Doug McCauley’s Whitetail Deer Hunt in Henry, IL

November 22, 2004

Nice weekend for deer season in 2002 in central Illinois this year. Not too cold, just chilly in the morning hours, but the year before had temperatures in the 80’s.
I sat in a ladder stand for the first two days of the season, watched about 8 – 10 does and fawns go by my stand. I was hoping to see a buck this year, after taking a doe for my first kill the year before. My hunting partner had not taken a shot through the first two days either. He started to scout around the hillside later that second afternoon and found how a button buck was being used by a large 10 -12 point buck as a “you go first” and then would follow behind. He never got a shot at the big buck before it jumped over the fence to the neighboring property. But since he wasn’t going to return for the third day of hunting, he showed me the path that the two bucks were using.

So on the third day of my hunt, I took a position on a hillside below the path that gave me a clear site both up and down hill. Sitting at the trunk of a large oak tree waiting for 2 1/2 hours, I was getting impatient and thought about moving to a different area of the path. Just as I was going to stand up and start walking, I spotted this buck with a good sized rack coming down the hill. It was looking for does that hide in the ditches of the hillside with heavier cover and wind protection.

As he slowly walked down the edge of the ditch sniffing for a doe in heat, I raised my shotgun and put the crosshairs on his vitals. This buck never knew I was there, continued coming down the hillside with his nose sniffing from the ditch. I waited until he cleared a brush pile and then sqeezed off a shot that dropped him to the ground. At impact the buck just collapsed, not another step. He was down for the count! Quick clean kill…thanks Lightfield for the great hunt!!

One more tip for those of you deer hunters that hunt solo – I purchased a cargo rack that mounts in a receiver hitch. Those are the best for one man loading of a deer!! Instead of having to wrestle a deer up into a truck bed, this was super easy only having to raise a deer little more than knee high one end at a time and strap it down! Get one!

Details of the Hunt
Shot Distance: 65 yard uphill shot
Size Of Animal: 9 point, typical – field dressed 175 pounds
Hunting Method: Still hunting, sitting on ground against tree trunk
Weapon Used: Mossberg 835 w/rifled slug barrel, and 2x scope
Ammunition Used: Lightfield Hybred 2-3/4″ Slug
Length Of Hunt: 3 days
Guide Outfitter: Private land, regular season
Camo Preference: Blaze orange required in Illinois