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Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Holohan

December 09, 2008 at 03:13 AM

Ray Holohan of Ashkum had a week any deer hunter would dream of in November of 2008.

While bowhunting in Iroquois County, Holohan first shot an 11-point buck that grossed 164 inches and netted 156 inches. The bow kill capped 48 straight days of hunting and an estimated 150 hours in the timber for Holohan.

Holohan didn’t have to wait very long for another buck, though. Four days later, on the second day of the first firearm deer season, Holohan had a 13-pointer walk within range three times before he decided to shoot.

“I was actually out doe hunting when the 13 came along and I passed three times before I decided he was worth using up my second buck tag,” Holohan said.

Holohan said he hesitated to shoot the buck for a variety of reasons, partly because to take a buck during gun season means his bowhunting would lose some luster for the final month.

“I love to bowhunt. I’ve been bowhunting for 43 years since I started in 1965 when I was 15. I only slug hunt because I can’t bowhunt during the slug season,” Holohan said. “The other reason (he at first passed on the buck) was my son was on the other end of the swamp I was hunting that day and I wanted him to get a crack at the buck. I only shot him when he tried to sneak past me. His body was huge and kid of dwarfed the size of his rack.”

The 13-point gun kill was a main-frame 10-pointer that grossed 191 inches and netted 171 inches.

These are two of Holohan’s biggest bucks, though he does have five Pope and Young Club qualifiers in the past five years. Previously his top-scoring buck was a 170-inch non-typical.

Holohan said he was not aware of either buck being in his hunting area. “I actually had my eye on two other bucks of equal size.That shows you what the rut can do for you, you never know when that big one will show up,” he said.

Illinois hunting and fishing

EDITOR'S NOTE: Look for Tales from the Timber every Tuesday at Prairie State

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Great story… wish I had just a bit of his luck, BUT who passes a 190 buck 3 times????

Posted by SILO Bob on 12/09 at 07:03 AM

The big one could have been in range but offering marginal shots, a little thick or wrong angle, before he shot it. I’ve had nice bucks (not that nice!) come by a couple times before I was able to take a shot that I liked.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 09:02 AM

I just posted an update with Ray’s explanation of why he passed on the buck. I think it makes things pretty clear.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 12/09 at 09:19 AM

Congrats! Awesome bucks. Other than the current legality of it, what is the rationale for not allowing an individual from using archery equipment during the firearm season as long as you have successfully drawn a permit and wear the appropriate clothing? Many states allow this, we allow muzzle loading during the archery season?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 09:46 AM

Two very nice Bucks! Congratulations.

How does one keep the rigor out of a 4 day old buck to take such nice pictures with your recently taken 190” super buck?

My deer are usually stiff as a board in a few hours.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 06:28 PM

You can’t keep rigor out of the 4 day old kill. My guess is he had to wrestle with the neck by turning the head for a while to loosen it up. I’ve done this many times for photos after leaving a deer overnight.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/10 at 11:00 AM

Congrats Ray, someone was looking down on you. Nice job!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/10 at 09:23 PM

sweet those are two great bucks good luck with the rest of bow season

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/12 at 08:10 AM

I know Ray personally, as he lives near me.  He is the real deal and deserves the success he has been having the last few years.  Aside from trying to make time to hunt he also runs a successful sheet metal business, and does taxidermy on the side!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/16 at 11:46 AM

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