Hey Mike: I love checking out your site and reading about big bucks. You featured my brother, Daniel, and I couple of years back when we teamed up on a 176-inch 13-point buck during the Illinois shotgun season. I’ve got another story for you from the first Illinois gun season 2014 in Adams County.
We had been watching this buck for 4 years. The first picture we ever got of him, we guessed him to be a 3.5-year-old 10-pointer. The next year he put on some inches and had long G-2s and G-3s but short G-4s. We had never actually seen this buck in the woods, and we hadn’t gotten any hard-horn pictures of him.
In 2013 the buck really blew up in size and added some stickers to his rack. We knew the deer was something special, but we were not very optimistic about seeing him while hunting, since we had never gotten any pictures of him in the fall. Again, all the trail-cam pictures we had of the buck were in velvet, and we figured this was just his summer range.
But one day in late November that year, I rattled and grunted and he came in downwind of me. But he presented no shot, and we never saw him again. We finally did get a hard-horned picture of him that fall, and he was huge. We guessed him to be in the 180s.
We searched long and hard last spring for his horns, and Daniel finally happened across one side of his rack. He was super excited. It measured right at 85 inches, the biggest shed we’d ever found. A friend of Daniel’s nicknamed the buck Batman because he said the points off the rack’s G-2 looked like Batman’s sleeve, lol.
My dad, Daniel and I knew we had to hunt this deer hard and try something different. Daniel found the shed only a couple hundred yards away from where I saw the buck that one time in 2013, and where we always got summer pictures of him. We were starting to figure out his range, but it was a hard place to hunt–a deep, long ditch with a few fingers that ran through some crop fields and cow pastures. We scouted and scouted. There was only one tree suitable for a stand and it wasn’t very good, but we put a stand in it anyway.
The summer of 2014 came and went with no pictures of Batman, and we were a little
discouraged. But we figured that if he was still around, he would still be in this area. My brother bowhunted that stand in the lone tree a few times during the rut and saw a few deer, but nothing special. He planned to hunt it again during the first gun season because the farmer on the land was going to move his cows around on opening day, and that might have the deer moving.
Wouldn’t you know it, at 9:30 a.m. that morning Batman came out of a thick bedding area and chased a doe right by the tree stand! The buck was about 80 yards away when Daniel put a slug through the buck’s shoulders and dropped him instantly.
Man, the phone calls were ringing that morning between me, my brother and dad. This is the biggest buck anyone in our family has ever killed. Daniel shot Batman a mere 100 yards from where he found his shed last spring, and very close to where he and I had doubled-teamed the 176-incher a few years back. It was so awesome and my dad and I couldn’t have been prouder of Daniel.
Batman’s rack has 13-inch G-2s and G-3s and grosses 185 inches. We figured he was 7.5 years old. I hope you enjoyed another story from us.
–Thanks, Alex Ippensen