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Eric Selph’s 9-pointer

October 31, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 9

Kill Date: Oct 31, 2009

County: Fulton

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of bowhunter Eric Selph of Mackinaw is the story of his hunt for a 9-point Fulton County buck.

I was hunting Halloween morning and knew of a good funnel on the farm I was hunting and had held out all month long for that perfect moment to slip into it when the time was right.

It was a slow, cold morning all I had saw was a small 3-pointer which I had rattled in about 30 yards out. I knew that I had a perfect wind to hunt this area and that with the moon phase going on that these big bucks might be moving a little later in the morning. It was pushing 10 a.m. and all I could think about was wanting to go to sleep, since I could not sleep at all the entire night. I then decided to give it until 11 a.m. before I would call it quits.

As luck had it, I’m glad I chose this option. At around 10 a.m. I looked to my right and noticed at 100 yards out a buck walking down the ridge towards me. When I had picked up my binos and looked at him I realized it was a giant 11-pointer. As he approached 35 yards I was at full draw and released my arrow only to watch it deflect of a tree limb and miss the giant. He took off running as well, providing no second chance.

At this point we have all felt it as archers, that sick feeling in your stomach you get when you would do anything to have another chance if you could take back that one moment you had been waiting for all season long. I then begin thinking that that was my only opportunity and I should just get down and call it a day. I eventually talked myself into calming down, as nothing but disgust ran threw me and holding out a little longer.

I’m glad I decided to stick with the plan and wait until 11a.m., because not but only 10 minutes later I spotted coming right at my what I thought was another big buck. I lifted my binos only to find nothing. Searching the woods up and down and high and low I still could not find the buck I thought I had spotted. I even thought for a minute that my eyes were playing tricks on me. Then all of a sudden I saw a really heavy 8-point rack emerge coming out of the creek only about 40 yards from me.

As the buck approached I instantly sized him up as a shooter and began getting ready for the shot. The buck came in on the same trail to which I had placed my climbing deer stand on at wee hours of the morning. He was at 20 yards when I watched him freshen his scrape on the trail. After this he presented a 15-yard shot to me which I took and made an excellent hit. He ran only 20 yards and plunged back into the creek in which he had came from. I learned a very valuable lesson on this Halloween: That persistence does pay off and second chances do happen.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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