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Paul Kelley Jr’s 11-pointer

September 22, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 11 Typical

Kill Date: Dec. 13, 2008

County: Bond

Season: Muzzleloader

The 2008 Season started out the same as every other season, full of determination and anticipation of harvesting a mature buck.  The archery season had been full of encounters, but I was never able to get a shot opportunity.  In late summer I had bought a Thompson Center Triumph and applied for a muzzleloader tag for the first time.  Well after shotgun season was over I really didn’t think my chances of even seeing a mature buck during daylight hours were very good.  But I was wrong and was about to have the opportunity of a lifetime.  On the morning of December 13, 2008 I headed out to the stand, but the wind and cold felt unbearable.  So I decided to change my approach by slipping through a narrow creek bottom in hope that I would spot a buck bedding down in an attempt to escape the wind.  After about 20 minutes I heard something stirring in the briars about 15 yards from me and to my surprise it was a mature buck.  I had kicked him out of his bed and he was determined to get as far away from me as quickly as possible.  I shouldered the triumph and followed him through my scope until he crossed the creek about 80 yards from me.  As soon as he reached the other side I grunted to stop him, he paused momentarily and I let the lead fly.  He hunched up and slowly walked up the hill and continued until he was out of site.  Nervously I rushed to my pack to grab my preload tubes when I realized that I had left them in the truck.  I took off out of the timber,  across the corn field to my truck, reloaded,  and ran to the spot I last saw him as fast as I could.  Upon examination of the area I could not find any blood and my heart sunk!  I decided I should look over the crp field in the direction he was headed when I spotted his giant antlers sticking out of the tall grass about 30 yards away.  I cannot even come close to expressing in words the emotions that I felt at that moment.  I sat down in the grass 10 yards from my trophy and called my brother and cousins to share the news.  Other than the day I married my wife and the days my children were born, this was the greatest day of my life.  My buck was a typical 11-pt. that grossed 179 2/8 and netted 172 2/8 qualifying him for the Boone & Crockett Club all-time award.  I owe this experience to my late grandfather who introduced me to the outdoors and taught me everything I know about whitetail hunting.  I wish I could have seen the smile on his face, I know he would have been proud!  By the way my 29th birthday is on September 20th , so hopefully your first drawing will bring me luck.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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