darned if he didn’t step out after the rest of them were out in the open,” Damery said. “He had his head down and was feeding and I was still laying there on the ground.”

Damery said he was 150 yards from the buck when he raised up with his daughter’s shotgun, a single-shot H&R break-action model.

“I had never shot anything with that gun before so I took it with me,” Damery said. “It’s probably the least expensive hunting firearm I’ve ever owned, but it’s faster to reload than a muzzleloader.”

His daughter may have lost a gun. Because after putting the crosshairs on the buck and firing, Damery watched as the 14-pointer kicked up its front legs, ran 40 yards and then fell over headfirst into the ground.

“This is the only deer I’ve killed with a slug gun, all the others have been with muzzleloader or bow,” Damery said.

Illinois hunting and fishing

And while many bemoaned the apparent lack of deer this season, Damery had a different take.

“Up into hunting season I saw more deer than I’ve ever seen. It seems like they just turned off. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the crops coming out late. But I think the crops being out late mattered,” he said. “I don’t think the population is down. I just don’t think it was a very good hunting season for whatever reason.”

Receiving a phone call about his latest buck is reminiscent for Damery, who was a magazine cover boy back in 1993 after shooting his 12-pointer. In fact, he still gets calls about that deer from time to time. Most recently he did an interview last spring for a Bass Pro Shops video on the King of Bucks. The show aired this summer on the Outoor Channel.

So what’s next for Damery?

“I’d just like to shoot a Boone and Crockett buck with my bow, but I guess everyone would,” he said, laughing.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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