Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Markello buck

June 09, 2009 at 07:09 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of John Markello of Canton is the story of his hunt for a 10-point Fulton County buck.

Desire. Persistence. Drive. Patience.

These are all traits of many die-hard bowhunters. However, “luck” is the end result after the aforementioned have been carried out in all three and one-half months of the Illinois hunting season. Luck is a funny thing. It seems to come when least expected until you look back at the challenges of the season. Then one usually sees a pattern. That pattern shows that “luck” happens when a large amount of “effort” is carried out. 

I’m an average guy who gets about as many days to hunt as most I suppose. From Oct. 1 until Jan. 17 I’m out there in the heat, wind, cold, rain and snow. Well, Nov. 11 last year turned out to be just one of those cold and rainy days that bowhunters dream about. The air just “felt” right.

I chose to go to a stand strictly due to the wind direction. I’d found this awesome spot a week before and had called a good friend of mine about using a blind at that location. I was afraid the appearance of a new object located right on the field edge would ruin any chance I had to bag the deer that was leaving all the scrapes and rubs along the 200 yards of fence line.

After much deliberation I decided to hang my stand in a small oak at one end of the fence line and 200 yards from the other end of the filed. It seemed to be a good spot to ambush a buck heading back to his bed.

I hunted the stand for the first time on Nov. 9. I sent a text message at 7 a.m. to my buddy and asked if he was seeing anything. He had just seen a monster 10-point chasing a doe. I replied “Good luck!” and settled back in to my stand.

Minutes later I received another text from him saying he just shot a monster! Turns out that a big 12-point came charging in on the 10-point right under my buddies stand. He drew his stick bow and put the smack down on the giant 12 point. The big 10-point proceeded to breed the doe 20 yards away.

Forward to Nov. 11 and that great rainy day. Day light had just began to show herself when out in the middle of the cut corn field I could see three deer heading toward the bed that was 200 yards away from my location. I was second-guessing myself right away. I knew that spot was hot and maybe I should have chanced putting a blind there for an ambush.

I reached into my pack and took out my binoculars to get a better look at the three deer. Sure enough. One was a big 8-point and the other was beautiful dark racked 10-point. The 10-point was keeping busy holding the 8-point at bay from his object of desire. Taking full advantage of the situation the doe suddenly bolted away from the two scrimmaging bucks.

The 10-point finally took notice and took off after her! The 8-point decided he had enough and begin trotting toward his bed. As ‘“luck” would have it, the two deer ran into my neck of the woods. I strained my eyes to see where they were through the gray and drizzle. Suddenly they emerged on the other side of the draw. The doe, with the 10-point in tow, continued on her path crossing a fence onto the neighboring property and out of my life forever. So I had thought.

At the same time my buddy sent me a text message asking if I had seen anything. I said I had just seen a big 8-point and a 10 point. I asked if he was having any action and he said that he decided to go to work due to the rain – and the fact that he had just killed the biggest buck of his life two days before! I couldn’t blame him for wanting to stay dry but I was right where I was suppose to be.

He sent back the same “Good luck” text that I had sent to him. Suddenly I caught some movement at the fence crossing were the deer had went. The doe jumped back across the fence in a big hurry with you know whom following suit. I picked up my bow and mumbled a few choice words to the doe. Maybe she would listen and come my way.

To my delight a few minutes later she came skipping down the trail that leads right to my tree. This was it! She stopped right under me. I could hear her breathing heavy and could see the steam from her nose. She spun looking back the direction she had came and like Clint Eastwood stepping from the smoke of his gun the big 10-point appeared 15 yards broadside. I drew back with full confidence as all of his attention was focused on her.

At full draw I caught movement from my left. The big 8-point was walking by at 20 yards! For a brief second I placed my sight pin on him. Doing so I realized he was just a young fellow. He was a shooter for sure but it was obvious he needed another year. I slowly swung back to the 10-point. I released the string and the arrow found its mark right behind the right shoulder and buried deep into the Illinois soil.

He was so focused on the doe that he didn’t take but 5 steps toward the doe when the lights went out.

I immediately sent a text to my buddy telling him of the good news. My phone rang and was him congratulating me. I was so exited I’m not sure to this day if I made much sense.

All I know is next year my buddy and I will be sending a few text messages back and forth for some serious good luck!!