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Trent Schneider’s 14-pointer

September 22, 2010

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 14

Kill Date: November 4, 2009

County: Lake

Season: Bow

2009 would be my 2nd year back bowhunting after an 8-year hiatus. Not only was I eager to make up for lost time & build upon my past success but determined to truly elevate my game to the next level. My biggest priority was to acquire land rights to more quality property with world class Whitetail potential.

One of the big buck hotspots I had in mind was at a long time friend of the family’s. It’s a nice little 3 acre parcel of land surrounded by 100’s of acres of nothing less than big buck sanctuary. I knew the area had great potential for trophy bucks through my conversations with other hunters & my trips afield shed hunting, scouting & filming deer. Also my 2008 buck was harvested less than a mile North and it’s composite score is 149-7/8 Typical.

Early May 2009. After discussing with Grego the landowner & his neighbors that I was interested in bowhunting their property, it was time to put into action my plan. My plan was basically to strategically position a deer decoy on Grego’s land & lure in a trophy Whitetail buck. Anybody that knows me, knows there is not much I do that is “basic”.  I started preparing the land with fertilizer, I spread 12-12-12 over the entire back half of the property. If you divide the back half of the 3 acres into 2 equal portions, The North half is all clover with 6 apple trees, 1 pear tree & a plum tree and the South half is all weeds with a few small saplings on the East end & 1 small tree on the very Southwest corner of the property line. After a few days of rain, and we had more than adequate rain fall that spring, it was time for the food plot seed. I re seeded the clover field because it had been more than 5 years since the clover was last planted. Knowing that deer like a variety, I also added everything else available in food plot seed.

June 2009. It had rained so much that a lot of farmers were unable to get the corn planted in time and seeded the fields in beans instead. By mid June I was ecstatic to see the fields surrounding my spot, being planted….in CORN. My vision was starting to materialize.

August 2009. The first week of August I erected my elevated ground blind in the Southwest corner of the property butted up to the small tree that was just big enough to break up the blinds outline. First I constructed the foundation that I borrowed from my good friend Sod Sears, 1 section of scaffolding. The scaffolding elevated my blind 6 feet off the ground. After I laid the 1 inch thick floor, I covered it with 6 mil visqueen for an added scent barrier. Next I placed the ground blind, my good friend Brian Smith loaned me, on the platform and fastened it down. After placing the 1 inch thick rubber mat on the floor inside the blind for more sound & scent barrier and tying branches to the scaffolding around the blind, it was no longer just a ground blind, It was now a palace blind, that blended in excellent with the natural surroundings.

Finally I weed whacked a path that ran angled away in a Northeasterly direction from the South corn field to the clover field & apple trees to the North. This path was within 20 yards of my palace blind and angled away as long as the deer were headed North.

The only thing left now, was to wait and see my vision become reality. AND to try and convince all my buddies that… “I am going to position a decoy out in the field and lure in a monster buck AND video the harvest”

October 2009. The Illinois archery deer season started off pretty good. The first evening in my palace blind, as I was looking to the Southwest at a low spot in the corn where most of the deer come from I heard a deer blowing. I turned around to see a big chocolate antler buck, about 100 yards to my North, looking back in my direction and than over at the 3-D target that I had leaned up against an apple tree. The wind was blowing in his direction and he quickly exited into the corn to the North where he had come from. That buck caught me totally off guard, I didn’t expect the buck to come from that direction but it was a nice confirmation that my 3-D target would work just fine for a decoy. That buck would score well, unfortunately that all happened so fast I was unable to get that buck on film. That first week I seen a few does, a couple bucks & by the 7th I seen the main frame 9 pointer with a sticker on his left P-2 that I had videos of on July 12 2009, when he was in velvet. This buck would definitely make the book but I was really looking for something bigger, a real jaw dropper. I filmed him for few minutes and tried to lure him from the corn field to my Southwest out to the Northeast side of my palace blind where I have land rights. I grunted a few times and the buck came to within 13 yards of my palace blind before he turned and disappeared into the rows of corn.

The second week of the season was equally exciting if not more…much more! October 8th was a great day to hunt deer. That seemed to be the consensus of the pack of 4 coyotes that chased the small buck through the property to the North of my blind. One of the yotes was even fooled my the 3-D target. He ran up to within about 5 feet of the 3-D target and slammed on the brakes. He seemed a bit confused at this small buck leaning up against the apple tree, that didn’t move in his presents. They all ran off into the corn where they came from.

October 9 2009 was the first time I seen my buck. As I looked at the ditch to the Southwest that most of the deer use to hide their travel, a big beautiful main frame 12 pointer with stickers on his P-2’s appeared.  I quickly grabbed my video camera and captured a few minutes of video as he ate corn, whole stalks and all.  He came within 13 yards at 5:01pm and fed for about 7 minutes then headed off to the South. I rattled antlers to try to bring him in where I could film the shot & about 20 minutes later he came right back down the same path to within 10 yards. Unfortunately I was unable to get him out of the corn & he eventually moved on unalarmed. At 6:33pm I seen a 130 inch 8 pointer in the same slew about 55 yards away but It was to dark to get good video.

To say I was excited would be a gross understatement. Driving home that evening, I called all my hunting buddies and let them know I had just seen a real hawg, the jaw dropper I was hoping for. I told them HawgNSonsTV had done it again and to watch for my video. I could hardly wait to get my video edited and published to my YouTube channel, just as I do all my videos afield.

I hunted every remaining day in October, most of the time staying in my blind or stand all day. I seen plenty of big deer & passed on several record book bucks in October, but nothing that would even come close to the big 14 pointer.

November 2009. November started out fast, just like you would expect in this part of the country for Whitetail’s. This is the month every deer hunter waits for in Illinois & the month I get to my ambush site before dawn and don’t go home until after dark. I seen a couple record book bucks the 1st few days, but still nothing like that big beautiful 14 pointer.

November 4 2009. This would be a day I will remember well for the rest of my life. I rattled the antlers at dawn & by 6:30am a main frame 10 point buck with a sticker point on his left brow tine & a sticker near his Right P-3 & between his Right P-3 & P-4 came out of the corn field from the North, when I finally seen him he was standing looking at me 20 yards away, angle towards me. He had a stalk of corn hanging from his antlers and I thought it was a massive drop tine.  It was the big chocolate antler buck I seen the 1st day in my blind. Once again this big buck caught me totally off guard.  Although I was a bit shaken by his surprise appearance, I quickly grabbed my Bear Truth 2 and drew back on him in 1 fluid motion.  As he seemed to look me straight in the eyes, I waited for him to expose a high percentage target. That chance never came and within seconds he ran down my man made trail & off to the South West through the low area where I see most of the deer travel.

It was a quiet afternoon until I decided to try another rattling sequence at 4:20pm. Within 5 minutes, the big 14-pointer appeared to the North along the corn field. He was smelling the James Valley dominant buck lure that I had circled the property with. He was looking at the deer decoy that I had set out to the NorthEast of my location. His hair on his back was raised as he circled my blind and proceeded up the trail that I had cut earlier in the year. As this majestic monster buck stepped into my shooting lane, I released the arrow. As my arrow hit the sweet spot behind the deer’s shoulder, he bolted, disappearing about a hundred yards to the East where the corn, the weed field I was set up in and the landowners garden all come together. As I sat there in total disbelief trying to compose myself, I couldn’t help but to think how surreal the chain of events really were. My next concern was the video of the harvest. Trying to self film your own hunts from a tree stand is challenging but self filming from a blind, where you never really know where the deer are going to show up, that’s taking it to the next level of demanding.  Although the footage isn’t as good as I would have liked, I was delighted to see that I did capture the kill shot to enjoy for years to come.

As I walked through the weed field to where the buck disappeared, I could see his awesome rack laying over in the corn. I did it… I made it happen… I positioned a decoy out in the field and lured in a monster buck AND videoed the harvest….for the WORLD to SEE on HawgNSonsTV!

It was a magical hunt, It was a magical season, Could My grampa’s ash’s that I carried with me for the season have anything to do with my good fortunes? I Thank God, my grampa Lloyd Smith 03/27/1912 - 10/13/1995, everyone that has supported me.

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