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Justin Smith’s 15-pointer

November 09, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 15

Kill Date: Nov. 9, 2009

County: Hancock

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of bowhunter Justin Smith of Davis is the story of his hunt for a 15-point Hancock County buck.

Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 started off like any other morning in a deer stand. I was sitting in a stand i just hung the previous weekend in a pinch point between a creek and a freshly picked bean field.  I had always wanted to hang a stand in the area, just never found the time to do so. 

That morning right at dawn I rattled in a shooter 8-pointer. He came right under the tree stand. He was a fighter, he had a bulging right eye from what I guessed was a losing fight. 

I picked up my bow and for whatever reason decide to pass. During lunch that day I told my buddy Berin Jackson that if I had the opportunity at that buck I would not pass on him again. That evening I decided to sit another property in a stand Berin and I set up in July.  We call it 360.  This stand is located on 3 intersecting paths and you can shoot in every direction. 

Berin shot a doe out of this stand opening weekend.  I got in to my stand around 2:30 p.m.  I had not seen much activity accept for a little fawn prancing around across the creek. I got out my binos to take a look at the deer. That is when I noticed him: a main-frame 12-pointer with split brow tine, split G-3 and a kicker on his right main beam. 

I watched in anguish for what seemed to be an eternity.  So I made the decision to get out of the stand and stalk down to the creek for a shot opportunity. I slowly crept towards the big buck, trying to keep trees between him and me.

I got to the edge of the creek and the buck had no interest in me whatsoever. He looked in my direction and went right back to the doe.

I drew my bow, stepped out from behind the tree and released the arrow.  At this time I heard the thud. 

I hoped it was a good hit and was shaking all over. The buck ran 20-30 yards and stumbled and got back up and ran into the thick CRP. 

I waited for my buddy to get back to the cabin and I explained the story to him.  We waited a considerable amount of time before we go look for him.  The deer went approximately 80-100 yards. 

Unofficially green scored 177 gross and 166 6/8 net. 

This is by far the best buck I have ever taken.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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