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Danny Coon’s 17-pointer

November 25, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 17

Kill Date: Nov. 25, 2009

County: Madison

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of bowhunter Danny Coon is the story of his hunt for a 17-point Madison County buck.

I was standing in my stand leaning against the tree. There was about about a half hour of daylight left. I saw a deer walking through some honeysuckle so I was watching there to see if the deer would come my way.

Then I heard a noise over my right shoulder, looked over and there he was about 15 yards away and walking right past my tree.

I got turned and grabbed my bow. I drew my bow and tried to stop him but he wouldn’t stop. So I placed the pin and shot.

Noticing the shot was back I waited until dark and climbed down and left trying not to make any noise. A friend and I went back out the next morning and started looking for him. We followed good blood for about 100 yards and the blood just stopped. But we kept looking until we both had to leave.

Then I went back out the next morning and started looking again. I looked for about two and a half hours and was about to give up. Before I quit I decided to check one more place. There he was. He had doubled back and was only about 200 yards from where I shot him.

His gross green score was 207 7/8 and net green score was 195 7/8.

I’m so happy I found him!

Here is an article on Coon’s buck written by Rod Kloeckner of the Belleville News-Democrat:

Brighton man finally finds behemoth buck 2 days after he shot it

Danny Coon had just about given up all hope of finding the big buck. Two days after he had shot it in a Madison County timber, it still went undiscovered.

“I thought it was gone for good,” said the 37-year-old bowhunter from Brighton.

Then, Coon got lucky. He decided to check one more spot by a lake on the private property he hunted before suspending the search.
17-point buck
The 17-point buck arrowed by Danny Coon in Madison County on Nov. 25. - Provided/BND

That’s when he found the behemoth he had shot 40 hours prior—a 17-point buck whose rack green scored 206 6/8 inches, the first Boone and Crockett trophy of his hunting career.

“I didn’t think I was ever going to find him, because two days is an awfully long time,” Coon said. “I’ve heard of guys doing it, but it’s unusual to find one back like that. I pretty much just got lucky. It was the last place I was going to look. It was all luck, really.”

Coon’s 17-pointer was the second monster deer taken from Madison County this season. On Oct. 26, Joe Graber, a 35-year-old construction worker from Edwardsville, arrowed a 25-pointer.

“It’s a good area,” Coon said. “Madison County has a lot of big woods and there’s a lot of big bucks. It was a slow year for me, though. I really only had one shooter buck, and he got spooked. It was a slow year and I hear a lot of guys saying the same thing.

“However, that one deer made the whole year worthwhile.”

Coon shot the deer on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving. He was hunting the property for the first time in two years because the owner’s nephew had been hunting it.

Coon jumped a deer on his way to his climber stand around 2 p.m. Late in the afternoon as the sun was setting, Coon spied a deer walking through some honeysuckle about 70 yards away.

Using a bleat call to try to coax the deer closer to his stand, Coon heard a noise over his right shoulder. That’s when he saw the 17-pointer.

“I just turned, grabbed my bow, drew and shot,” Coon said. “He was right there for about 30 seconds that I knew of. It went that fast. If I would have had to sit there and watch him for awhile, I would have been a mess. I’m glad it happened the way it did. I had no idea how big it was.”

The buck was quartering away as Coon shot, and the arrow nicked one lung as it exited the back shoulder. Coon soon lost sight of the deer as it ran off in the fading sunlight.

Coon waited until it was dark to climb down from his stand and decided to try to find the deer the next morning.

“Whenever you shoot them in the back like that, it could take them 10 or 12 hours to die,” Coon said. “Usually, they’ll run off a ways, bed down and lay there and die. If you go looking for them, you’ll jump them up and they could run for a long way and you’ll never find them, so I just left.”

The next morning, Coon picked up the blood trail and followed it for 150 yards into a finger of woods before it stopped. He searched to no avail until it was time to leave for Thanksgiving dinner.

The next day, Coon and his buddy returned to the stop where the blood trail ended. They weren’t optimistic. Nearly 40 hours had passed since Coon’s arrow had pierced the deer’s hide.

“We had pretty much given up,” Coon said. “My buddy was like ‘What do you want to do?’ I told him I’m going to walk over here and look by the lake, then we’re done. I went down there and there he was.

“What he actually did was double back around. He went right in that finger of woods, then he came out and went left. He kinda went back toward where I shot him.”

Unfortunately, Coon said, he wasn’t able to salvage the meat because the deer had been dead for two days and spoiled. The rack is currently being mounted at a local taxidermist.

“Some people told me they had pictures of this deer on trail-cams, but I had never seen it before that day,” Coon said. “It wasn’t like I scouted this deer forever. I just picked the right tree and got lucky.”


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