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Illinois 2015

If you ask Pat and Nicole what their favorite state in the U.S. to hunt in is, it would be Illinois. Nicole was born and raised in Southern Illinois, and the two of them have had great success in Illinois over the past several years.

Team members, Darren and Sherri Martin own and manage a farm in Schuyler County, that has produced lots of giant bucks over the years. They have put so much time and effort into planning, managing, and strategizing on this ground, and it has really paid off.

With the bow season coming to a close, and gun season right around the corner, Sherri was able to take this management 8 pointer with her Mathews.

Sherri IL 2015

Congratulations Sherri! Way to get it done.

Friday, was the opening day of gun season, and Pat and Nicole had their Thompson Center muzzleloaders ready to rock, and headed for Darren and Sherri’s place in Illinois. There is always something special about opening morning of firearm season. Nicole reflected back to growing up and the excitement and anticipation she had every year for opening day.

The sun was up, and it was a couple hours after daylight when a big buck appeared on the ridge behind us. The buck chased a doe out in front of us, and Nicole smoked him! He ran about 30 yards and tipped over!

Nicole IL 1

This old mature 8 pointer was a top deer on the hitlist this year, and Nicole once again got it done in her home state of Illinois.

The next two days, the weather changed drastically. The temperatures plummeted and the ground turned from dry and brown, to wet and white. The snow got the deer on their feet and moving to food sources.

On Sunday evening, Pat and cameraman, Hunter, were sitting over an Evolved Harvest Clover Crush food plot, when the “Droptine 8” showed up. This was another deer that Darren had lots of Eyecon trail camera pictures of and was a top hitlister. After feeding, and pushing some does around the deer actually went in bedded in the corner of the field for almost an hour. When he got up, he headed straight down the woodline towards Pat. He finally cleared the branches at 20 yards, and Pat laid the hammer down on him. He ran 40 yards and  wiped out right in the field!

Pat IL 2015_1

The Droptine 8 was down! He was a true old warrior. Unfortunately he had busted off his drop tine and also a brow tine, but was a gorgeous deer. Awesome mass, and super cool beading on his antlers.

Baby Cash hamming it up, checking out dad’s big buck!

Pat IL 2015_3

Illinois proved to be successful for Pat and Nicole once again, and continues to be their favorite destination for whitetails this time of year.

Special thanks to Darren and Sherri Martin for all your hard work and generosity. It is just a joy to be able to spend time in camp and hunt with another couple that shares the same passion for hunting as we do.