While most hunters might choose to let a stand rest between bloodlettings, Dylan McGee opted to spend the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2018, in the very stand from which he’d arrowed a doe that morning.
The Mason, Illinois, archer has hunted the same 300-acre private tract for six years. His favorite ambush point is an 80-yard-long finger of woods extending into soybean and cornfields.
Every year, he burns a week’s vacation in order to carry his Mathews afield before the state’s short November firearms season. In 2018, he was joined by five others, friends and relatives.
On the fateful morning, Dylan went to his stand in the thin strip of woods, and he wound up shooting a doe, one of 13 whitetails he saw.
He went back to the same finger about 3 p.m.
“I eventually spotted a big-bodied deer through a gap between some young trees,” Dylan told John Phillips, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine. “I immediately began scanning ahead, searching for the route it might take to my stand and where I might have a chance.
“When the huge buck wasn’t looking, I stood and readied for the shot. To keep from getting nervous, I avoided looking at its antlers,” he added.
The deer ultimately offered him a 15-yard broadside shot, and the arrow sailed right through the sweet spot. Upon impact, the giant whitetail spun and ran for 60 yards before centerpunching an oak tree, wobbling away, and falling like a defeated Wile E. Coyote.
Because he was also ready to keel over from the flood of adrenaline, Dylan sat still for 45 minutes before he felt capable of getting down safely. When his hands stopped shaking, he sent text messages to his wife, father-in-law and friends.
The Crawford County 15-pointer has a BTR score of 195 6/8 inches.
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