We hunt a lot and are truly blessed to be able to do so. We hunt deer all over the U.S. and we live in Illinois. When it’s deer season, we are on the road a bunch and when we get home, I don’t spend much time hunting…I’m usually catching up with RJ and work. With that being said, I haven’t filled an Illinois buck tag since 1999. Yikes!! I have tried, but it just wouldn’t happen. And then, I tried to deer hunt in Iowa and I couldn’t fill my buck tag there either…so I have this “I” jinx!
Well, this past November, I was hunting down at Eagle Lakes Outfitters in Pike County Illinois. I had Dan the cameraman with me up in the tree trying to get rid of this jinx! We sat out on a windy afternoon. Tina Sprague from Eagle Lakes let me borrow her father’s decoy ‘Larry the buck’. She said it would help me!
Their daughter, Ella, gave me a buckeye nut for good luck too. We sat the decoy out with only one antler attached to his head, hoping a more dominant buck would like to come over. We saw a few good bucks and a bunch of does. We spotted a nice 10-point across the field from us, but he had does and wasn’t looking to leave them and then he disappeared into the woods. About an hour later, he showed back up, directly across the field from my Ameristep stand. I grunted a little and he decided to walk over to investigate!
My heart was about to come out of my chest! He was beautiful and his feet were covered in mud up to his ankles. He started to walk closer to ‘Larry the buck’ and when he got to 32 yards, I drew my Hoyt Vicxen and let my Beman fly!! I hit a hair forward of where I wanted to, but he went about 50 yards and piled up.
I was shaking so bad after that—I couldn’t believe it! My “I” jinx was broken and I had a beautiful 10-point Illinois buck down in my sight.
Thank you Ted & Tina Sprague from Eagle Lakes Outfitters and of course, thanks to Ella for my “lucky buckeye”! For more info, go to; www.eaglelakesoutfitters.com