Bowhunter Shoots His Largest Buck During Shotgun Season

Big Game,White-Tailed Deer


Bowhunter Shoots His Largest Buck During Shotgun Season

Posted 2018-12-03T14:47:00Z  by  Darron McDougal

Have You Ever Killed a Monster Buck with a Bow During a Firearms Season?

Rack Report Details
Buck:187 1/8 Inches
Time of Year:November 17, 2018
Place:Sinclair County, Illinois
Weapon: Bear bow  Bowhunting 

Illinois' Marty Jenkins took the largest buck of his life by bow during the state's 2018 shotgun season. (Photo courtesy of Marty Jenkins)

In the deer world, Illinois is synonymous with giants. It naturally produces some of the nation's most impressive bucks. In a large part, this is due to its geographic location. It borders Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin — all states with great nutrition and solid antler genetics.

Additionally, only about 2 percent of the state is open for public hunting. The rest is privately owned and managed. Of course, this is why many Illinois bucks reach the older age class. And who doesn't love to pursue mature bucks like the one Marty Jenkins arrowed earlier this month?

Jenkins was hunting on a buddy's property for the first time this year. He hung a couple of trail cameras in strategic locations, and one of them captured the buck on November 1.

All of the pictures I captured of the buck were at night, Jenkins said. I got pictures of him for a couple of days. Then, after a short spell of no photos, he reappeared on my trail camera on Veteran's Day, and the day after, at 8:30 a.m. near my stand.

The buck first appeared on Jenkins' trail camera on November 1 this fall. (Photo courtesy of Marty Jenkins)Unfortunately, Jenkins wasn't hunting that morning and missed the would-be encounter.

I'd been hunting pretty hard and seeing a bunch of different bucks, but I held off, Jenkins said. My goal was to get the big one on my trail camera. My buddy had seen him a couple of times during daylight, but I had yet to encounter the buck.

Then dawned November 17. Jenkins was sitting in his treestand — positioned in a natural pinch-point — with a bow that morning. Though shotgun season was underway, the property owner didn't want any firearm hunting to be done on the land. Legally, Jenkins could hunt with his bow during the shotgun season. And he did.

At about 7 a.m., I suddenly heard commotion to my right, and I looked and saw that it was a nice buck, he said. He was only about 35 yards downhill from me. When he went behind a tree, I stood, grabbed my bow and got situated. When I looked again, I could tell it was unquestionably my target buck.

Jenkins drew his bow as the deer continued its course, then took his shot when it entered a shooting lane 20 yards away.

Interestingly, Marty Jenkins found the buck's 2017 left antler this past spring. He didn't realize it was from his buck until after the buck was harvested and recovered. (Photo courtesy of Marty Jenkins)He lunged forward about 5 yards and then stopped, he said. I instantly saw the hole in his side that my Rage Hypodermic had created, and my arrow was still in him. Meanwhile, I nocked another arrow in case he offered another shot. He walked 15 yards, stood there for a minute or two — it seemed longer — and then fell over. It was great to watch him go down.

Interestingly, Jenkins had found the buck's left-side shed antler last spring while shed hunting on an adjacent property.

I didn't know it was his shed until we compared it to the rack on my buck after I killed him, Jenkins said. He added approximately 40 inches of antler from 2017 to 2018.

Marty Jenkins' 2018 buck is his biggest, beating his old best by 50-some inches. I'd call that a very successful deer season.

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