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Gary Shoemaker’s 20-pointer

December 02, 2007

Illinois Outdoors

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 20

Kill Date: Dec. 2, 2007

County: Mason

Season: Shotgun

Firearm hunter Gary Shoemaker of Kilbourne offered his son a chance on the final day of the first firearm season in 2007. The plan was for father to rattle antlers while his son, Travis Shoemaker, did the shooting.

But after several hours of hunting together in a double-buddy stand, Travis Shoemaker opted to go hunt a stand along a cornfield for the rest of the afternoon. “We had set there all morning and had only seen a few deer off in the distance,” the elder Shoemaker wrote.

Less than two hours later, he saw a Mason County monster buck coming at him. The 20-pointer (which also had one short, unscorable point) had a big drop tine and the elder Shoemaker was understandably excited. “I steadied myself telling myself not to screw this up,” he said.

Illinois Outdoors

With one shot he dropped the biggest buck he had ever seen. The 20-pointer has a 24 1/2-inch inside spread. After shooting the buck, Gary Shoemaker celebrated.

“My son on the other hand was kind of sick when he heard the shot go off and heard me let out a hoot all the way across the timber,” he wrote. “Another funny thing was, it was killed with my old 16 gauge. My son even made the remark earlier in the day that the old gun should be left in the truck and not brought out to match his brand new Mossberg he was toting. Next year he may want to borrow mine!”

Shoemaker’s buck scored 189 4/8 inches at the 2008 Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic.

Illinois Outdoors

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