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Youth deer season success stories

October 13, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Despite warm temperatures over the weekend, youngsters enjoyed another successful Illinois youth deer hunt.

Preliminary harvest results show a total of 1,040 deer taken, up from 896 last year. Harvest sex ratios were 514 females and 526 bucks. The top five counties were Pike (55), Jefferson (41), Randolph (40), Adams (33), and Fayette (33). Here’s a complete preliminary county-by-county harvest: 2008_Youth_Deer_Harvest.pdf

“This is the best thing the Department of Natural Resources has done in a long time,” said Jim Lierle of Peoria, who hunted with his grandson, Jonathan Lierle during the youth weekend. “I have not enjoyed a hunt more than this in my entire life. Squirrel hunting is a lot of fun, but when you go get a deer you’ve got bragging rights.”

Lierle’s 10-year-old grandson shot a Peoria County doe at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, the first day of the two-day statewide youth firearm hunt.

But as was true last year, youngsters could also shoot bucks during the youth hunt. That change came prior to last season when the youth hunt was upgraded to a statewide event. The change was thanks in part to lobbying by Illinois bowhunting groups.

Beneficiaries of the change this fall included Brandon Crose of Princeville (pictured at right), Illinois hunting and fishingwho shot a big 12-point Stark County buck Sunday evening. The deer field dressed at 225 pounds.

“We were hunting a little pheasant ditch with cornfields on either side,” said Crose’s father, Todd Crose. “It wasn’t more than about 50 yards wide, just a ditch. Well we had seen some big buck tracks in there so we just sat right in the middle of the ditch. The wind was in our favor and he came right down the ditch.”

Crose made a 50-yard shot with his 20-gauge single-shot shotgun and dropped the buck in its tracks.

Tom Russow, 14, of Pontiac also made a nice shot Sunday evening to take a big 9-point buck in Livingston County. Reports his brother, Joe Russow:

“He overcame a serious case of buck fever and put an awesome heart shot on the deer at about 15 yards. This led to a great blood trail and an easy recovery of the brute. In the end, the awesome 9-pointer weighed in at 225 pounds field dressed and we estimate his rack to score in the mid 140’s to about 150 inches. The funny thing was is that the hunting was really slow this weekend and this was actually the only deer we saw all weekend. Not too bad for only his second deer ever and first racked buck.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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

Outstanding!  Nice job boys!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/13 at 06:33 PM

Congratulation goes out to all these kids that got a deer. Even though we got skunked, we still had an awesome time.  I wish the state would give these kids more than two days.  Its a no-brainer, more days afield means more dead deer.  Iowa lets them hunt a week which means afternoon hunts for alot of them but at least they would be out there.  These kids are our future, lets keep them interested.  Once again, congratulation to all you kids that got your deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/13 at 08:37 PM

Amen, illbowhunter!  And great job, fellas.  We’re all proud of you.  Yes, even those of us that got skunked with the deer moving too early in the morning.  That’s huntin’!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/14 at 02:20 PM

My nephew James and I hunted prety hard, but the standing corn and warm temps really seemed to have activity down. On Sunday at about noon, My friend John put us on a likely stand while he went about packing up camp for the drive home. The plan was to possibly run some deer to the stand once he returned. Like clockwork, at 2:30 two bucks came down the ridge straight to the stand. James made the 35 yard shot, and the work began! He got to see how heavy a mature buck can be when you are a couple hundred yards in the woods. Brought it out in a boat! He loved the adventure!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/16 at 11:09 AM

congrats to brandon and tom on two very nice sized bucks i am still waiting for the opening day of shotgun and my first bow hunt of the year !good luck to everyone and be safe!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/27 at 11:26 AM

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