Illinois Live Hunt: The Bucks Zig When We Zag

Illinois Live Hunt: The Bucks Zig When We Zag

Well, Tory and I put in a full day of hunting with not much to show for it. Mother Nature simply hasn't been kind to us so far this week, and today we were left to deal with temperatures near 70 degrees and blustery winds. Although we are definitely in "prime rut" mode right now, there is no doubt the warmth and wind put a serious damper on deer movements today.


The morning started promising enough, as I took my climber down to a hot river crossing (photo below) I observed deer using from a different stand on Sunday evening.


It didn't take long before I had a couple does right under my stand, but unfortunately a doe across the river on the downwind side caught my scent and after spending about 20 minutes trying to figure out what was up finally decided to blow half a dozen times and clear the entire river bottom out. I saw a handful of does, one small buck and one good buck (well out of range across the river) before that happened, but between about 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., I didn't see a single tail. This was very disappointing, as I know this is a hot area and on Nov. 8, I felt confident at shooter or two would be cruising the river looking for does in the thick bedding areas along the bottom.


I finally decided to make a move and quickly transitioned to a different stand adjacent to a food plot, getting back on stand around 1:30. During my brief break to move from one stand to the other, Outfitter Bob Blair told me that he and Tory saw a 160-class buck while driving in the Ranger earlier in the morning. Then, Bob saw another, 130-class buck while he was adjusting some stands elsewhere on the property. We just can't seem to be in the right place at the right time, but we still have several days left to get it right!

Although the wind did die down for last few hours of the day, things remained quiet and all I saw was one doe and a small, basket-rack 7-pointer that came out at 13 yards about 20 minutes before dark. I wish he would have brought his big brother! Maybe tomorrow.

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