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Jeff Graham’s 9-pointer

November 12, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 9

Kill Date: Nov. 12, 2009

County: Fulton

Season: Bow

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

My deer season had been off to a exceptionally slow start for me this year despite the great conditions early on. Usually by this time of the season I have filled the freezer and I am set on harvesting my buck.

This year we got to Nov. 11 and I was still empty handed. So I decided to hunt all day on Nov. 12 to take whatever I could, be it a doe for the freezer or a buck for the wall.

The morning of the 12th found me in my stand long before first light and in high spirits. Those high spirits were starting to dwindle by 9 a.m. without so much as a deer sighting. But I decided I needed to tough it out if it was going to happen. I remembered that I had brought my mp3 player and decided to listen to it to keep me from growing more bored and frustrated.

After only listening to it for a short time, I caught movement to the south, a small 8-pointer was working his way up the ridge with a small fork horn in tow. Not exactly the deer I was hoping to see, but at least I was finally seeing deer. Even so, it was nothing that I was willing to take.

I watched those two bucks for next 45 minutes or so until they finally moved on out of sight. At least a little of my spirits were restored by the sighting of these deer. So I decided to put the mp3 player away and do some calling.

After 3 or 4 sequences of bleating, grunting and rattling produced no more sightings over the next two hours, I decided to switch the calls for the mp3 player. After all, I was listening to it when I saw the only deer I had seen all day. I managed to fall asleep listening to it this time though, when I finally awoke from my slumber the far end of the field seemed to be filled with deer.

I pulled up my binocs and scanned the field. All does, but once again I was seeing deer.

So I sat and waited for the deer to feed my direction. The deer were slowly working thier way to me when I heard crashing behind me. A doe came running into the beans with a good buck behind her. They were 40 yards and closing fast. I knew my chance had finally come. I stood and drew my bow, sure enough the doe pulled the buck 12 yards from the base of my tree.

The angle was a little steep but I knew it was a good shot. After the shot I heard the buck crash through the brush. I waited for almost an hour before climbing down and taking up the trail. The blood was good and I had no problem following the trail. When I got to the last spot I had seen the buck, the blood seemed to stop.

I started to look around to see if I had missed where he might’ve changed directions when a white belly across the draw caught my eye. I pulled up the binocs and sure enough there was my buck. He was a huge-bodied 9-pointer with good mass, a little bit of palmation on one side with a sticker point.

He is 18.5 inches wide. I expect him to gross low to mid 130’s. Definitely not one of the biggest bucks out there but I was very happy with him and proud to harvest him.

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