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Redemption Drop Tine

November 06, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing Illinois hunting and fishing Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 10

Kill Date: 11/4/10

County: McLean

Season: Bow

This story actually starts off on November 3, 2010.  This was the night I was expecting to go hunting with my good friend and hunting partner Steve Petrilli.  He has been graced to hunt an amazing piece of property filled with everything deer need to survive, food, water, shelter, and has allowed me to hunt with him.  Every November we take a lot of time off and hunt the rut as hard as we can.  So on November 3rd my lovely wife decided to have a Scentsy party, which is various smelling candle waxes, so I am told.  After a brief disagreement, and hunting the night before and both of us not seeing any deer, I decided I would make my wife happy and stay home and help her with the party, big mistake.
Steve, wanting a hunting partner, called our good friend, Jim Ferguson, who has hunted with us before.  Jim jumped at the opportunity and quickly left work and was in the stand within 45 minutes.  While on his way to the stand he called me and poked fun of me and asked where he should sit.  After a short conversation I recommended a stand for him and he said he was going to sit there.  A little after 5pm I received a text message saying that he killed a giant buck.  I was extremely happy for him and a little disappointed that I did not make it to the stand that night.  I left the party to celebrate with Jim and Steve.  As I left Jim told me it was my turn so he can come out and celebrate with him.  You can read his story as he also posted his story of the Candle Party Buck.

Now comes November 4th, the next day.  To date, this has been the worst weather day for November’s hunting season, but would turn out to be my best day.  I got the call that Steve was going hunting again and I was definitely not missing this hunt.  Told the wife goodbye and was at his place within 20 minutes.  As I was getting ready the clouds opened up and it started to downpour and hail.  My wife jokingly told me to have fun sitting in the tree in this weather, but I again was not missing tonight’s hunt.  After a short conversation with Steve on stand locations I decided to go to a stand near a pond where I had created a mock scrape and Steve saw a giant the night before. 

On the way to the stand the rained stopped and I knew tonight the deer would be moving early.  I was sitting in the stand only about 30 minutes before I saw my first deer.  It was a medium size 8 pointer and he was heading right to my stand.  As the deer got closer I looked and noticed his horns looked different.  At 5 yards I could easily see that this buck was still in full velvet!!  I have never seen this before and wished he was a little bigger as I would be glad to harvest him.  As he walked away heading south I continued to watch in that direction. 

Then I saw him, immediately I saw horns and they were big.  It was the big buck Steve saw the night before and he was about 60 yards away.  I grabbed my bow and the grunt tube.  I grunted at him a couple times and he would stop and look my way but continued to walk away from me.  I tried a snort wheeze and again stopped but continued.  My last resort was my bleat can.  I hit it a couple of times and again he stopped but seemed more interested.  I followed it up with two more grunts and that was the trick.  He immediately turned and started to come right at me.  Knowing I had him, I prepared for my shot.  The closer he came the bigger he got, huge body, long tines, and decent spread.  Then he got to 7 yds and was facing me directly behind the tree and under some brush, I couldn’t shoot.  Three more steps I said to myself and he stopped.  He looked up at the stand and did not like what he saw.  He eased back and turned before I could ever get a clear shot at him and walked off.  I wanted to cry, this was the biggest buck of my life and he was so close and I could not shoot him.  I sent a message to Steve and told him of the encounter and how disappointed I was. 

No sooner as I put my phone away I turned around and there stood, Drop Tine at 30 yards.  We have trail camera pictures of him and we gave him the name and decided he was a shooter.  He had came across a prairie grass field as I was watching the other buck.  He came into the woods and was going to present a nice broadside shot at just over 15 yards.  All I could see was this giant drop tine off the right side of his antlers coming through the woods.  I pulled back the bow and bleated at him to make him stop.  He stopped right where I wanted and placed the pin behind the shoulder and squeezed the release.  I watched as my illuminated nock flew and hit right where I was aiming.  He did a high leg kick and my arrow “popped"out.  I thought to myself, “Did I just hit him in the shoulder blade?” As he ran off I knew I made a good shot as no further than 40 yards I watched him fall to the ground and he was mine. 

I immediately sent Steve another text message letting him know that I shot Drop Tine.  He later joked that at 5:12 pm he received the disappointed text of the close encounter and at 5:16 he received the excited text of Drop Tine, it was a roller coaster of emotions.  Excited I wanted to get down immediately and run to my deer, however, I let him lay and waited to get Steve so we could retrieve him together.  I cannot thank Steve enough for allowing me to hunt the property and giving me this opportunity of a life time.

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