November finally arrived. It seemed like it would never get here. Every year, bowhunters look forward to it because in the Midwest, the big bucks have a tendency to make mistakes. Western Illinois Trophy Hunters (WITO) was gracious enough to let a couple of the Legendary Whitetails team members hunt a week during “primetime”.
Western Illinois Trophy Hunters do it right. Hunter Still and his team were top notch, very knowledgeable hunters that wanted nothing more than for us to hammer a big buck. Not to mention, the hunting shack they have created is less “shack” and definitely more “home”. The building was a large open space concept cabin with antlers everywhere.
After driving over six hours on Sunday, November 4th, we were ready to take down a couple of Illinois’ finest (deer, that is). Before we knew it, it was go time! After a quick shower and coffee, we were off into the woods with the helpful lead of our guide. After a half mile walk over a couple of fields, I was up in my stand and ready to rock about an hour before shooting. As the sun came up, I could see I was in a great spot 30 yards into the woods, just off a field side. The activity was great early, as I saw a couple bucks moving. Then came the rain! I think it rained for the next 48 hours. It made the all-day sits a little tougher; luckily, I have some rain gear that worked spectacular. Sadly, the movement was minimal the first 2 days of camp.
On the third day, hopes were high as the weather was going to clear in the morning. Preparations this morning started a little earlier, as the walk we had ahead of us was a long one. TJ, one of Legendary Whitetails’ Staff Members, trekked over a mile to his stand to what we had trademarked as the “Hog City” stand. It was only a couple of hours and down came a nice ten pointer. TJ didn’t waste any time as he picked out his spot where the buck was headed and pulled back. Perfect 29 yard double-lung shot. His buck didn’t go far. It only ran 50-60 yards before dropping in some tall grass. The WITO team came out to help track, photo, relocate, and clean this massive buck that gross scored 153”. Congratulations on a great buck!
Now it was my turn.
Unfortunately, the next days were very slow. Sometimes it is not all about shooting the big buck as the team at WITO reminded me. It is all of the great experience and bonding time with friends and family. We definitely felt welcome the entire week as we got to tell stories, listen to live music, eat huge meals, and just sat back and relax, if need be.