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Oct. 1, 2010

Big Bucks Corner

Andy Kraft’s 15-pointer

Fri, October 01, 2010


I had anticipated hunting a small standing bean field from my new Treewalker climbing stand all summer. The evening of Oct. 1, found me 22-feet up a walnut tree, overlooking the very field I had dreamed about.

Within about 20 minutes of getting settled, a small buck worked his way into the beans, followed by does and fawns. I had decided to take the first available doe, and made a perfect 20-yard shot on a mature doe right off the bat. I watched the doe fall in the beans within 100 yards and settled back down to sit the remainder of the evening. Shortly after the shot, deer filtered back into the field.

I was watching a decent 10-pointer eating beans when I caught movement over my left shoulder. A nice 145-inch, 8-pointer was entering the field on the same trail the does had taken. I sized the buck up with my Leica rangefinder and was contemplating shooting him. I had picked up my Mathews Z7 and attached my release when I looked back and caught movement behind the 8 pointer.

The big buck emerged into the beans, and it was immediately apparent, by both his body size and mass of his rack, that he was a much bigger deer. The huge bladed G2 on his right side caught my attention. I had was already preparing to shoot the 8, so I simply drew my bow, centered the pin, took a look outside of the peep to settle, re-focused, and made a perfect 20-yard shot. The buck kicked, ran and fell dead in the beans only 30 yards from the doe.

The 2010 opener for the Illinois Archery Season will certainly be one of my most memorable hunts. My only regret was not taking better field pictures the next morning!