Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Simpson

April 07, 2009 at 04:18 AM

Life got in the way of hunting during the prime time for deer hunting in Illinois.

From Nov. 6-17 my wife and I were on travels away from our home in Edwardsville. Then came preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner for 45 family members.

There was little time to hunt until first firearm season and it was almost bitter cold. My wife had not had a tag for three or more years and I had missed sharing that with her a great deal and was looking forward to this season more than normal. For those that don’t have a wife that hunts, you don’t know what you are missing. She had a bad cold and wasn’t able to go out but a couple times).

I was beginning to think this season was shaping up to be a washout when second firearm season came along and provided my best buck to date. For me it was a buck of a lifetime. A 13-point Madison County brute. Here’s my story.

It was Thursday morning, Dec. 4, 2008. The weather was cold and crisp. There was little or no wind. There was a heavy frost. It almost looked like a dusting of snow but it would crunch when you walked on the grass. I was afraid every deer in the county could hear me coming.

I settled into my stand and waited for sunrise with anticipation. I was enjoying the quiet and the beauty of the stars. As the first hint of light started to rise in the distance I took out my Quaker Boy Can Call. I made my best attempt at an estrous blat.

About 10 minutes later I thought I heard that crunching sound I had made when I walked in. It was down below along the creek.

A few minutes later I heard it again, but closer. The sun was breaking, but it was still hard to see.

Finally I saw a big bodied deer at about 35-40 yds off my right side. It was still hard to see clearly. It moved away out of sight and I was just thinking, should I call or wait. I didn’t have to wonder long. He stepped out at the corner of the field at 50 yards. I had my Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun with a smooth-bore deer slayer barrel and Winchester Super X slugs.

I still could hardly sight those rifle sights but it was getting lighter by the seconds. He was moving slowly my way. I had to force myself to wait.

When he reached about 18 yards he turned broadside at just the moment when I could see the front sight in the notch on the rear sight.

I shot. He dropped and moved a little, but not for long. I called the wife and asked her to bring the truck so we could drag him up to the house. I climbed down to look him over after about 10 minutes.

I was pumped and couldn’t hardly wait. As I looked him over a deer started to blow down in the creek bottom that could have very well been the bigger of the two. It was ticked. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t coming to kick my butt. It blew as loud as I have ever heard 18 times before I stopped counting.

My buck dressed out at 187 pounds. I couldn’t get my thumb and forefinger around the base of his rack. Unfortunately these are the only photos taken by a disposable camera but he is being mounted.