Illinois Live Hunt: We Came. We Saw. We Conquered!

Wow! On the road all day today back to Pennsylvania, but what an awesome Illinois rut hunt my friend Tory Graver and I had with River Bottom Bucks in Ashmore, Ill. I got an absolutely gorgeous 12-point brute that will probably gross somewhere in the mid-160s, while Tory took a very good, 130-class 8-pointer.

Although it's always nice to come home with a trophy in the back of the truck, what made this week really special is that (for once) we timed the hunt just right and got to enjoy lots of awesome rutting action in the form of chasing and calling. With conditions like that, bucks were responsive to bleating and rattling and it really made for some enjoyable sits on stand. If we could bottle the action we saw this week and simply open it back up every November, I'd sign up for that right now.

Well, actually, I already did sign up and am looking forward to trying my luck again with River Bottom Bucks in 2012...

Here are a few more photos of my buck from various angles so you can really get a sense of the character and mass this buck has. Of course, I am stoked. This is my largest whitetail ever, but I hope you enjoy seeing him too.

More Whitetail


A Deer Biologist's Dissection of The Rut

Jason Snavely

The general timing of the rut is controlled by photoperiod (the number of daylight hours) but...


The Keys to Late-Season Hunting

Nick Pinizzotto

Follow these tips for more successful hunts during the late archery season.


These Shed Hunting Tips will Make You a Better Hunter

Bill Winke - March 21, 2016

When there is a certain buck I want to get the antlers from, I show real enthusiasm and some

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


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