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Mike Ublish’s 21-pointer

November 08, 2001

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 21

Kill Date: Nov. 8, 2001

County: Putnam

Season: Bow

Headlining the list of stories in the 2001 season was then-29-year-old bowhunter Mike Ublish, who bagged the buck of a lifetime south of Hennepin.

At the time Ublish’s 21-point Putnam County was officially scored as the archery state record for deer with non-typical racks. The buck, which had a basic 10-point frame and 11 extra antler points jutting out here and there, was officially measured at 254 6/8 inches. That’s 2 1/8 inches more than the previous record, killed in Fulton County by Pekin attorney Bill Brown in 1999.

Since then, 4. David Jones shot a 37-pointer in Mason County on Nov. 5, 2003 that scored 267 1/8 inches and is the reigning bow record for non-typicals. With a little more luck, Ublish’s buck might have reached that mark.

‘‘And there were two big points busted off on one side, maybe from when he was rubbing off velvet,’’ said Ublish, an Oglesby native who recently moved to Bloomington. ‘‘The scorer said if those points hadn’t busted off the deer probably would have been in the 270s.’’

Ublish arrowed his buck Nov. 8 at about 4:30 p.m. on the east side of Illinois Route 26. The day was cool with overcast skies and a 15 to 20 mph northwest wind. Ublish was hunting a small 26-acre parcel.

Not long after heading out to the stand, Ublish did a series of buck grunts. About 10 minutes later he rattled. At around 3:20 p.m. a doe moved past his stand. Would a buck be next?. Ublish had put out a scent wick with doe-in-heat scent about 25 yards cross wind.

Eventually he lost sight of the doe. But around 4 p.m. two more does came toward his stand, stopping about 35 yards away and looking nervous.

‘‘I was sitting in my tree stand and two does came along the trail,’’ he said. ‘‘I watched them and the next thing I knew I heard noise. (The buck) was trampling over trees like it was nothing.

‘‘I counted 14 points and knew it was a good deer, but he never turned his head so I could see (his entire rack).’’

The buck was moving through the trees toward Ublish’s stand and first stopped about 37 yards away, watching the does on a nearby trail.

Ublish drew his 57-pound Mathews MQ1, then held at full draw for 20-30 seconds hoping the buck would take two more steps. Then he let the arrow fly.

“I heard a thud indicating a solid hit in the chest area,” Ublish said.

After the arrow hit, the buck kicked his back legs and hopped a couple of steps, walked some and then went down 10 yards from where he was shot.

Only after making the most of his shot and summoning hunting buddy Rich Bugg of Fairbury did Ublish start to grasp the magnitude of his deer, which field dressed at 247 pounds.

‘‘When we got to the deer (Bugg) was jumping up and down,’’ Ublish said. ‘‘He said, ‘This is a monster, this could be a record.’ ‘’

Turns out Bugg was correct. Pope & Young club scorer Mike Beaufeaux of Rhinelander, Wis., measured the rack at 261 5/8 inches with 77/8 inches in deductions. Of added significance according to Tim Walmsley, author of ‘‘Trophy Whitetails of Illinois,’’ is the buck’s circumference of 62 1/8.

‘‘You take four circumference measurements per side to come up with that mass of the main beams,’’ Walmsley said. ‘‘Sixty-two inches is tremendous. It means he’s heavy, heavy, heavy.’’

The buck’s gross typical 10-point frame scored 198 7/8.

Interestingly enough, Ublish said he had never seen the buck before.

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