The numbers prove it. Realtree fans north, south, east and west live and breathe deer hunting. These guys do, too. Hansen’s from Michigan, Brantley’s from Kentucky, and chances are their version of hunting whitetails is a lot like yours.
First Buck Friday: Illinois 10-Pointer
I know, we’ve been a little behind on our First Buck Friday entries. Between arguing with hipsters, trying to convince Stephanie that zombies are just make-believe, and counseling Hickoff now that turkey season’s over—even in Maine—we’ve been some busy bloggers.
But we’re changing that today, thanks to this entry from Illinois hunter Benjamin Schweizer. Benjamin, who didn’t start hunting until age 24, killed a heck of a nice 10-pointer his first season out. The story is below, in his words.
It was opening weekend for shotgun hunting in western Illinois, and I was hunting the same 15 acres I had been bowhunting (unsuccessfully) since October 1. Saturday had gone by uneventful, with deer coming out, but never within gun range. Sunday was a different story. Almost in the first minutes of hunting light, doe after doe would come walking just close enough that I would think to shoot, only to second-guess my shot.
Around 11:15 am, a big doe came out to about 35 yards on my ten-o-clock, and I decided to take the shot. The blast rang out and she bucked and took off down the hill my stand was on. I thought I had her, I knew I had her. But I never found a drop of blood. Upset and thinking I had just torched my only shot of the weekend, I made my way to my ground blind down that hill and on the next ridge, not far from the stand I was just in. I had no more than sat down inside, when a young doe came walking down the trail I had just been on. I set my sights on her, just to catch a glimpse of movement to my right, behind her. There was another, bigger doe. And a buck. A big buck. I couldn't make out the antlers for detail at the time, but he was big-bodied and I wanted success. He turned broadside at about 40 yards and my shot dropped him like a rock. The other two ran off, which is fine because I only had one tag.
He's a very nice 10-pointer, and I could not be happier for my first deer to be such an awesome wall-hanger. This was my very first fall deer hunting, and my very first year hunting anything. Ever. At 24, I suppose I got a bit of a late start, but I'm glad I started!
Send those first-buck stories and photos to us at rackreport [at] realtree [dot] com. We might get a little behind at times…but you can bet we’re listening.