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.

Recommended for You

Treestand hunting is not an exact science. We all learn with experience, and there is definitely an Whitetail

10 Best Treestand Hunting Tips

Bill Winke

Treestand hunting is not an exact science. We all learn with experience, and there is...

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy. Whitetail

How To Use Deer Decoys In The Rut

John Dudley

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy.

We break down how the different types of odor eliminating technologies work for bowhunting. How-To

Everything You Need to Know About Scent Control

Darren Warner

We break down how the different types of odor eliminating technologies work for bowhunting.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

How to Paper Tune Your Bow

How to Paper Tune Your Bow

Bill Winke walks you through his tried-and-true process of how to most effectively paper tune your bow.

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More


It's that time of year when Arrows & Broadheads

2017 Fixed-Blade Broadhead Test

Jon E. Silks - December 12, 2017

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More It's that time of year...

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Mechanical Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show!

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane.

 Good broadhead flight How-To

4 Steps to Perfect Broadhead Flight

Bowhunting Online Staff

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane. Good...

See More Stories

More Whitetail

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I started Whitetail

Tips For Taking Hill Country Bucks in the Rut

Alex Gyllstrom - November 10, 2017

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I...

Bill Winke says don't waste your time hunting these deer. Whitetail

Are Some Bucks Unkillable?

Bill Winke

Bill Winke says don't waste your time hunting these deer.

 Ohio bowhunter Adam Hays has killed 36 Pope and Young bucks and 10 Boone and Crockett-caliber Whitetail

Best Treestand Spots for Big Bucks

Jason Snavely - September 06, 2018

Ohio bowhunter Adam Hays has killed 36 Pope and Young bucks and 10 Boone and Crockett-caliber

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.