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Cody Santel’s 8-pointer

November 01, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 8

Kill Date: Nov. 1, 2009

County: Menard

Season: Bow

Plain and simple, Cody Santel just loves to deer hunt. The 17-year old Petersburg high school junior has been hunting with his dad most of his life. When he was 10 years old, Cody shot his first deer ever during the Illinois firearm season, a Cass County 8-pointer that scored in the 150s.

During that first deer hunt, his dad sat nearby and witnessed the entire thing unfold before him. During the years that followed, Cody shot plenty of does with his shotgun, muzzleloader and bow, but it wasn’t until the 2009 archery season that Cody would once again knock down another Illinois trophy buck. Just like the first buck with the gun, Cody’s dad sat across the field and witnessed his son arrow his first trophy buck.

It was Sunday, Nov. 1st when Cody and his dad decided to hunt the alfalfa field in rural Menard County. Earlier in the day, a new hang-on treestand was put up along the edge of the field in an area where the pasture fence funneled the deer from the field. That particular afternoon hunt, Cody chose to sit in the new stand while his dad sat across the field a few hundred yards away.

As the afternoon hours passed by, a couple does entered the field to eat. Within minutes, Cody’s dad heard the buck. He was in the woods and was noisy while making a scrape and thrashing the tree branches. When the scrape was done, he entered the alfalfa field, looked around and began mingling with the does. This buck was too far from Cody’s dad who could only watch the 8-pointer with the binoculars. 

It was obvious that the early phase of the rut was under way as the buck approached each doe with head down, tail up. One doe in particular was not very interested and soon ran across the field towards the fenceline to get away. As expected, the buck followed the doe and also ran to Cody’s side of the field. What seemed like hours, both Cody and his dad could only watch as the buck and doe headed away from the hunters.

As the buck became more persistent, the doe finally ran away, leaving the buck standing by himself. Unexpectedly, the buck turned completely around and began to slowly walk the opposite direction along the fence that bordered the alfalfa field. As his dad watched through the binocs, the buck slowly made his way towards Cody in the new treestand that sat along the fence.

At a distance of 21 yards, the buck stopped when Cody grunted. Shaky legs did not affect his dad from keeping the binocs affixed on his son. It seemed to take forever, but Cody’s dad watched as his son drew back his bow and released the arrow into the deer. After the shot, the buck ran across the field towards Cody’s dad and entered the woods in the same area where the scrape was made earlier that afternoon. Cody’s dad heard the crash and knew his son has killed the trophy.

After waiting a period of time, Cody and his dad used flashlights to follow the blood trail. It was obvious from the amount of blood in the woods that the new expandable broadheads did their job.  Within 50 yards from the alfalfa field, the trophy buck laid dead in the woods. The Menard County trophy measured 153.   

Since arrowing that trophy buck, Cody has killed three more does while passing on several bucks. Cody said he plans to continue to be selective while trying to harvest his third Illinois trophy buck!

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