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Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Pregnancy pays

July 28, 2009 at 02:36 PM

Jason Estes had missed most of bow season in 2007-08 because his wife was pregnant.

Maybe, his father-in-law suggested, that gave him good luck. Because on opening day of the 2007-08 firearm season—just days after Estes’ daughter was born on Oct. 30—he shot the biggest buck of his life, a 10-point Tazewell County bruiser.

Here is the story of Estes’ hunt in his own words.

“I followed my buddy to his family farm near Armington. I got into his truck and he drew me a map of the land that I had never seen. He was pointing in the dark where landmarks were but I had no idea where to go. He left to hunt another farm and I drove down to the creek to see if I could find the stand he told me to sit in. I didn’t see the stand so I drove back up and parked. 

“I made the decision to wait until it got light so I could scout a little before I sat down to hunt. I went ahead and got dressed and sat in my truck waiting for daybreak. I got everything ready on the tailgate of my truck. I have a hard tonneau cover and had it opened. As the it got brighter I looked in my side mirror and could see the rear end of a deer. I then realized the deer was smelling the stuff in the back of my truck. My gun was back there unloaded so I was stuck. I couldn’t even tell if it was a buck or a doe. I then saw a coyote on the other side of the hedgerow and the deer saw it too and trotted off. I ran out real quick and loaded my gun and saw it was a small basket rack 8-pointer so I let him go. 

“I decided I better go find a spot to sit and see what walked by. I didn’t even grab my ground blind, just my camo folding chair. I headed down to the creek looking for sign. I found a few tracks and decided just to sit on the edge of the field. I got my chair set up, sat down and got my gun on my lap when I heard a deer walking towards me. I looked up and a big 10 pointer was coming right towards me and was only 30 yards away. I didn’t want to move but when he got 10 yards from me I brought my gun up and dropped him in his tracks. I couldn’t believe that I was hunting for less than five minutes and shot the biggest deer of my life. 

“I called everyone in my phone book to tell them the news. My father-in-law said it was good luck because I skipped most of the bow season due to my wife being pregnant with our first child. My daugher was born on Oct. 30 and I shot te biggest buck of my life on the first Friday of the first shotgun season.”

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