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Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: A 33-pointer

September 01, 2009 at 06:52 AM

Historic buck tales

Illinois archery deer hunting season opens in one month. To help get you fired up for the upcoming season, as if you need any help, we’ll be providing a steady diet of big-buck stories throughout September. So check back often for the latest updates.



Michelle Hunter was aptly named.

After years of persistence, Hunter made her first buck a memorable one back on Nov. 15, 1991.

Hunter, who was 18 and pregant at the time, shot a massive 33-point non-typical Adams County buck on opening day of the 1991 firearm deer season that field-dressed at 237 pounds and measured 213 6/8 inches.

Here’s a story that ran on Nov. 19, 1991 from former Peoria Journal Star outdoor writer Jack Ehresman discussing Hunter’s big buck.

33-pointer teen’s trophy for persistence

Since she was 12 years old, Michelle Hunter of East Peoria has been accompanying her dad, Ron, on both archery and shotgun deer hunts in Illinois.

It meant crawling out of a warm bed seemingly in the middle of night, cold hands, sitting in the rain, lonely vigils in a tree stand.

About 7 a.m. last Friday - the opening day of the 1991 Illinois firearms deer season - the persistence paid off for the 18-year-old, who is employed at the Subway Sandwich Shop in East Peoria.  She shot a 33- point buck in Adams County that field dressed at 237 pounds.  It was her first whitetail kill.

“She paid her dues,” said her proud father, who is employed at Du-Mont Co., a heating and sheet metal firm.  “She started hunting when she was about 11 or 12 years old and stuck with it despite the getting up and bad weather.  She let a six-pointer go by last year. She said it wasn’t big enough.”

Mitch, as her dad calls her, was hunting from a 20-foot tree stand near Quincy, about six miles from Siloam Springs State Park. She had just finished a snack when she glanced to her left and noticed a doe.  Close behind came the big buck.  Using a 20-gauge shotgun her dad had borrowed from a friend (Roger Rebbec), Michelle fired from about 25 yards.

The buck went down in tall saw grass.

“I started jumping up and down in the tree,” said Michelle.  But the big animal leaped to its feet and disappeared about 90 yards away.

Her father, along with Bill Hawkins of East Peoria and Dr. D. J. Bailey of East Peoria, tracked the animal on a trail of leaves that had been turned over by the fleeing deer.  They found the big buck in a draw where it had fallen.  It was quickly dispatched.

“The amazing thing is they told us at the check station that the deer was only 2 1/2 years old.  They figured it would have weighed about 298 1/2 on the hoof.

The head will be mounted and officially scored after the required 60-day drying period.

How excited was Michelle?

“She was so excited her face turned beet red.  It stayed that way for an hour,” said her father.

The deer undoubtedly will be one of the largest taken during the first segment of the state’s firearms deer season.

“I also heard of a 23-point non-typical that also was taken in Adams County,” said John Kube, forest game biologist with the Illinois Department of Conservation.


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

yeah that deer is at least 4 1/2 but i guessing it 5 1/2 look at the mass no 2 1/2 year old has that much mass or weight 300 pounds on hoof

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/01 at 08:20 PM

Why in heck would they have guessed it at 2.5 LOL!!
I guess that was back in the days of the check stations..maybe it was just a intern smile

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/02 at 10:38 AM

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