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Jaron Wittman’s 20-pointer

November 16, 2007

Illinois Outdoors

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 20

Kill Date: Nov. 16, 2007

County: Jersey

Season: Shotgun

One day before his 11th birthday, Jaron Wittman wound up with his best present of all.

The Jerseyville fifth-grader shot a 20-point buck on opening morning of the first firearm hunting season. Wittman was hunting with his father, Tom Wittman, since he was 8 years old.

After more than three hours in the stand without seeing a deer, the youngest Wittman was rewarded for his patience when a big buck appeared.

“We saw a big buck walk into a hollow on the other side of the field from us, and Dad said when I was ready, he would go see if he could spook the deer toward me,” Jaron told the Alton Telegraph.

First, though, the youngster had to shed some clothing. He and his father rode a 4-wheeler back to their truck, shed clothes and then returned to hunt. Jaron waited while his father attempted to spook the deer toward his son.

“I didn’t hear anything, but then I saw a big deer run toward the woods,” Jaron told the Telegraph. “I stood up and got ready, then the buck stopped about 10 feet in front of me. I didn’t even have time to think. I fired a shot and thought I had missed, as it ran into the woods.”

Click here to read the Alton Telegraph’s story on his buck.

Shortly after he shot, though, his father told him he had seen the deer.

The buck was Jaron’s first and is destined to hang on the wall in his bedroom. As an added surprise, his parents had a picture of a buck on his birthday cake.

“And when I blew out the candles, my wish was to shoot an even bigger one,” he said.

Here’s the full text of the Alton Telegraph’s Nov. 20, 2007 story on the buck.

Hunter, 10, kills 20-point buck

BY MAGGIE BORMAN
The Telegraph

JERSEYVILLE — A Jersey County boy gave himself an early birthday present when he shot a 20-point buck Friday morning.

Jaron Wittman described his big moment Tuesday, a day after his 11th birthday.

Jaron (pronounced Jerun) was hunting Friday with his father, Tom Wittman. The youngster, who has been hunting since he was 8 years old, said he and his dad left to hunt about 6 a.m. and saw no deer from their tree stand until about 9:30 a.m.

“We saw a big buck walk into a hollow on the other side of the field from us, and Dad said when I was ready, he would go see if he could spook the deer toward me,” Jaron said.

The youngster said they got out of the tree stand and took their 4-wheeler back to their truck to shed some of the clothing they had donned for the earlier morning chill, then headed back on the 4-wheeler to a path through the hollow. Jaron settled into his spot as his father left to try to spook the deer toward the young hunter.

“I didn’t hear anything, but then I saw a big deer run toward the woods,” Jaron said. “I stood up and got ready, then the buck stopped about 10 feet in front of me. I didn’t even have time to think. I fired a shot and thought I had missed, as it ran into the woods.”

Jaron said he didn’t see any blood so he was sure he had missed the buck. But about five minutes later, his father came up to him and told him he had seen the deer — and it was dead.

“I was shocked, but we went up the path a ways, and it was lying right there,” Jaron said. “I was jumping up in the air, I was so excited.”

He said he and his father counted the points — all 20 of them. They then loaded up the deer, went to the nearby home of a relative and began taking photos of the buck.

“It is the first buck I have ever shot, and I am not sure what it weighed, but it looked big,” Jaron said. “But the first doe I ever shot was big-bodied, too.”

His mother, Melany Wittman, said she didn’t know the exact weight of the buck, either, but thought it was about 190 pounds.

“We are definitely going to see what we need to do to see if it is a record,” she said.

While the state does not yet have data compiled for this year’s hunting season, an 81-year-old hunter from Gilson also shot a 20-point buck in Knox County on the opening day of the 2007 Illinois firearm season.

Jaron isn’t concerned about whether he got a record buck.

“This one’s rack is going to be mounted on my bedroom wall,” he said.

The fifth-grader at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Jerseyville said his parents had a photo of his buck on his birthday cake as a surprise for him.

“And when I blew out the candles, my wish was to shoot an even bigger one,” he said. “Shooting that 20-point buck was a real surprise, but I still want to get a bigger one next time.”

Jaron is the grandson of Jerry and Kathy Wittman of Jerseyville.

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