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The Stickelmaier buck was killed on the first day of firearm deer season. Photo courtesy of Bill Stickelmaier.

Bill Stickelmaier’s deer could be biggest Illinois typical of the past season

February 16, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

Bill Stickelmaier’s “deer of a lifetime” could be the biggest Illinois typical taken in Illinois this past season.

Boone and Crockett Club scorer Tim Walmsley of Fowler measured the rack Saturday, three months after Stickelmaier killed the deer on opening morning of the Illinois firearm deer season.

All racks must dry for 60 days before being officially scored.

The buck’s official score is 190 3/8.



Walmsley measured the deer at Emken’s Taxidermy in Yates City, where the deer is being mounted for display.

“I was lucky I didn’t know how big it was,” Stickelmaier said of the morning of his hunt.

When he first spotted the buck following a doe more than 100 yards away, he knew it was big, but distance blurred the details.

“I could see he was extremely wide, and I could tell he was tall, but I couldn’t tell how many points,” Stickelmaier said. “In my mind as a hunter, I knew he was a shooter. The only thing to do at that point was to work for a shot.”

As the buck and doe grew closer, Stickelmaier said he knew time was running out.

“When the doe got within 40 yards, I knew I needed to take the shot because I didn’t want her to stomp or snort and alert him and send him on his way,” he said.

Stickelmaier found a clear shot through the trees and waited for the buck to walk into the open.

“I had a really good shot through the woods,” he said.

Stickelmaier shot the buck just before 7 a.m. on opening day of the first Illinois firearm season.

The buck went only about 75 yards up a hill before collapsing.

Before the hunt, Stickelmaier had not seen the trophy deer on any of the trail cameras on the farm.

“I don’t know where he came from,” Stickelmaier said. “I don’t think he spent a lot of time on our property.”

For Stickelmaier, opening day is a family tradition.

“We have a real nice farm in Fulton County, and we have been hunting down there for 30 years,” he said. “We bow hunt and shotgun hunt. My dad and I started out shotgun hunting and we really look forward to the first day of shotgun season.”

To make for a successful day, the hunters are in their stands right on time.

“There is a little bit of anticipation in the air (on opening day), and we really make an effort to get in our stands about 40 minutes before light.”

Stickelmaier said he feels fortunate, knowing that deer of that size are rare.

“I’ve seen three deer in that size range in the past 25 years,” he said. “I only saw them one time and didn’t get a shot at the other two.

“It is amazing to see a deer like that out in the woods, and all the neighbors and other people who hunt (in the area) know that those genetics are there that is possible to have more deer like that.”

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Nice buck!  However it is not the biggest typical this past year. The buck i was after which was mid-190s typical twelve. The word was that a neighbor had shot him second gun season and scored 192. However i do not think whoever shot it will make it public.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/19 at 11:00 AM

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