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Hunter and Jarrett Basten Harvest IL Deer

December 1, 2011 by  
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Great kids hunting story from a proud Matt and Shelly Basten of Galena, Illinois. It’s fantastic to see a family teaching, sharing and enjoying our hunting heritage. If you have the chance this fall take a kid hunting, you will be glad you did!

9 Year old Hunter Basten of Galena, Illinois harvested this beautiful 10 point buck on the second day of the Illinois gun deer season.  Hunter put a perfect shot on this Illinois monster while hunting with his Dad, Grandpa, Uncle and cousins!  It was one of the greatest days of his life, Hunter said…”Dad, this feels like a Dream!”  A dream come true I said.  Hunter has had a great year so far, in the spring he harvested his 3rd gobbler, earlier this fall he harvested his first bow kill with a beautiful 5 point buck and has shot numerous squirrels.  Way to go Hunter!  Mom and Dad are SO PROUD of you Buddy!!!

Here is the story of his bowkill…Hunter has been shooting his bow since I taught him to shoot at the age of 4 years old and this was Hunters second year of bowhunting.  Last year Hunter had been hunting behind the house in his blind from opening day on October first till the last day of Bowhunting on January 15th. He had a couple of missed opportunities in his first year and realized how hard it was to shoot a deer with a bow…and up to last day he NEVER gave up.  Here we are in year 2 of bowhunting…so far this year he again had a couple of misses. But even after all of that frustration Hunter NEVER gave up, in fact Hunter said to me that he would rather go hunting Saturday night instead of going to the Halloween Parade in Galena.  So that’s what we did. While we were getting ready Hunter was smiling ear to ear, I looked at him and asked what was up.  “Dad its going to be a good night…I just have a good feeling”.   That is the GREAT thing I love about hunting with my boys is that is no matter what they always have a positive attitude. I love that about them and this time Hunter was right!

At about 4:30 Hunter spotted a couple of does in the field out in front of us about 60 yards away. I did some calling trying to get them to come in, but they would not come any closer.   Later on I spotted a small buck out in the field. I told Hunter…Check it out..a buck!  Hunter starts to get nervous and shaking a little…I did some calling and the buck looks our way and then starts walking towards us.  We saw the buck step into the woods and then we lost sight of him, soon we heard some leaves crunching and Hunter looked down and the buck was right underneath our stand!  He was so nervous to have a buck this close!  I whispered to him…wait till he walks behind a tree and draw back!  And Hunter did just as I told him, the buck stepped out, stopped, and was looking away from us into the field, Hunter released his arrow and it went RIGHT BETWEEN HIS ANTLERS!!!  I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT, JUST LIKE A PERFECT FIELD GOAL KICK!!!  He split the uprights!!! The buck looked down at the arrow, back up into the field turned and walked behind another tree!!!  I grabbed Hunters last arrow and nocked it for him.  At this point the Buck had taken a few steps to our left and was now at about 11 yards behind a tree and had NO idea we were there!  Hunter drew back and this time when the buck stepped out from behind the tree Hunter took aim and released his arrow…TWHACK!!! He hit HOME!!!  The Buck crashed down through the ditch behind us onto the far hillside and stood there for a moment…I watched the deer walk away real slow.  I looked at Hunter with a smile about as wide and the Grand Canyon… you hit him but I don’t think it was a good hit…lets sneak out of here, we will come back in the morning and look for him…Hunter was SPEECHLESS!  He was Smiling from ear to ear and said…Ok Dad, But I have good feeling about this!  We will find him in the morning!

So here we are Sunday morning, Grandpa joins us. We all start walking the valley down where we last saw him walking away the night before and we cannot find any sign of him…no blood and no fresh sign of beds.  Grandpa starts to walk down to the bottom and Hunter looks at me and says…Well what if he went just a little further Dad…Can’t we walk down the valley just a little further?  I could tell Hunter was starting to doubt that we were going to find his deer, he was getting pretty quiet and looking upset. So we walked down the valley about another 200 yards and started to circle around when we heard Grandpa yell down to us…”WE FOUND HIM!!! WE FOUND HIM!!!!  HUNTER GET UP HERE I FOUND YOUR BUCK!!!  I looked at Hunter already my eyes were starting to well up…OH MY GOSH HUNTER…YOU GOT YOUR FIRST DEER!!!!  He gave me a big hug and we tore off up the valley to see him…and what a beautiful Buck he was!!!  That night we said our prayer to God thanking him for blessing us with this beautiful Buck…this is a long story I don’t think any of us that day will EVER forget!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read about our special day, I am very proud of you Hunter…thanks for one of my greatest memories in the field!


Well I was the proudest Dad in the world Sunday night…My youngest son, 7 year old Jarrett bagged his first Whitetail Buck!  It was the last day of the youth firearm season in Illinois, Jarrett and I were set up in the corner of a cornfield across the road from the house in a home made blind that Grandpa John built.  It was a very hot afternoon, temp in the blind was reaching 85 plus degrees, but Jarrett wanted to stick it out and not give up….We had a little action going on around us with a really fat chipmunk getting his cheeks filled with corn and checking out things around the blind.  Jarrett thought it was pretty funny how the little guy would fill up his cheeks and run around hiding the corn in piles under the leaves.

After 2 years of target practice and safety lectures from me with their guns, this was Jarrett’s first time out in the woods deer hunting with them.  But after about 2 hours in the hot blind and no deer action, Jarrett was getting a little sleepy.  With about an hour before dusk Jarrett couldn’t fight it any longer and his head flopped over to my shoulder and he was out.  At that point I had had enough and I WAS STARTING TO GET SLEEPY!  I woke him up and told him…”Jarrett, its about prime time”, the best time to be in the woods hunting!  Once Jarrett heard that he was at full attention!  He put his gun in the position so that all he had to do is put it to his shoulder to be ready to shoot.  Then at 6:25 I heard some footsteps in front of us, I tapped Jarrett’s leg.  He sat up, put the gun to his shoulder, lined up the bead to the front shoulder of the buck and then I whispered to him “Jarrett, squeeze it off buddy…” and with that “BANG!”  Down he went!  MY LITTLE GUY GOT HIS FIRST DEER!   I was completely FILLED with all the EXCITEMENT in the WORLD!!!  Jarrett looked at me and his eyes were the size of 2 of the biggest dinner plates I have ever seen! We hugged each other! We gave each other some high fives! A couple of Knuckle smashes! At that point Jarrett looks at me and says CAN WE GO SEE HIM!  So we slipped out of the blind and walked up to him…”Dad I CANT BELIEVE I JUST SHOT A BUCK!”  I smiled and said…neither can I Buddy…neither can I…so we kneeled down and said a prayer to God over the body of this beautiful animal, thanked the Lord for this day and for this gift.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our special day!  Hopefully the first of MANY to come!

Matt-n-Shelly Basten


One Response to “Hunter and Jarrett Basten Harvest IL Deer”

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