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Ransom Brooks’ 23-pointer

November 21, 2008

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 23

Kill Date: Nov. 21, 2008

County: Richland

Season: Shotgun

Ransom Brooks has been climbing into tree stands since he was five years old.

And as long as he can remember, the 19-year old Olney resident would hear the same words from his father.

“Rans, any day a record-book buck could come out of southern Illinois,” Russell Brooks reminded his young hunting protege.

That day came Nov. 21, 2008 for the Olney Central College sophomore.

For three weeks, the younger Brooks had been bow hunting an area of Richland County timber practically every morning and evening without much luck finding many deer.

Then came shotgun season and Ransom’s luck would change quickly — in about 90 seconds. To the tune of a 23-point buck with an unofficial green score of 234 inches.

Heading back to that same timber, which lays about four miles east of the Brooks family home, Ransom Brooks settled into one of his tree stands at 5:30 a.m., with his Remington 870 Express 12-gauge in hand, and waited for daylight.

More than an hour went by without any action.

“Then right at 7 o’clock I looked to the south of me in a thicket and saw this buck coming,” said Ransom. “He came within 65 yards down in the thicket and then I shot at him once.”

The deer managed to avoid the 2 3/4-inch Winchester Supreme platinum-tip slug and jumped a creek just north of the hunter.

“He came north of me, about 20 yards, and stood in front of a tree,” Brooks said. “All his vitals were behind a tree for about a four to five count. I knew he was a shooter deer, so I just concentrated on getting a shot in. Then he took two steps from behind the tree and I shot him at about 20 yards. He ran about another 20 yards and down he went.”

Brooks, who grew up in Pontiac before moving back to Olney with his family a year and a half ago, estimated it took only about a minute and a half from the time he saw the deer until the kill was made.

“He came in that fast, by himself,” Brooks said. “He wasn’t chasing anything. I don’t think he knew it was shotgun season yet, because nobody had been shooting around us. It had only been daylight for about an hour.”

Brooks quickly got out of his stand and called his dad, who was hunting another timber a few miles away, and told him he shot a nice deer. He then made his way to the buck.

“I was pretty excited about it,” Brooks said in a matter-of-fact tone.

So excited that it took him three or four tries to count the deer’s points.

“Whenever I was trying to shoot him, I knew he was a big buck, had some junk on him, but I didn’t realize how big he was until I got down and picked his rack up,” the 19-year old said. “I counted 23 after I settled down. Then I called (dad) back and said, ‘Dad, he’s 23 points.’ And he said, ‘Are you serious?’ ‘’

“Yeah, I’m serious,” came the reply.

“Are you sure?” Russell Brooks questioned.

“Yeah, you’ll see,” Ransom Brooks shot back.

The younger Brooks told his father that he would climb back into his tree stand and wait until dad and Pontiac hunting buddy Steve Moore, stationed 250 yards south, finished their own hunts.

The trio eventually met up at the Brooks home to get a truck and trailer, arrived back at the kill site and took picture after picture.

“Then dad went crazy,” Ransom Brooks said. “He was pretty pumped. He said, ‘Rans, you should have told me it was this caliber of deer. If you would have told me it was this big a deer, I’d have quit my hunt for that.’ But I just thought I’d be cool if he’d kill a deer too, so I let him hunt.”

It took all three hunters to load the 210-pound field dressed buck with a 22-inch spread onto Ransom Brook’s four-wheeler.

Brooks now awaits a Jan. 24, 2009 date for the official scoring by Boone & Crockett Club scorer Tim Walmsley of Fowler.

“It’s a buck of a lifetime, that’s for sure,” said Brooks, who counts 15 deer on his kill list, including a 150-class, 10-pointer. “But I’ll never quit hunting. It’s not an obsession, it’s an addiction. I’m addicted to it.”

Even serious bouts with poison ivy have not kept Brooks from continuing his passion. The future Southern Illinois-Carbondale student was back in the timber hunting Saturday afternoon.

Where the biggest hit of his young life came from remains a mystery.

“That’s the craziest part about it,” Ransom Brooks said. “We know other guys around there who hunt the surrounding timbers and nobody had seen this deer. We have five stands in that timber and we didn’t know where he came from but we’re pretty appreciative.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Guidelines :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

what is the net score of this BIG BUCK?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 09:05 AM

Way to go Ransom! Russ is a proud dad I am sure! It will be tough to beat that one.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/25 at 09:42 PM

real nice!

Posted by AntlerMineOutdoors on 09/30 at 01:22 PM

Your dad is still very proud. We saw him at lunch today and he was telling us your story. How AWESOME
My little guy is 5 and going on his first hunt today
Maybe one day he will get one like that!! Congrats !!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/14 at 03:47 PM

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