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Illinois Triple

December 5, 2012 by  
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Here are three great bucks taken in Illinois by the Whitetail Properties team. Congrats guys!

Aaron Milliken, harvested this buck in Hancock county on November 16, 2012 during the first Illinois gun season. He shot it with his Thompson Center Encore Muzzleloader with Brunton Eterna Scope. Here is story.

This 8 was a definite target to harvest this season.  I’ve got Reconyx pictures of him along with several other shooters on this farm.  All of the stands on the farm were hung and ready to go well before season was open.  I only hunted the farm 2 times before gun season because the way the farm is set up I knew it would be hard to get close to the bucks I was after with a bow.  The warm weather and south wind that is not common during mid-late November was a huge problem for the stands I was planning on hunting.  After looking at the weather forecast very closely for several days leading up to gun season I elected to hang 1 more set the day before gun season opened.  Opening day of gun season brought a wind that was supposed to shift from north to south late in the morning.  I sat a set perfect for the mornings north wind and had encounters with some small bucks and several does.  As soon as the wind started to shift we climbed out of the stand and headed back to the truck around 11 am.  As soon as I was confident the wind would be steady out of the south we climbed into the new set I hung the day before gun season started.  We were in the stand by noon, we saw great rut activity almost immediately and knew we had made the right move to this stand.  After watching a smaller buck chasing does in and out of the bedding area we were set up near, a large half racked deer showed up and headed towards the bedding area, behind him was the 8 we had targeted.  He was headed into the bedding area following the half rack and several does when he gave me a shot at 130 yards.  I took the shot and dropped him immediately. This all happened within 1 hour of climbing into the set I had hung the day before to accommodate for the changing wind conditions.

The buck had only given me night-time pictures so I knew I was going to have any chance to see him I needed to be close to his bedding area with only the perfect wind conditions.  He has unique brows that hook, very long g2’s and good mass. I chose to set up near a major bedding area because rut activity had been strong that morning, I knew I needed to be close to the does.. Plus the trail cam showed the bucks were mostly active at night so I was staying close to this bedding area. I knew that catching them chasing near bed was the best option because this particular farm really lacks food sources. Knowing that I was only going to use the stand for gun season I set it up with a clear shot for 200+ yards on both sides where I could cover the majority of the area.

The buck came from 200+ yards away so we had plenty of time to get set.  I waited to see how close he was actually going to get and 130-150 yards was looking like the only option based on the route he was taking.  When he got to 130 he gave me a nice quartering away shot, it dropped him immediately, passed through 1 lung, heart, then the opposite shoulder.  Easy tracking job!


Paul Sawyer was hunting Pike County, IL. on 11-18-12 when he shot this cool looking buck with his Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 slug gun, topped with a Brunton scope and used Winchester 375 grain dual bound slugs.

It was a perfect morning cold, frost over the corn field. I was hunting a Banks Blind butted up to a brushy fence line in front of 2 acres of standing corn with cut paths in the corn.  I left the corn standing in a little cove right next to a ridge in between two bedding areas.  The bedding area to the south is 30 acres of timber that acts as a sanctuary. We have 8 bucks on the hit list.  We were hunting the buck on the top of the Big Chocolate, a 181” 5yr old 10 point.  I had a trail camera picture of Big Chocolate standing broadside, 60 yards from my blind at 7:00am a couple of days before.  I first encountered the buck I shot named Medusa the evening before I shot him, I had a chance to shoot him but I elected to pass.  Little did I know that Brian Rennecker had killed big Chocolate moments before on the other side of the farm.  So once I knew Big Chocolate was dead Medusa got a green light.  The next morning Medusa came running from behind the pond chasing a doe.  He closed the distance to 60 yards, I had to stop him before he walked into the corn.  The slug exploded his heart on impact and broke his opposite leg, as he ran off I shot at him again and missed him but my third shot, free handed at 125 yards hit him in the back rib sending him head over heels crashing into the middle of the corn field.  When I got up to him five does came running out of the creek bottom so I dropped to a knee and shot a doe at 100 yards, dropping her in the field with Medusa right at my feet. A very fun hunt!  I have pictures of this buck from velvet until the day I killed him.

He was a 4 year old buck, main frame 8 with 4 brow times on the right side.  These extra points are how he earned his name Medusa. When I shot him I did not realize that he had broken off one of his extra brow tines, which came strait out from the base of his antler.


Jeff Heil was hunting Greene county, Illinois during gun season with his TC Omega Muzzleloader. Here is his hunt report.

I did not have much history with this buck, I only had one trail cam photo of him and I have been running 14 cameras since early August on this farm. This buck was a simply beautiful main frame 10 point buck. Nothing special, but a buck that any IL landowner could expect to see on a managed property.

We had planned a all day sit in a Banks Blind on a creek bottom field which has a beautiful stand of warm season grass which is a great pinch point during the rut.  We had seen 7 different bucks chasing does that morning and about 11:05 am we caught some deer movement in a small patch of timber about 60 yards from the blind.  It was a couple does and this buck.  He was hard to identify because of the thick brush.  After a couple minutes he decided to come out of the brush and gave me a shot opportunity which I decided to take.  The bullet met its mark and the buck bolted and went on a 200 yard sprint before piling up.  Scott was able to film the entire sprint along the WSG field and then across a Whitetail Institute food plot where he piled up when entering the timber.  The recovery was quick since he had seen him start to go down as he crossed the food plot and he was exactly where we thought he would be.

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