Illinois 28-point bow kill
Nate Webster has been bowhunting for whitetail deer since he was in high school.
In that time he estimates he has shot 35 deer—never once while hunting out of a tree. On the second day of the 2009 Illinois archery season, all those years of hunting off the ground paid off for Webster.
Hunting in Moultrie County, Webster, 32, shot a massive 28-point buck that has captured nationwide attention for its impressive rack. While it’s still early in the hunting season, Webster’s buck could rank among the top non-typical bow kills in the U.S.
Webster’s buck was certainly all the rage at Kidd’s Archery in Shelbyville, where he first showed the big deer to friends.
“He brought it in to our shop and in 19 years of (helping run Kidd’s Archery) I’ve never seen a big one that was as gnarly as that. It’s a beautiful deer,” Carol Kidd said. Webster is a regular at the shop. “People were absolutely in awe. And the phone calls kept going from person to person. It was just crazy.”
“This couldn’t have happened to a nice person,” Kidd said. “He hunts a lot. But he works too, so he can only hunt so much.”
Exactly how big Webster’s buck might be is still a matter of conjecture.
Based only a cursory review of the photograph, veteran measurer Tim Walmsley said the buck could easily score 230 inches or larger. The deer appears to be a basic 10- or 11-pointer with 40-50 inches of abnormal points.
“I’ve not had him rough-scored and I will possibly get that done,” Webster said. “But I’m still hunting. There’s a lot of deer season left.”
Webster said he had seen the buck on opening day of the archery season. “But I didn’t know he was even near what he was until I got him on the ground,” he said. “The fact that it was so early, I don’t think he even knew he was getting hunted yet.
“From the time I saw him (on Oct. 2) it might have taken two minutes until he was on the ground.”
Webster was hunting with a High Country Iron Mace bow.
Here are some more pictures of his buck.