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Grant Oldenburg’s 2019 Illinois Archery Whitetail

Illinois Whitetail

STATE: Illinois
SEASON: Archery


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12/14/19. A day that I won’t forget…. Every deer has a story, and this one is no different. I decided I would skip the warmth of my @redneckblinds equipped with a buddy heater and bundle up in my @firstlitehunting Sanctuary set and oddly enough, sit in the area we call the Sanctuary. 10 minutes after first light, I glassed up 2 shooter bucks approaching. I got ready only to have them set up 45 yards out. With cloudy skies and low light, I wasn’t confident that I had a clear shot. They skirted off the ridge and I felt my opportunity had been squandered. 30 seconds later, a basket 8 and another shooter walking on a trail 30 yards away. As I pull back and make a noise to stop him, he continues on, I get louder yet. He stops… but past where I wanted him to. Still a shot on the vitals, I let if fly. As my arrow gets half way to the buck, it takes a hard left turn and goes 5 yards in front of the buck. Deflection and deflation. A few hours pass and I sit and ponder about what could have been. In the distance a group of doe are approaching. I decided I would redeem myself and put some meat in the freezer. A 15 yard shot and 40 yards later, I saw the doe tip over. Knowing this area is great for late morning bucks, my goal was to sit until 11. I’m not sure what made me sit until 11:10, but I’m sure glad I did. 60 yards away I saw this bruiser at a trot. I couldn’t identify if it was a buck I knew, but I knew he was right for the taking. He continued on the right path and got to 35 yards. He passed behind a tree and I made my move to draw back. He cruised up to 20 yards and entered my shooting lane. I made a noise to stop him. He continued. A louder noise. He continued. Finally I yelled HEY! 15 yards… wide open. Thwap. I had made my shot right behind the shoulder. I quickly hung my bow and grabbed the @vortexoptics . As he gets 20 yards from the doe, he stops. I can see red covering his fur on the opposite side of where I hit. I can see a massive rack between the trees. Then I see the greatest sight of all. He falls. Feet up. I had done it! After countless hours prepping for the season and countless hours in the stand. I had finally defeated a mature Whitetail.

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