Muzzleloader success stories

December 14, 2008 at 08:31 AM

Muzzleloader season has gained in popularity over the years, as more and more Illinois deer hunters turn to the accurate, long-shooting blackpowder guns.

But while they shoot a longer distance than a shotgun, they still allow you only one shot before you have to reload.

Even so, there are a few hunters each year who bag big bucks during the muzzleloader-only season. Here are a few such stories from this weekend.

Illinois hunting and fishing

The picture above is of Rob Hilsabeck of Edelstein, who shot this Peoria County 9-pointer Saturday morning. He called the buck “Ugly 9” because it had a gash across its snout and a hole in one ear. Rob figures the buck may have survived a shotgun blast last season, since the wounds were there in trail-cam photos all summer.

No question this is one tough buck. So tough that it took Hilsabeck eight shots with his muzzleloader to down the beast today. Yep, eight shots. All taken within 80 yards of the stand from which he hunted. How a hunter could reload that many times and still have another shot is a tale for another day.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Kirk Vollmer made up for a rough deer season during a deer drive Friday morning (Dec. 12, 2008) in Knox County.

Vollmer said he had passed on several mature deer this year, only to find out they were shot on neighboring propertiers. “Oh well, that’s hunting,” Vollmer said.

Friends Chad, Brian and Josh joined him in a deer drive that pushed a deer his way. Here’s Kirk’s account. “I saw what I was looking for at 175 yards out. A big mature heavy massed 10 pointer standing ready to bolt across the old haulage road. The only thing he left me for a shot was the head and neck and part of the front shoulder all else was in the heavy brush. I put the TC Pro Hunter on him and squeezed it off. I thought I saw it fall through the scope, but wasn’t sure. Chad Jordan the pusher emerged 15 yards my direction from it but never saw it until we both walked back up the road and he laid where I had shot him.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

Also in Knox County, Bob Cook shot this buck on Friday morning at 6:50 a.m.

Illinois hunting and fishing