Big bucks are on the move with one thing on their minds.
This one came from Don Rieve of Mokena:
``I shot this deer on 11/10/08 at 9AM. It has 2 broken tines on the right but would have been a nice 11 pointer. Field dressed over 210 lbs. killed in Iroquois county Il. picture taken by 80 year old farmer lady Phyllis a real sweetheart she loves deer hunters.''
In part I can tell from the Buck of the Week nominations. For some reason, it's been a year for some big 11-pointers, including a couple beauts that came in last night from Iroquois and Schulyer counties.
The best nomination so far is a 13-pointer. BTW, keep nominations coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This time of the year, the peak of the rut, is when I regret not being a bowhunter.
Park Ridge realtor Dave Olzeski, an avid bowhunter who has been kind enough the last few years to keep me updated during the rut, sent this a day or two ago:
``SUNDAY'S WIND KEPT THINGS QUIET AS I WAS OUT FROM 530A TILL 515P. ONLY A FEW CAME THRU IN THE MORNING. THE FOLLOWING DAY, MONDAY BUCK WERE WANDERING BUT THIS TIME I WITNESSED THEM CHASING THE DOES. MOSTLY SMALL BUCKS BUT THE OCCASIONAL BIG BOY WOULD COME THROUGH. IT REALLY HEATED UP ABOUT 415P. HOPE THIS HELPS FROM MY HUNTING IN THE NORTHERN COUNTIES OF ILLINOIS.''
I have been road-scouting around dusk and early night for several weeks, and Sunday night I got two good looks at a 10-point just south of Momence that had a spread of 2 feet with tines longer than 10 inches. Unfortunately, it's a good five miles from where I have permission to hunt.
Last night, I dropped the oldest boy off to visit a friend and the dad waved me into the garage. I knew what was coming: this time it was a 9-point with a 21-inch spread.
Last year, the rut was still going pretty good for first firearm season in Illinois. Not sure we will be so lucky this year with the opner coming on Nov. 21.