I have had the conviction that if i am going to speak and write about deer hunting outside my home county then i had better do some more hunting outside my county. Last winter i picked a piece of public ground far enough away from home i would only be able to scout one or two times a year and offered a lot of ground and adventure. In doing this i also made friends and lined up a private land hunt in Southern Illinois as well.
Good friend Danny McDaniles and I traveled down south to hang stands and scout in September and then back again to hunt over a long Halloween weekend. While we never did connect with a deer we were very close and weren’t far off where we needed to be. i thought we did pretty good for tirst timers on a few thousand acres. What we did do is continued building friendship with Steve and Leanna as we stayed in there hand built log cabin. We enjoyed listening to Steve play his banjo and blue grass music as he cooked us steak and eggs over an open fire. We got to see some beautiful country, shot bows and even an old flintlock muzzleloader. We had a grand time, the only thing that would have been better was putting our hands on a big set of antlers.
On the drive home i received a phone call from a friend telling me of a 190” buck his buddy had shot the day before so i stopped by and finally got my antler fix for the trip. After all was said and done it was the perfect trip. Good friends, and good times is really why we hunt, the game we take is a bonus.
My name is Matt Cheever and I was born and raised in Central Illinois, residing here all my life. I’ve been an avid hunter and fisherman since my teen years and it seems like the hobby became an addiction; even a life style. It’s who I am, it’s what makes me, me!
We didn’t do a lot of hunting in my family growing up but spent most every summer taking fishing trips to Northern Minnesota and the boundary waters of Canada. Those years really drew me to the outdoors. Since that time I have tried to hunt and fish for just about everything that walks, crawls, and swims in Illinois and the Midwest. A few trips into Michigan, Colorado, and Ontario have also colored the background of my experiences that fuel my fire for the outdoors. But it’s really good ole’ Illinois and its corn fed whitetails that really get my fur up!
I discovered early on the advantages of bow hunting allow for a long season and the new flat shooting muzzleloaders allowed me to reach out to the deer I wasn’t getting with the stick and string. I had such a passion for this I spent many years belly crawling through bean and corn stubble to pursue deer with the muzzleloader and had fairly good success at it. This lead to some incredible experiences that I wanted to share; so naturally filming the hunts came next- not always an easy task or the quality results I had hoped for. None the less, I had pure enjoyment in what I was doing.
The terrain I hunt is often flat as a pancake and with the name given to most Illinoisan’s from the residents of surrounding states, “Flatlander” stuck. Flatlander Outdoors is the collaboration of the best hunting buddies a guy could ask for and the filming and writing of our escapades. The success of these hunts often lead to phone calls every evening from guys with questions on how to get the most out of their firearms, food plots, bow gear, tree stands and so on.
Rather than tying up all this time with one on one phone calls and even more time away from my family, I ended up doing seminars at different events to provide some useful information to anyone interested. With this patchwork of outdoorsman and network of friends over the years, I often get success stories and photo’s shared with me. I’ve passed these along for some time in a newsletter and now will be shared with all of you.
I appreciate the ability to post here on Mr. Lampe’s new endeavor and know it will be all things outdoors for the Midwest and beyond, There is a wealth of knowledge and entertainment here at Heartland Outdoors and look forward to being a part of it.