Chicago Sun-Times
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Deer down

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I don't know what to think. My deer hunting is over, unless I decide to do the late-winter hunt.

Deer hunting is my favorite time of the year.

I should rephrase that, sitting on the deer stand is my favorite time of the year. I'm not very good at deer hunting, I have the yips too much and deer spook often.

But not this morning.

I had barely settled in--on a 12-degree morning I was in no hurry to climb into the stand--when I saw a deer in the field south of me. Something spooked it, and it ran straight toward me.

Then stopped broadside at 50 yards. My old 12-gauge Mossberg shoots high So I pulled it down, even so the slug went high. But not too high for a perfect kill.

I suspect I am like most hunters in Illinois with full season permits. The first season is spent in hopes of bagging a nice buck, the second season is to put meat in the freezer.

First season, I saw the buck I wanted once for about one second. So second season, I was taking the first good shot at any deer.

After the 4-year-old got out of pre-school, we ran the deer in for processing. His reaction to being in the car seat beside the deer in the van might have been the highlight of the whole hunt.

Not sure what to make of my wife's snort when I called with the news. Her ``You got a deer?'' sounded too close to ``You won the Lottery?'' to really suit me.

But I did.

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How can the kill be down if both you and I are able to kill deer in the same year?

Based on the odds of both of us bagging a deer in the same hunting year, I project Illinois' total deer harvest for both firearm seasons at half a million, give or take a 100,000.

For those who don't get tongue in cheek, I actually think Illinois hunters will have trouble topping 100,000 total for both firearm seasons.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 4, 2008 3:40 PM.

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