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Curtis Kimbrell’s 13-pointer

October 07, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 13

Kill Date: Oct. 7, 2009

County: St. Clair

Season: Bow


Hunched behind a pile of brush late in the afternoon on Oct. 7, Curtis Kimbrell let a trophy buck walk in front of him without drawing his bow.

Why? Kimbrell had a hunch something bigger would emerge from the timber.

He was right. Shortly thereafter, the object of Kimbrell’s eye broke through the tree line and into the bean field on the private property he was hunting in southern St. Clair County.

After firing high and missing with his first shot, Kimbrell miraculously got a second shot.

The monster 13-point non-typical whitetail field-dressed at 225 pounds and weighed an estimated 240 pounds on the hoof. It’s massive rack green-scored at 174 3/8 inches gross with a 42 1/2 -inch mass.

Kimbrell brought the deer to Town Hall Archery in Belleville, where he was told it was one of the biggest they had ever recently seen taken from St. Clair County.

“I knew there was big deer in the area, but I didn’t expect two nice bucks to come out like that together,” said Kimbrell, a 24-year old New Athens native. “I had to pass one trophy up—the first deer was probably in the 130, 140-inch range—to get another. That’s hard to do.”

And risky, but Kimbrell was certain this buck would show itself. Since early July, Kimbrell had seen this particular buck 12 times in his almost daily visits to his hunting grounds.

“I’ve been watching him in velvet all summer,” Kimbrell said. “I’ve spent a lot of time out there in the woods. I’ve been patterning him and watching him in the evenings. I was seeing what his route was.”

Kimbrell has tree stands erected on the property he hunts, but he didn’t have time to get a stand hung at the edge of the timber where this deer liked to roam.

So, he stayed on the ground, hiding behind the fallen limbs of a tree and some overgrown brush. Around 6 p.m., three hours after he found his hiding spot, the first buck emerged from the woods.

Kimbrell resisted the temptation to fire. A few anxious minutes later, the bigger buck came strolling out of the timber. Kimbrell’s first shot hit a branch and whizzed over top of the deer. Fortunately, it didn’t spook him too much.

“He ran about 10 yards,” Kimbrell said. “I lucked out and got a second shot at him, and I smoked him. He heard that first shot, but he didn’t know what it was. He knew that other buck done walked past there and it was safe.”

The buck ran about 100 yards before dropping. As he followed the blood trail, Kimbrell stumbled across some shed antlers that he believes are from the same buck.

“The blood went right over the top of one of his sheds,” Kimbrell said. “It was at least a 7-year-old deer.”

Kimbrell, whose previous biggest deer was a 10-pointer with a 138-inch rack, said the best part about the hunt was that it was captured on video tape. His buddy was situated with a camera about 200 yards away on the opposite side of the field.

“It’s pretty cool,” Kimbrell said. “You can’t see me missing the first shot, but you can see the deer drop when I hit it the second time.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

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