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Recent entries



Hard work pays off in big bucks

Thu, November 25, 2010

One of my best buddies and long time hunting partner Matt Dittbenner has killed more big bucks than blue tongue. He was shooting big bucks before he hit puberty. This was no mistake he was taught the ins and outs of hunting mature deer by his dad Mel; who also has enough horns on the wall to make Teddy Roosevelt jealous.  Matt and Mel were hunting the same property on November 20th and took their deer 10 minutes only 200 yard’s away from one another.

Both have bigger bucks on the wall but not likely any will be more memorable for the two than these.  Side note: Matt and Mel have both helped me transition over the years from the occasional deer killer to consitently taking mature deer. This isn’t something that comes easily.  So I am especially Thankful on this day for the tips, tricks, and friendship these two gentlemen have shown me over the last decade.  Thanks Guys!

I am never shocked but often anxious when I get an email from Ross Edwards. Ross and I worked together years ago and share a passion for deer hunting. Ross isn’t just a deer hunter, he traverses the Rocky mountains for Elk and is often successful along with his big Midwestern whitetails. He seems to find them no matter in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, wherever he goes tags get punched. As you can see from this fine Illinois bow kill he definitely has the big boys figured out, and does it every year.  Nice work Ross, can’t wait to open the next email!!!!

Ross said “I’v been hunting 2 particuliar bucks for 2 years now and one appeared at the oak timber stand. However I was sitting in my honey hole (the Osage orange tree in the thicket approx 1/2 mile from the oak stand)here comes this 23” wide brute. One little bleat and he came to 35 yards out from 250. God helped me when I aimed the Rage 2 blade tipped arrow ; zipped between the limbs and whacked him double lung, went about 40 yards and ran out of air. Yes I was surprised because I have never seen this buck but none the less couldn’t pass. My judging skills from the stand have been poor lately! Didn’t see a deer I wanted to shoot during gun season, you can bet I’ll be in the oaks tomorrow! “

Thanks for sharing with us guys.

Be safe and God bless.



A true giant

Wed, November 24, 2010

Keith Cavallini and I have been good friends since early grade school. We both started bow hunting in high school; back in the day when it wasn’t the popular thing to do.  We both went to college, Keith to a fine engineering school, myself to local community college. I couldn’t wait to get out in the world, start making money.  Keith was the smart one, stayed in school, worked his way up the automotive industry and starting his own engineering company. I spent my years in the woods chasing critters of all sorts.

In the last five years Keith and I have brought the best of both worlds together. Keith invested in a small piece of Illinois property, while he worked hard paying the bills in the jungles of Detroit, i was working on a different type of jungle. We worked diligently on making a place that would grow and draw big mature bucks along with many other species of wildlife.

Keith has far more invested in this little project than i do, he has the payment book on the property and has to buy out of state tags costing nearly $500 a year. This is the fifth year Keith has swallowed the bitter pill of forking out some serious money to hunt his own ground in his home state.

Little did he know on November 3rd the medicine was about to get tastier. He had gotten off to a slow start this fall without even getting to draw his bow back on a doe. That changed at 7:35 in the morning.  Not only did he see a great buck, he watched a 140” ten point with a drop tine get chased off by the deer of a life time.  Keith’s 192” gross green score non typical is a deer even Stan Potts would be envious of.

Congratulations Keith, if anyone can truly deserve such a deer it is you! Nice work

the lesson to be learned here is an old one, take care of the land and it will take care of you

be safe and God bless,


A Shooter

Tue, November 23, 2010

1st Shotgun season is like Christmas for the Illinois deer hunter; hardly sleeping the eve before in anticipation of what is to come. If i were to write a script for the perfect gun season it might include hunting your favorite stand in hopes of shooting a large antlered beast and filling some doe tags to feed the family this winter. It might include spending time with buddies in deer camp, around a fire, butchering deer together, or maybe just watching the sun come up on a frosty morning with a simple deer sighting.

I had all these expectations and by mid day Friday hunting buddy Mike and i both had an antler less deer tagged and we were headed to a new spot for the afternoon hunt. We decided to hunt together out of our “war wagon” ground blind in the hopes of slaying a giant…... or maybe more does if possible.

It takes a special mind set to sit from dark until dark in a blind in the middle of a featureless picked crop field with the hopes of seeing a deer. Mike had taken a second doe on Friday afternoon so i was up to bat Saturday morning. A group of does came in after first light and presented an easy 100 yard shot. My muzzle loader shoots a 1” group at 100 yards so missing that doe was quite an embarrassment. I believe i must have been over confident and pulled the shot not focusing on an exact spot, that is my story and i am sticking to it. The miss did get my attention back to the task at hand; executing the shot properly! Deer started moving about the field as we videod a small 6 pointer and some does a buck caught my attention out of the back of the blind. It wasn’t just a buck it was a shooter buck and a good one in my book!

He came in to within 250 yards and bedded down for a half hour, intrigued but not convinced by our decoys he proceded to parade by at 200 yards stopping for one last look. I ranged him at 200 yards, held my mil dot scope appropriately and asked Mike if he had the camera on him and recording? He gave me the green light and i let the T/C Omega bark . The buck that i thought was a real nice 8 point was indeed nice. It was my second best buck to date and had 12 scorable points and was approx. 6-7 years old and green gross scored 156”.

Sundays action was a bit slower as we didn’t get out until after church but all in all a great time, with great friends, several deer in the freezer, good fellowship while many of us got together to butcher. What more could you ask for in the Illinois deer opener. I wonder what second season will be like??? can’t wait

until then be safe and God bless


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