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Larry Ekhoff’s 28-pointer

November 20, 1999

Illinois Outdoors

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 28

Kill Date: Nov. 20, 1999

County: Kankakee

Season: Shotgun

A doe passing by was the first sign of what was to come for Kankakee County shotgun hunter Larry Ekhoff on Nov. 20, 1999.

The Grant Park hunter was in a tree stand about 50 yards downwind from a deer bedding area when the doe passed him. Shortly after, a massive 28-point buck appeared, leaving the thick cover at a dead run and grunting as he ran. Ekhoff told Rack Magazine:

“I knew instantly that he was a monster. But the cover was too thick for me to risk a running shot. I had to stop him. Since there wasn’t time to reach for my grunt call, I used my own vocal cords. He ignored me until my grunting grew louder. When he slid to a stop, he was right behind a big maple tree. All I could see was his head and rump. It was difficult not to stare bug-eyed at his massive rack, and my heart was pounding so hard that I couldn’t keep my shotgun steady. It seemed like he stood behind that tree for a tortuous hour.

“When he finally took a single step, I fired. I was convinced that mine had been the perfect shot, so I couldn’t believe that he didn’t fall. As I reloaded, the buck ran another 30 yards. I shot a second time when he stopped to peer back at me. That shot felt good, too, but the buck simply ran back into the cover.”

Ekhoff got down from his stand to see what had happened. Unfortunately, he learned his first shot had hit a small tree. With his heart sinking, he finally found blood on the leaves within 10 yards. Then about 30 yards later he discovered the deer. In the days that followed, the true magnitude of his buck struck home. The deer measured 245 5/8 inches and was the largest firearm non-typical entered at the 2000 Illinois Deer and Turkey Classic.

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