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Chris Schweigert’s 15-pointer

December 06, 1998

Illinois Outdoors

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 15

Kill Date: Dec. 6, 1998

County: Fulton

Season: Shotgun

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was published Dec. 11, 1998 in the Peoria Journal Star.

Cold, wet and discouraged, Chris Schweigert and his brothers were on the verge of hanging up their shotguns last Sunday. After three full days of sitting in tree stands, Schweigert had not seen a deer.

“We were so disgusted we were ready to quit,” he said.

Instead, with the rain pouring down, the Schweigert brothers—Chris, Curt, Tyler and Marc—decided to walk through one last pine thicket northwest of Canton in Fulton County.

And with less than a half hour remaining in the 1998 firearm deer hunting season, 25-year-old Chris Schweigert killed the buck of a lifetime.

“One of my brothers scared him up and he ran right at me,” the Tremont resident said. “I shot once and missed, but he turned broadside to me and I hit him with my next shot. I never had time to be nervous.”

No doubt his knees would have been knocking if Chris had time to study the big deer’s 15-point rack. Official scoring will have to wait 60 days until the antlers dry, but the green-score of 216 6/8 inches would rank among the top 50 non-typical racks in state history. Non-typical means the rack is not symmetrical, in this case with nine points on one side and six on the other.

In addition to a lofty position in Illinois, the deer should qualify for record books maintained by the Boone and Crockett Club, which since 1932 has provided a universally recognized scoring system for big game species. Through 1994, just 10 deer killed in Fulton County had earned Boone and Crockett status.

“All I can say is it pays to hunt until the end of the season,” Chris said.

The Tremont hunter’s buck—which he bagged on the final day of gun season in the rain—was the top-scoring 1998 non-typical rack at the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic.

The buck with the massive drop tine scored 219 3/8 inches. Said Boone and Crockett scorer Tim Walmsley, “That’s the most impressive deer here. It’s awesome.”

Chris Schweigert’s big buck field dressed at 207 pounds and was estimated to be 41/2 years old.

Those alone are not remarkable numbers. What sets the buck apart from the pack is the mass of its rack and the length of its tines—including a huge drop tine that measures more than 12 inches and ends in a fist-sized bone mass.

“It’s not a terribly wide rack but the mass on it is just unbelievable,” Tremont taxidermist Matt Miller said. “One beam measures 63/8 inches around down by the burrs and the last circumference between the third and fourth points is still 51/2 inches.”

Miller will mount the head and rack and promises to have it ready in time for the annual Illinois Deer and Turkey Classic March 26-28 at the Peoria Civic Center.

In the mean time, all the measurements mean one thing to Chris, who has been deer hunting since he was 14. “I guess I’ve got bragging rights in the family,” he said.

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