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Dustin Tetrault’s 10-pointer

October 10, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 10

Kill Date: Oct. 10, 2009

County: Tazewell

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of Mackinaw bowhunter Dustin Tetrault is the story of his hunt for a Tazewell County 10-point buck.

We had seen this deer before on trail-cams back in July and he was added to our list of shooter bucks using the property.

Oct. 10 came and there was no sight of any of the shooter bucks yet. My hunting partner had just gotten back from a bear hunt in Canada and was going to come out and film for me. It was about 2 p.m. and I was getting ready to head out and my buddy called and said he couldn’t make it until about 3:30.

I decided I would go ahead and get out and get the camera arm set on the tree and get the bow hanger up. It was about 3:05 when I was all set up but hadn’t put my release on or had an arrow knocked on my bow. Across the bean field I saw a decent sized buck come around the point followed by this bruiser. They followed the opposite side of the bean field for what seemed like forever. I quietly knocked an arrow and ever so slowly tore the velcro of the release to put it on my wrist being careful not to spook the bucks.

The wind was just right,13 mph right in the face, just how I had wanted it. The plan that night was to sit in that stand and get some good footage of a doe kill because that field usually has five or so does in it by 5 p.m. every night. The wary bucks would take about five steps take a few bites of beans and raise their noses to check the wind and make sure they were not in danger.

Little did they know I sat about 50 yards away, 30 feet up in a pine tree. The video camera was just above me I had it zoomed all the way out and just hit record, I didn’t want to turn it at all so as not to spook the deer. I sat motionless for about 10 minutes watching the two bucks eat acorns on the edge of the bean field.

I waited thinking they would cross the field to my side for a nice close shot when they turned and began to exit the same way they came in. I had ranged this field before and knew that it was 55 yards just to the right of the tree they fed under. I figured it was now or never. I settled my 50-yard pin just a tiny high on him and squeezed the release.

The buck hunkered down just a tiny bit when he heard the shot and the two-blade rage hit him on the high end of the vitals with a loud smack of the arrow the deer ran out of the field with the arrow still in him and heavy blood down his side. My adrenaline was pumping and my phone was vibrating because my hunting partner was calling me asking me which stand I was in and that he was almost there. I called him back to tell him the news and got down from my stand to go meet him. We let the buck lay for about an hour and a half before picking up the trail.

Blood was bright and bubbly, we figured after watching the shot back I had just hit the top of the right lung. We figured by as much blood as we had that the buck would expire quickly. The track began at about 5:30 p.m. and next thing we knew it was 10:00 p.m. and we were about 2 miles from the stand and had tracked this deer in a figure eight.

He had crossed his own blood trail twice and given us the slip. We decided we would pull out and try the next day. After a sleepless night dreaming of blood trails and the one that might get away we picked it back up at about 11 a.m. the next day this time with my wife, Kathy, and four close friends all donned the blaze orange (youth firearm season) and went looking.

I made it to the spot where the buck had crossed its own path only to realize in the dark we had turned the wrong way twice and that the buck had actually followed his own blood trail and then took a hard turn to the south. The blood drops were getting thinner and hope was running out. We were in some thick brush at the bottom of a gully when my wife said the sweetest words I have ever heard from the top of the ridge.

“Uhh honey I think I found it” my natural reaction was “Shut up, are you kidding me.”

I ran on a sprint to the spot and sure enough there he was. I couldnt believe it: seven hours of tracking and finally to hold this deers antlers in my hands felt unbelievable.
The buck was a perfect main-frame 10 pointer field dressed at about 190 pounds. I would guess about it will go about 150 inches.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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