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Illinois hunting and fishing

Todd Clanin of Washington shot this 9-point Woodford County buck while hunting on Oct. 26, 2008 along a standing corn field. The buck was checking scrapes and came in range just before dark.

Rut coming, despite warm weather

October 30, 2008 at 05:32 PM

The whitetail rut is rapidly approaching in Illinois despite warm weather and standing corn.

Todd Clanin of Washington knows all about that. Hunting on Oct. 26, Clanin arrowed a tall, wide 9-point buck that was checking scrapes along the edge of a standing corn field.

Clanin had set up in the corn itself, sitting on a five-gallon bucket and waiting to see what would happen. What happened is that just before dark the buck appeared and he shot the deer, which ran about 70 yards before falling. Fortunately for Clanin, the buck ran into the timber and not into the corn.

And fortunately for bowhunters all over Illinois, the approach of the rut means big bucks are starting to show their antlers before dark.

Take a look at this big buck shot on Oct. 28, reportedly by a hunter in southern Illinois near Walnut Hill. The hunter had been filming the buck all summer before finally getting a good shot.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Plenty of other hunters have started seeing big deer, as well. Last week Brian Fandel of Germantown Hills shot a nice buck while hunting on the ground. The deer came ready to fight a buck decoy Fandel had set-up nearby. Similar stories of feisty bucks have been turned in by bowhunters all over the state in the past few days, that despite a warming trend and plenty of standing corn.

“The last few days have been rocking,” said Luke Quinn of Wolf Hollow Archery in Chillicothe. “This warm spell will probably slow things down, but guys have been seeing a lot of deer.”

That includes Wayne Benson of Lacon, who shot 11- and 9-point bucks this week in Marshall County that combined for more than 300 inches of antler.

Other happy archers are Bob Quinn of Chillicothe, who arrowed a 150-inch Peoria County 11-pointer and crossbow hunter Bob Utley of Germantown Hills, who shot a nice 8-pointer.

Patience proved a virtue for Drew Packman, who shot the Woodford County 7-pointer pictured below on Oct. 29, 2008. Packman was getting ready to climb out of his stand when the buck came into view. The deer field dressed at 220 pounds.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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I hunt in union county south of Jonesboro and as of last weekend, no rutting action that we could tell.  Some small scrapes and rubs but no chasing at all, even by the little ones.  That should change soon enough.  Anyone else hunt in that part of the state noticing anything?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 06:22 AM

i hunt in jasper county and the weekend of the 25th (past weekend) i seen two bucks, one a two year old and another a little older chasing does like it was full rut! i say when the leaves fall off in a week or so it will be awesome!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 08:47 AM

by the way nice deers!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 08:57 AM

I found plenty of scrapes last night that were not there last Saturday. Right at dark a big 8 point appeared 5 yards from my stand. I think he was doing all the scraping. He made his last scrape just before I shot him. He dressed at 230#. I haven’t seen any chasing yet but here of some from a couple buddies. Get in the woods all Hells about to break out. Good luck everyone!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 09:45 AM

Just started to see fresh scrapes 2 days ago. Bucks still moving right before dark. Took the day off yesterday and sat all day with no action during the day. Just at dark seen one 9 pointer,big 10 and huge 12 thru binocs in the middle of a bean field. Going to be hot this weekend, but going all day anyway. Things are going to go crazy next week and farmers are just now getting the corn out around us. A couple days will really make a big difference.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 11:42 AM

I found a lot of scrapes last weekend that were either fresh or heavily used.  I’ve been seeing a lot of activity near sunup and sundown all week, so I’m looking forward to some heavy action over the next week.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 12:30 PM

With all due respect, it is pretty pointless to sit in your stand all day and expect some action to come between 10am and 3pm.  Unless you have a lot of free time, more power to ya.  It wont be till at least November 8-10th until bucks are out and about in the early-afternoon hours. 

I say this out of experience.  I have wasted many hours in the woods by sitting all day and 99 out of 100 times nothing is going on mid-day. 

But hey, grab your bow and maybe you will get lucky!

Also, the rut hasn’t begun anywhere in Illinois yet.  The small bucks always start smellin and chasin some does early on, but none of those does are actually in estrus.  Right now it is the early pre-rut, scrapes, rubs, etc.  Give it 7 more days and cold weather and it will be time to rattle the horns.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 01:10 PM

I’ve set out all day many times this time of year and seen big bucks out in the middle of the day.  Maybe you’re not in the right spot during those times but that’s why I always say you just never know.  So, saying something is pointless may apply to you but don’t force it as being pointless on everyone else.  You just never know when you might see a deer and those big bucks are awfully smart and know when the good times are to move around.  It’s when people like yourself aren’t out in the woods because it’s pointless when you can be sittin’ on your couch instead.  Though I’ll say I’ve never killed a trophy buck sitting on my couch.  Good luck with that!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 05:04 PM

I would say that when you have a chance to sit all day this time of the year you had better take it.. No one ever knows what is going to happen and what time it is going to happen.. Most of the wall hangers that I have seen in my 30 years of hunting and shot have been between 10am and 2pm.. So please those who like to leave early please do and leave the big bucks who prefer the quiet outdoors to the tv… But please don’t quit hunting.. luck shines on all of us one day….It has for me in the afternoon….......

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 10:33 PM

By the way has anyone rattled in any big bucks yet? I still thank that next weekend it’s going to go nuts.. Also great looking Deer and CONGRATS..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 10:38 PM

I had bucks running does all day starting at 11am knox county

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/31 at 11:17 PM

I have been seeing a few bucks but none are chasing does, at least no good bucks. Some of the small bucks are trying. I’m in Clark co. I did rattle(tickle)a buck in on the 26th. A 150+ inch 9 that stood 3 yrds from my tree for 15 minutes and watched 2 diff. doe groups gom by ay 60-70 yrds and never really acted like they were there. when the rain come the end of the week it should really fire up but Right now I would spend every minuite in the woods I could. I seem to pick up alot of Monsters (170+) on my game cams in the daylight from the 1st thru the 8th or so. GL

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/01 at 07:45 AM

Pretty slow in my neck of the woods, lots of night time activity as indicated by my cameras.  Some scraping here and there.  Old mother natures weather change has shut down alot of the activity.
After checking back to several years of nothing but scouting camera pics I found most of the big buck activity picked up between the 11th and 13th of November.  By big buck I mean 160+.  Hopefully the north winds will blow in some cold air and rain this next week and I think we will be in business.  For now I am going thru the motions hoping that monster will show his face right after sun up or sun down.  Im with lungbuster on rutting conditions, the little boys always chase 10-14 days early. We aren’t there yet and if you are having or seeing big boys chase, put um down. >>>—————>

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/01 at 11:13 PM

Still slow in Fulton County.  Seeing some small bucks, but the best is yet to come.  Seems like the best day for really big bucks is around Nov. 11th every year.  Good luck.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 04:20 AM

Lots of big boys were posted on here around the 9th last year. I was lucky enough to put a Booner down on the 13th. I think the bad boys are scraping after dark, but its going to break out in the next 7 days. I haven’t seen many does on my last couple hunts so that tell me there hiding from the little bucks. Good luck and shoot straight…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 07:26 AM


I never forced sitting all day as pointless on anyone else, I just said out of my experience it is not productive 99 out of 100 times.  I also never mentioned sitting on the couch or watching tv as an alternative to hunting.  My only point was not to waste peoples time by thinking now is the time of year to sit in your stand all day. Like I said, November 8-10th is the time to consider that.
If you notice by pretty much everyones posts and from talking to other people in the woods, hunting for the big bucks is pretty slow over the past week or so.  Its all six pointers tryin to chase a doe or two.  Also, when JPD said most of his wall hangers was shot between 10am-2pm, I’m guessing thats either a few with a bow, or maybe a few with a gun. 


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/02 at 12:17 PM

Nothing going on up here in Lake County, not a doe to be seen the last 10 days.  Only deer we’ve seen are the smaller bucks.. Anyone else having better luck.  We are hunting NE Lake County, Illinois

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/15 at 11:04 AM

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