Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Homan

December 02, 2008 at 08:27 AM

Drew Homan made a recent trip home from college one to remember.

The 19-year old freshman at Morton College in Cicero bagged the biggest buck of his young life while bowhunting on Nov. 14.

Once arriving at his hometown of Lexington, Homan called up friend Mike Steffa and asked if the McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation director wanted to go hunting.

“He got back a little late and I was debating whether or not to go to our spot here by the park or to ask permission from a guy near Towanda to let us hunt out there,” Steffa said. “I did the latter, and boy I’m glad I did!”

The hunting duo got to the field in McLean County around 2:30 p.m. and got settled into their separate tree stands, about 100 yards apart.

A short time later, Steffa sent a text message to Homan that he saw some deer coming.

“I never did see those,” Homan said. “About a quarter until 4 I was getting tired, so I stood up to look around and off to my right this deer comes out. And I could see his left rack, because it was just huge. He comes out of the woods and I didn’t see him go in the woods. I was just inside the woods but I didn’t see him walk down wind of me.”

Homan reached for his doe call, just in case the big buck was going to walk away.

“But instead he came walking down the tree line toward me, so I just let him come naturally. And he kept coming and kept coming and I ranged it. It was 28 yards where I thought he was going to go through, but he came into the woods a little bit more. So I ranged it again and it was 20 or 21 yards.”

The buck got behind a few trees and Homan drew back.

“He took two more steps and when his ribs or lungs, whatever you want to say, got into my 20-yard pin, I let him have it,” Homan said of releasing his Hoyt bow with Thunderhead broadheads.

The buck ran about 50 to 60 yards through heavy brush and Homan did not see him come out.

“When it was running, I didn’t make a complete pass through but I could see my fletchings as it was running,” Homan said. “I knew I made a good shot at him. I just wanted to make sure I could see the fletching. It was just light enough that I could still see. I knew I made a good shot. I double-lunged him.”

Steffa heard the “thwack,” then heard his cell phone ring 30 seconds later.

“I called Mike up and asked if he saw any deer go out in the bean field and he goes, ‘No ... I saw a deer, but it never did come toward me’. And I go, ‘Yeah, I just shot a monster.’ I could barely talk. It’s my biggest one, so I was so nervous.”

The hunting partners decided to wait until dark to search for the buck.

“We went out and found the blood trail,” Homan said. “It went about 50 or 60 yards and we found him. We couldn’t believe how big he was.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

The 14-point deer had split bow tines, with his left G2 forked with a sticker splitter. His right G2 was palmated with a crab claw on top of it.

Homan, whose biggest previous buck was an 8-pounder, estimated the deer weighed around 200 pounds field dressed.

The big prize was worth the wait.

“I’ve been passing a lot of deer this year that I would have shot in years past,” Homan said. “But I was bound and determined to shoot a big one this year, so I let a lot of little ones and does pass me until the right one came by. And it finally did.”