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Skip Sims’ 11-pointer

November 27, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 11

Kill Date: Nov. 27, 2009

County: Pope County

Season: Bow

Skip Sims called the buck “Ghost.”

He first started collecting sheds from this big Pope County bruiser when Ghost was just 2 years old. Over the next few seasons Sims had plenty more sheds to find, as Ghost lived to the ripe age of 7 1/2 years.

Sims also had numerous pictures of Ghost, including this one from 2008.

Illinois hunting and fishing

That was the season he got two opportunities during the week of Thanksgiving, in between the gun seasons. But while he got close, Sims never got close enough. The lesson he learned in 2008 paid off last November, though.

“Closest he got to me was a hairy fifty yards with lots of limbs in the way of the shot. I finally figured out that was the only time that I needed to be hunting this deer and just forget about him until the first gun season was over the next year,” Sims said. “So that’s what I did last season and it worked.”

Finally last Nov. 27, after hunting the buck for years, Sims got a good shot.

“The picture showing his left broadside was on Nov. 19, 2009 just 8 days before his harvest. The deer was under no pressure and was up and on his feet during legal shooting hours during the Thanksgiving week,” Sims said. “My stands were already set in the key spots so when it was time, all I had to do was smoke up and go up the hill to the stand and leave the camp fire smoldering so the smoke would blow right up the hill to me in the stand, masking any detectable human scent.”

After three straight days of waiting on what he called “the most incredible buck I’ve ever hunted,” Ghost came within 10 yards while following two smaller bucks and a doe. When he presented a standing broadside shot, Sims did the rest. Ghost went just 50 yards before dropping.

Here’s that picture of Ghost from Nov. 19.

Illinois hunting and fishing

After the hunt, Sims got help from his two nephews and his next door neighbor to pack out the buck. Actually, most of the chore went to his trusty horse Ringo. “I’ve hunted many years on Ringo and he’s packed out all of my deep woods giants!” Sims said.

Illinois hunting and fishing

And here’s a picture of Sims with Ghost and the many sheds collected from this big 11-pointer, which grossed 177 inches.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Ghost was Sims’ 11th Pope and Young class buck. The Golconda taxidermist also mounted the buck and entered him in a deer deer taxidermy contest at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand Nationals. Sims wound up winning a first-place blue ribbon in the masters division on Feb. 22, 2010. “It just doesn’t get any better than that for me,” he said.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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