November Dreamin’

As the warmth of summer began to fade and Fall’s chilling hand began to tighten its icy grip over the Midwestern landscape, there was only one thing on my mind, the upcoming Illinois rut.    Over the previous years I’d had the good fortune to hunt a piece of property owned by a friend’s family in Sangamon County, Illinois.  Each trip produced encounters with monster bucks that haunted my dreams during the summers and I prayed that this year would be the year I’d take one of those monster’s down.

In late October, my friend Carlos and I decided to take an early trip to the farm to scout for the upcoming hunts prime stand locations.  We had located a couple of funnels leading to some harvested CRP fields and we decided that this was our desired spot.  We set our stands and anticipated the upcoming hunt like a child anticipates Christmas morning.

We decided to put together a couple of hunts to see how the action would play out. Over the next couple of days we saw lots of activity with does and smaller bucks.  This made us ever more confident that our stands were in the right spot for the November rut.

I arrived back in Illinois on the evening of November 6th, beating Carlos to the camp and securing one of hunting’s most coveted prizes, first choice of bed!  I finished unloading my gear and forced myself to sleep with the anticipation of monster whitetails silently slipping their way over crispy frost covered leaves.

The next morning I jumped out of bed for my long awaited hunt,only to be disappointed with the sight of nothing!  After a quick lunch I headed out to an area that had enough deer sign you would thing 18 wheelers had been traveling through it.  As the afternoon began to slip into early evening, I spotted a buck chasing two does across the Sangamon River.  Quickly, I picked up my rattling horns and went to work.  Looking thru my binoculars I could see that I’d had gotten the buck’s attention, but then he disappeared into the thicket of woods.  I scanned the dimming forest for movement and out of nowhere a big bodied nine pointer exploded out from under a blown over tree.  I nervously reached for my bow and nearly had my cover blown because of my movements.  How I orchestrated my way thru my series of movements, I will never know.  By the time I had my bow in hand the buck had made his way to a mock scrape 15 yards in front of my stand,  it was GO time!  Fortunately, I was able to get my bow drawn and rest my top pin on his vitals.  With the “thump” of my bow, I sent my arrow right into the sweet spot.  

The tracking job was short and at the end of the line, laid my 133 inch Illinois nine-pointer.  A hunter’s dream come true.

Jesse

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