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Author Topic: Illinois Whitetail Hunt  (Read 1811 times)

Offline northwesthunter84

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Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« on: May 08, 2017, 11:37:45 AM »
So this year I decided to apply for an Illinois deer tag combo to go home and hunt with my dad.  I am going to try and keep up with this all the way through and get some pictures up when I can.  This will be a Firearm hunt which I haven't done since 2004, I did bow hunt for 10 days in 2010 but my dad has not been able to shoot a bow for 10 years due to a car accident so this will be the first hunt with him since 2004.   

First Non-residents can start applying for the Second lottery which opened May 2nd this year and runs through Jun 30th.  Usually dates stay the same year to year.  There is a third lottery and potential for OTC doe tags. The first lottery is Resident only.  Either sex tags are $300 and antlerless only tags are $25.50.  Your hunt choices are by county and/or special hunt areas.  I will be hunting Washington Co.  Family friends own several thousand acres that we have access to, so it will be private land.  This is farm country and a tall hill might have an elevation change of 100'.  Illinois limits firearm season to shotgun w/slug, muzzleloader with slug, or pistol only. 

I am not sure when results come out but worst case I get a doe tag or two and still get to spend time with my dad while trying to put some meat in the freezer.  I won't be picky with doe tag but this property holds so bruisers between 150"-180". 

Offline 3nails

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 06:28:53 PM »
 I hope you get a buck tag!  :tup:
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Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 09:09:42 PM »
So a couple more weeks until the non-resident draw, man I am getting excited, really wet year back home so tons of browse early. Crops might be an issue, hopefully the corn will be out by November. There will be a lot less CRP this time so the deer will be more restricted for travel routes. I have a couple stand sites already on my list.
I will be heading home for my little sister's wedding in a couple weeks, gonna do a little scouting while I'm there.  Thought I would add a couple pics. My dad's 2016 buck and that compared to his 1993 buck. There have been a few others but these two are his favorite. I still want to get the '93 buck mounted for him some day if he will let me.

Offline redi

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2017, 09:22:30 PM »
Dandy bucks. Hope you draw.

Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 07:34:03 PM »
So it's official. Been checking the website every day. Actually surprised I pulled both tags with only 450 full seasons available antlerless only. There were 850 buck tags so that had better odds. I got a slug gun put together, just waiting on my scope to come in. I will get some pics up soon.

Offline bowhunterforever

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 08:30:21 PM »
Awesome, congrats :tup: good luck
You know how to skin griz pilgram

Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 05:24:55 PM »
Well with archery season and work schedule getting the gun dialed in had to wait. Elk season was tough got another week of deer but my mind is starting to turn to ducks so I figured today was a good day for the range.

I received my two tags in the mail about 3 weeks ago so those are official. I also contacted IDNR about additional tags based on a request from my buddies dad. I am able to pick up additional tags OTC once I get there. They had the worst wildlife crop damage in years, since 94 to be exact, so I am going to try and help him out over the 3 days I'm there.

So back to the range today. Had my Vortex scope mounted and equipment ready to go. It went way easier than past slug gun work ups. Mainly due to the led sled I picked up this year. Long story short I shot three different manufacturers and decided on the Hornady SST, the grouping was 1.5" at 50 with two almost in the same hole. Winchester partion golds were a close second at 1.75", and the Remington accutips were a little outside that. So zero for 150 yrds and 2.5" high at 50 puts me right around 7" low at 200 yrds.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 06:11:46 PM »
Good luck  :tup: :tup:
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Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 11:50:01 PM »
So way behind on this. Had a blast hunting with my dad. I was only able to pull my two tags. My dad ended up with five tags, needless to say he was a little more loose with the trigger. Opening morning lit off with me slipping in to my favorite piece of timber. I caught a nice bodied deer walking out of the field and a couple does out in the open at about 100 yards.  I made into my stand without busting a deer.  I passed a couple yearlings run by and then the morning really started. Three shots from my dad and three does were down. I waited until 8 then went and helped him get them dressed and out to the ATV. After that we did a deer camp breakfast and I still hunted until 2pm. I made the decision to shoot a doe that night, so 10 minutes before shooting light ended a doe! and yearling trot in at 150 yards. I pull up on the doe follow through and the yearling hits the brakes right as I go to shoot. Straight down wind. So I shot ahead of the doe, she turns and runs straight away and I drop her on the follow up at 163 yards. First deer down, but it turns out to be the biggest button buck I had ever seen. He had 6" in length (head to tail )on all the other yearlings that were shot and he was as big as the doe my dad got that morning.

The next morning was more does, then one crazy storm. Stayed inside for a long lunch on Saturday. After the first line blew through, I got dressed and hunkered down in a ladder stand for the evening. The storm let up about 415 pm and I sat for 30 min with no movement. 445 I slipped out of my stand and walked towards the timber I had hunted the night before. I caught a group of 4 does watching 2 bucks fight, they were a hair over 225 yards. Both bucks had good body size so I told myself the one that comes my way was going home in the truck. Well they broke apart and one walked my way. He stopped quartering to at 153 yards so I put it right on his shoulder quartering towards me slightly. Down he went, two deer no question on either shot.

Second biggest whitetail for me, always been a meat hunter.  My uncle shot a toad the next night so I will add that pic. He also killed a 400" bull this year, so a good year hunting for him. If I can get pics of that rifle bull I will add it.

Made plans with the family, definitely gonna do that again next year.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 05:05:24 AM »
Sounds like an action packed hunt.  Lots of good meat too.  Congrats

Offline C-Money

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 07:07:48 AM »
Sounds like a great time! Congrats!!
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Offline Widgeondeke

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 07:18:42 AM »
That's a lot of skinning  :tup:

Thanks for sharing your adventure

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 09:05:22 AM »
First deer down, but it turns out to be the biggest button buck I had ever seen. He had 6" in length (head to tail )on all the other yearlings that were shot and he was as big as the doe my dad got that morning. 

I believe it!  As a meat hunter, I have always been enamored of the giant buck whitetail fawns killed in the Midwest; field dressed weights of 140-160lbs have been reported (bigger than the average 2.5 year old buck of any species in the west).  When I was in college one of my professors, who was from Wisconsin, on his annual bowhunting trip home killed a 1.5 year old that field dressed 175lbs!

Congrats on your hunt with dad and family, sounds awesome.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline Machias

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 10:55:37 AM »
Congrats on a great Midwestern hunt!
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 12:15:12 PM »
Thanks for the narrative and congrats!  :tup:
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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2017, 12:19:47 PM »
Congrats :IBCOOL:
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Offline northwesthunter84

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Re: Illinois Whitetail Hunt
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2017, 01:53:41 PM »
Thank you all.  Its all about genetics and it is weird.  Where we hunt is kind of on a boundary line between Northern and Southern subspecies so body size is more related to northern whitetail and racks are heavily influenced by southern whitetail. So the 2.5 year old I shot in 2002 field dressed 195 lbs and gross scored 145".  The further north you go the deer get huge, I've seen 300# whitetail on the hoof.  My dad's '95 weighed 226lbs after hanging 7 days when he dropped it off at the butcher.  That deer was a bruiser.  My uncles buck dressed out at 195#'s.  My cousins husband has a 242" (yes that is inches) monster hanging on the wall that he shot in I believe 2003 in Henry Co. Illinois which is about 3.5 hours north of where I gun hunt.  That one made North American Whitetail Magazine as the largest buck shot in Il that year and was #4 all time for the state back then.  Those deer rub telephone poles up there and that is no joke.  Also if you look at the glacial map of Il, you will see a line around Decatur.  The soil actually changes from brown to black and crop yields are way higher north of that line.  I think there is some correlation there, to animal size and I think it has to do with mineral intake.