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First deer harvest up 5,000

Wow !! The 2012 deer results are in and Illinois harvested about 5,000 more deer this year than was harvested in 2011. The top county, again, was Pike with a harvest of 2, 018. The top five rounded out to be Fulton, Adams, JoDaviess and Randolph.

There were 334,000 permits issued this year and the ratio for bucks was about 60 percent. Bureau County was up by slightly over 100 more than last year. If the weather is decent for the next four-day season, Illinois could top the 100,000 whitetails mark this year.

Locally, I received information that two Bureau County residents did well this first season. While having a cup of coffee with Peanut Isaacson, he pulled out his telephone and showed me a picture of his son, Aaron, and his buck. Whoa, I had to find out more about this one. It seems that Aaron had taken the week off to archery hunt and look for this big buck he saw on his trail cam. He passed on several shots during the week waiting for the big boy. Didn’t see him.

Friday afternoon, Aaron took his 50 caliber muzzle loader and headed for the field. About 4 p.m., he spotted the big buck walking out of the timber about 180 yards away, just kind of cruisin’ around looking for does. He checked with his binoculars and, yes, it was the one he was looking for. The buck came out from behind a tree and Aaron grunted. The buck stopped in a broadside and looked right at Aaron. Aaron shot, the buck did a “mule kick,” then ran about 50 yards and dropped by a ravine near the edge of the pasture. Aaron could not see him.

He waited about 30 minutes and then walked to the pasture to look for blood. He followed the blood trail in the pasture to the edge of the ravine. Aaron was really fortunate. The buck did not fall into the ravine and was at the edge of the pasture. Then he called his buddy, Jeff Robbins, to help him get the deer back home.

The buck was an 11-point whitetail with split brow tines. It had a 22-inch inside spread and 5 1/2-inch circumference at the base.

Ike has become quite a hunter since his days at PHS. He continues to broaden his horizons by travelling to Texas to hunt deer, sheep and pigs. He has now accomplished what they call a “Texas Slam.” To get the slam, one has to get four different sheep. They are new to me, but here they are:  Black Hawaiian Sheep, Texas Dall Sheep, Corsican Sheep and Mouflan Sheep. Congratulations on the great Bureau County buck and your Texas Slam.

No sooner had I got word of Ike’s fine buck, than I got wind of another great buck. Adam Gutshall was helping push deer for some friends when this big boy came out of the brushy ravine in his direction. He followed it with his scope, as it was in a slow jog. He picked a moment and fired. Even though it was a long shot, Adam got him. They found the buck a little farther in the ravine and finished him off.

Listen to these stats. The buck was a 15-pointer with a double drop off of the back right beam. The rack had a 17-inch spread and the G2s and G3s were over 12 inches. He field dressed out more than 200 pounds.

Congrats, Adam. What a trophy!!

In lieu of some happenings to Bureau County people this week, please practice HUNTER SAFETY!!

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoor columnist, contact him at pdub52@gmail.com

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