IL Buck New County Record
By Patrick Dunning
All those years managing the deer population and timber stands on his 250-acre farm in Illinois finally paid dividends for John Wilson in November 2022.
“It’s the biggest deer I’ve taken off the farm. We’ve been trying to manage and harvest this caliber of deer and it paid off,” John told Buckmasters. “We let a lot of bucks walk, and here lately we’re starting to manage our doe herd a little bit to maintain that 1:1 doe buck ratio.”
John suspects the 8x7 fled hunting pressure north of his property because it showed up for the first time on one of his cell cameras on October 16 and stayed in the area for three weeks.
The 32-year-old’s property would be the ideal safe haven for a pressured buck. His farm features 100 acres of row crops, 100 acres of pastureland, 50 acres of timber and three food plots. John says the entire block of timber’s understory is inundated with honeysuckle and perfect bedding for deer.
John also gives credit to his arsenal of eight cell cameras, which he implemented on the farm for the first time in 2022.
“I was able to figure him out without putting any pressure on him. I had a camera set up where this draw comes out of my neighbor’s property into my field and assumed that’s where he was coming out at. The last photo I would get before he disappears for a day or two is him going into that draw.”
John confirmed his own theory the afternoon of November 6, when his target buck stepped out 100 yards north of his location just before dusk and pushed a doe back into that draw.
The next day, November 7, he was in his tree stand by noon.
Twenty minutes before dark, the specimen stepped out at 30 yards and worked its way up the hill to within 15 yards of John, who was already at full draw.
“He was quartering away so the arrow went in high through the back of his ribs and came out his heart. He went 50 yards and piled up, didn’t have time to get nervous because the entire interaction was maybe 10 seconds.”
The 15-pointer claims Montgomery County’s new bow record with 199 1/8 inches of antler and a BTR score of 216 5/8 inches. The rack was scored by Buckmasters scorer Bill Alexander.
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