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Mike’s Big Illinois Sticker Buck

November 13, 2009 by  
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My good friend and hunting partner Mike Davenport wanted to share this exciting story about the 160 class whitetail he took the day after I harvested my 9 point buck out in Illinois.

November 8th 2009 will be one that will forever be in the category of “great days in my life”. It started out with a an awesome show of 2 big bucks fighting in front of me at 30 yards in the predawn darkness just after I climbed into my Lone Wolf tree stand. Although the rest of the sit was uneventful, I knew there were at least 2 shooter bucks in the area, and that was exciting!

 At noon I saw my friend JT off from my place, he was headed to Missouri for one last hunt. He had taken an awesome P&Y buck the day before, and after much work by the him skinning and boning the deer the night before, I got to play taxidermist a bit by caping his trophy. It’s always good to have success yourself, and I feel that same pride when one of my friends kills such a fine animal. Now for repayment JT, I am thinking one of your Mulie honey holes will work just fine!!!

Mikes Illinois Sticker Buck

Later that afternoon I slipped into the same patch of woods. Using a Summit Viper climber this time I was careful not to make noise, always a bit of a chore for me, but I managed to get 20 feet up without much racket. My sit started at 2 pm and by 4 things were getting interesting. I blind rattled to have a raghorn eight walk in and catch my downwind scent. It also reminded me that if I didn’t trim a particular branch on the tree I was in I couldn’t have killed him anyway. After trimming that branch and settling back in I noticed a new buck in the field in front of me. Holy smokes he’s a good one! I quickly rattled and got his attention. He came in on a string, a big bodied, 140 class 8 point and I was really thinking about taking this deer.  At 8 yards he stopped to rub a tree and I drew. He turned a little and I had to let down. When I let down, I immediatetly noticed another buck in the field. To say that I was thankful for not shooting that 140 buck was an understatement. In the field was a giant, old buck. The good 8 walked away a little and the big deer lost interest. He started walking dangerously towards a flock of 4 turkeys in the field. Now turkeys worry me around deer, because you never know if they are going to spook ‘em or give you a show. I had an idea! I had rattled in a buck last year by lowering my horns on my pull up rope and allowing the horns to clank in the brush. This seems to give the deer some other realistic noise other than just horns. Quietly, I lowered my horns, the 8 point only 30 yards away nervously watching the giant in the field. I pulled a few times on the horns. That did it! The giant buck had all he could take and was on his way right to my tree!  He lowered his head at the nearest tom and scattered the entire flock of turkeys. The 8 came trotting towards the sound of the horns too and stopped under my tree. The bigger buck came running in with his head lowered like a linebacker getting ready to tee off on a quarterback in the pocket. It happened so fast that I had no shot! As he escorted the now terrified 8 pointer out of the woodlot I thought my shot at killing either of these bucks was over. But at 44 yards and quartering away the giant stopped to take one last look around. I confidently drew and released sending a Muzzy tipped Carbon Express Heritage through his last left rib, liver, and opposite lung. I heard him pile up about 50 yards from the tree, and then I totally fell apart on the stand. Remember those branches I trimmed at the last minute? That little extra work is the reason I was able to leave him with an arrow as he left to send the 8 packing.

Mikes Illinois Sticker Buck2

The hunt of hunts, this deer is my biggest buck to date and second biggest overall. From a predawn fight of two big bucks, to the midmorning close encounter with a shooter buck, to caping a truly great deer for my friend JT, and finally to the culmination of all the things that have to go right to kill a big buck anywhere. Any of these out of order, out of context, any small step skipped and this experience would not have been as robust.

The big buck has 14 scorable points, 14″ G2’s and will gross in the mid-160’s. He is a true old warrior that came in looking for a fight and went out on his shield. Harvesting mature bucks with a bow is the most satisfying part of deer hunting for me, and this great Illinois whitetail is my kind of deer. I can’t wait to see the mount and as my family sat down to dinner last night over fresh backstrap, I thanked God for the opportunity to hunt such fine animals.

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One Response to “Mike’s Big Illinois Sticker Buck”

  1. JT says:


    Thank you for the comment. We do our best to post only quality pictures and articles on legally and ethically harvested deer and other game.

    As you can imagine we receive a huge number of articles, pictures, comments, spam and the like from all across North American. Not all of them are worthy of posting to our site, so we try to be selective for the benefit of our readers. Unfortunately its not feasible for us to verify the accuracy of each hunter’s submission, so we have to go on trust.

    However, if we receive a DNR press release or copy of an newpaper or magazine article or similar third party verification that there was misrepresentation of their kill then we will remove the post.

    We appreciate you reading our site.

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