Mathews Inc.
Illinois Dream Buck
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Zim 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
SBH 29-Nov-21
T Mac 29-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 29-Nov-21
greg simon 29-Nov-21
GhostBird 29-Nov-21
drycreek 29-Nov-21
IKE220 29-Nov-21
Bou'bound 29-Nov-21
Supernaut 29-Nov-21
Beav 29-Nov-21
Woods Walker 29-Nov-21
PECO 29-Nov-21
lewis 29-Nov-21
KSNimrod 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
Mule Power 29-Nov-21
KY EyeBow 29-Nov-21
Scoot 29-Nov-21
[email protected] 29-Nov-21
Buckeye 29-Nov-21
Habitat 29-Nov-21
EmbryOklahoma 29-Nov-21
beemann 29-Nov-21
jdee 29-Nov-21
sitO 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
deerhunter72 29-Nov-21
Bowboy 29-Nov-21
TGbow 29-Nov-21
12yards 29-Nov-21
Charlie Rehor 29-Nov-21
orionsbrother 29-Nov-21
ryanrc 29-Nov-21
ki-ke 29-Nov-21
wild1 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 29-Nov-21
Charlie Rehor 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
Shaft 29-Nov-21
Rgiesey 29-Nov-21
Elite GSP 29-Nov-21
APauls 29-Nov-21
JL 29-Nov-21
rooster 29-Nov-21
BR 29-Nov-21
Slate 29-Nov-21
Bowfinatic 29-Nov-21
TREESTANDWOLF 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
Bow Bullet 29-Nov-21
tm 29-Nov-21
BigOk 29-Nov-21
Marty 29-Nov-21
Zim 29-Nov-21
bowhunter24 30-Nov-21
Zim 30-Nov-21
dg72a 30-Nov-21
midwest 30-Nov-21
btnbuck 30-Nov-21
Rob in VT 30-Nov-21
njbuck 30-Nov-21
Zim 30-Nov-21
ahunter76 30-Nov-21
btnbuck 30-Nov-21
Zim 30-Nov-21
Matt 01-Dec-21
Drahthaar 01-Dec-21
Firsty 06-Dec-21
SIP 06-Dec-21
Zim 07-Dec-21
Buffalo1 07-Dec-21
RK 07-Dec-21
Zim 07-Dec-21
LWood 07-Dec-21
Zim 15-Jan-22
Screwball 15-Jan-22
t-roy 15-Jan-22
skull 15-Jan-22
Bou'bound 16-Jan-22
Rocky D 16-Jan-22
MA-PAdeerslayer 16-Jan-22
Supernaut 16-Jan-22
APauls 16-Jan-22
Zim 16-Jan-22
Slate 16-Jan-22
Charlie Rehor 16-Jan-22
trublucolo 16-Jan-22
Mule Power 16-Jan-22
Leo17 16-Jan-22
From: Zim
29-Nov-21

Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
After losing virtually my entire deer season to a severe case of Covid last year, I can’t describe how great it was just to be in a tree this fall. I spent the peak rut quarantined 10 days on a cot in my Kodiak 10'x10' tent. Getting out just once to go to the ER for oxygen. It was so awesome just to be outside to watch the leaves change and take in the views. On November 3rd I took a nice 140” buck with my first Illinois tag. Then on November 16th, after 32 years of bow hunting, my dream buck finally paid me a visit.

That morning I overslept an hour and had to rush just to get to my stand at dawn 6:15 am. That may have actually helped me. Wind was light and variable. I always move around between trees and areas to keep my setup clean. This buck may have been patrolling and scented me had I been there longer. Will never know. Was set up in a telephone pole tree 22’ high with a primary bedding area marsh to my back. Facing a thick briar filled clear cut. With timber, lots of rubs/scrapes beyond that 30 yards. Forty minutes later at 6:55 am this buck walks out of the marsh to my right 30 yards and I freeze. He was downwind but not completely. I had about a 15 degree advantage. My next pacer checkup at Central DuPage the cardio nurse is probably going to ask me what I was doing 11/16/21 at 6:55 am.

The buck stared me down for about 20 seconds, but I did not budge. To my surprise, he then just put his head down and proceeded across the clear cut. When he went behind a shrub, I was able to stay seated and pivot my legs to the right, in position to draw. 8” Tree was too thin to stand up and not shake. Buck walked up a trail I had ranged the evening before at 25 yards. My only chance would be to draw now, before the trail split, because if he took the right trail I would only see his rump. My mode shifted to stone cold and I held the 20 yard pin a bit high, rock steady at release. (My 30 yard pin had bent the day before pulling it through some briars) The pop sound on impact was right, but he bounded off before I could see the arrow. It was not an easy shot. I had to squat down to send arrow under an overhanging branch. And the buck’s bottom 1/3rd of his torso was covered by grass. Despite my confidence, I stayed on stand for 2 1/2 hours, giving him time.

At 9:30 I climbed down and began searching. Found no arrow and zero blood for an hour of searching, so began a grid search. Not ten minutes into it, looked up and saw an image I thought was a mirage. A bow hunter’s dream mirage. Afterwards measured my shot at 28 yards. A center punch heart shot. Found buck 50 yards from impact. Really thankful I was able to hold it together to make this shot after waiting so many years.

Taxidermist green scored him at 205” but said he would not trust his number because he was not sure how to measure all the junk. Most folks who looked at him said more like 190”. I have no idea because I’ve never shot anything close to this caliber. Will find out in January when I’ll have him measured by P&Y. Was very fortunate to buy the last real Illinois lifetime hunting license back in 2006. Finally paid off when I bailed on the state and moved here to Indiana two years ago. Otherwise I could not have even bought a 2nd archery buck tag this year, much less for only $26.

I need to thank my best hunting bud, Don, for storing and taking home the venison from my doe and first buck, and my portable boat and motor from our first hunt. I don’t know what I’d have done without that. Also need to thank Hunters Haven in Champaign for staying late to install new string & cables on my bow. It had blown up October 15th. They also put that pink whisker biscuit on my bow, as my old one was worn out.

Gear: My bow was a 14 year old Redhead Toxik made by Bowtech. Tree stand was a 14.7# Lone Wolf Assault climber at 22’ up. I don't use trail cams. I don't use scents or any gadgets.

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
I am pretty excited at age 61 my wheels stayed on long enough to take my dream buck with a vertical bow. I’ve had severe rotator cuff injuries in the last couple years. Unable to draw for 9 straight months at one point. But through exercise was able to limp back to function good enough. I’ll enter both my 2021 bucks in P&Y when eligible. It’s the first time ever I’ve had two white tails entered in the same year.

From: SBH
29-Nov-21
That’s awesome man. Huge congrats. Incredible

From: T Mac
29-Nov-21
Outstanding, congrats Zim!

From: Grey Ghost
29-Nov-21
Beautiful buck, Zim!! Congrats!

Matt

From: greg simon
29-Nov-21
Wow! What a deer. Big congratulations to you Zim!!!

From: GhostBird
29-Nov-21
Wow... what a beauty. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: drycreek
29-Nov-21
No way you killed that buck with a 14 year old bow ! ;-)

Congrats Zim, that’s a world class buck !

From: IKE220
29-Nov-21
Congrats on an incredible buck. Thanks for sharing the story. That drop tine is a nice bonus!

From: Bou'bound
29-Nov-21
great job Zim

From: Supernaut
29-Nov-21
Wow, that's a dandy for sure! Congrats and thanks for sharing the story and pics with us.

From: Beav
29-Nov-21
Great buck! Congrats!

From: Woods Walker
29-Nov-21
We DO have some good one's here! SALUTE Zim!

From: PECO
29-Nov-21
Beautiful buck, congrats!

From: lewis
29-Nov-21
Great buck and great story congrats Lewis

29-Nov-21
Congrats! You couldn’t draw a prettier deer.

From: KSNimrod
29-Nov-21
Beautiful buck and great experience! Thank you for sharing.

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
Nash, Yes I noticed that about his eye. Maybe that's why he continued despite getting a glance of me in the tree. He was not weighed but I've hunted long enough to know it had to be only 180#, 190# max. My first buck was far heavier.

From: Mule Power
29-Nov-21
Great buck! Congratulations!

From: KY EyeBow
29-Nov-21
Outstanding!!!!!

From: Scoot
29-Nov-21
Beautiful buck! Congratulations.

29-Nov-21
Ken, what a great buck. Nicely done so keep strong and moving forward. My best, Paul

From: Buckeye
29-Nov-21
That's an incredible buck Zim! well done buddy!

From: Habitat
29-Nov-21
Congrats on a great buck

29-Nov-21
Incredible buck, Zim! Congratulations on holding it together.

From: beemann
29-Nov-21
What a deer Congrats to you and way to make it count when you had the chance.....

From: jdee
29-Nov-21
As good as it gets ! Congrats.

From: sitO
29-Nov-21
Awesome buck & hunt, glad you're well...enjoy the fruits!

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
Nash pointed out he was blind on the driver's side. I'm curious if that is why he didn't notice me earlier and only stared me down a short time. Maybe why I got him?

From: deerhunter72
29-Nov-21
Congratulations again Ken! Illinois sucks in most regards but we do have some nice bucks running around.

From: Bowboy
29-Nov-21
What a buck congrats!

From: TGbow
29-Nov-21
Awsome!! That is a monster. Congratulations

From: 12yards
29-Nov-21
Incredible buck Zim, congrats!

29-Nov-21
So is it true you like Illinois again? Congrats

29-Nov-21
Congratulations!

From: ryanrc
29-Nov-21
Congratulations

From: ki-ke
29-Nov-21
Wow! Great Deer… congrats!!

From: wild1
29-Nov-21
Awesome! Well done!

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
CR, Never had a problem with Illinois. It was once one of the best. It's the corrupt politicians I have a problem with. Turned my stomach during this hunt's travels when I saw an actual highway named after the father of Illinois crossguns, Jerry Costello. Made me want to hurl. Took major coin from Ravin lobbyists to force xguns down our throats. While ILDNR wildlife professionals get their hands tied behind their backs. Sorry, I just don't see how this is in the best interest of wildlife management, stakeholders, nor taxpayers..............only Jerry Costello! Maybe it's just me? What a system. I believe after that he tried unsuccessfully to expand the IL firearms season. Want to see his wildlife management qualifications? They don't include ANY related education. Go ahead and Google him. It's there for all to see. His cronnies bankrupted the state employee pension system, forcing my family and I to move to Indiana. It's a dumpster fire politically. Glad I no longer finance it. But none of this is the deer's fault. I support them.

29-Nov-21
Great buck Zim!!!

29-Nov-21
Now that’s the Zim I remember. Ha Ha.

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
CR, How do you feel about Illinois politics and deer management? Haha, I know a lot of folks just want to hunt and not take any action. Sorry, I’m not one of them. Lol. I call a spade a spade.

From: Shaft
29-Nov-21
Congrats on a great year! Impressive!

From: Rgiesey
29-Nov-21
That’s a great buck. Truly a once in a lifetime. Pretty fine line between success and failure. A lot of steps. Now it’s done and you’ll only have the good memories and the trophy.

From: Elite GSP
29-Nov-21
Find It Funny that someone can badmouth the states deer management, firearms Season and crossbows all the while shooting 2 bucks.. Hunters like you are just as much to blame. You are no better than the people you whine about.

From: APauls
29-Nov-21
Congrats Zim! That’s a dream buck anywhere not just Illinois!

Can’t believe you had the balls to put him on a hitch carrier. No chance I wouldn’t have slid that bugger inside the Toyota!!

From: JL
29-Nov-21
Congrats on a nice one....great story.

From: rooster
29-Nov-21
Congrats on an awesome trophy!

From: BR
29-Nov-21
Love the story and an outstanding buck. Congratulations to you.

From: Slate
29-Nov-21
Congrats beautiful animal. Thanks for sharing. I feel your excitement reading it.

29-Nov-21
Beautiful deer! Congrats on a dream come true

29-Nov-21
That’s awesome

Congrats Zim

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
Elite GPS, So you believe it’s a great idea for greased politicians like Jerry Costello to manage our deer herd rather than the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and their wildlife professionals? Because that’s how it works here. Please expound. Don’t run away. If you support Jerry Costello, tell everyone. Right here, right now. I'm fascinated a guy from Pennsylvania knows so much about Illinois deer management. Helloooooooooo. Where did you go???

From: Bow Bullet
29-Nov-21
You were rewarded handsomely for your perseverance getting through your covid and shoulder challenges, congratulations!

From: tm
29-Nov-21
Great story and even better deer.

From: BigOk
29-Nov-21
Congrats

From: Marty
29-Nov-21
Wow! Congrats!

From: Zim
29-Nov-21
Nash, All that makes sense. I don’t doubt I was aided by his blindness. Not sure why blind deer would weigh less than normal but I am open minded as to why that would be.

APauls, He was goin on the carrier no matter what because it was 75 degrees that day and no doubt the breeze helped cool him. I only needed to drive 30 minutes on freeway anyway. All turned out well.

From: bowhunter24
30-Nov-21
Awesome deer Ken, also glad to see you get it thru all the adversity...makes it even more special! I shot a 1 eyed drop tine buck on Missouri's rifle opener this year, but he was chasing a doe which led to his demise!

From: Zim
30-Nov-21
bh24, lol thumbs up

From: dg72a
30-Nov-21
Beauty buck, congrats.

From: midwest
30-Nov-21
Well worth waiting a lifetime for...congrats!

From: btnbuck
30-Nov-21
Awesome buck and story. I also pick less then stellar trees to climb if they’re in the right spot. Sounds like your tree was a toothpick! Congrats on a great deer. Sounds like you’re going to need a bigger wall ;-)

How bout a pic of the “140” too? (Your two bucks have more inches of antler than I shoot in 3 years or more!

From: Rob in VT
30-Nov-21
Wow, just Wow!

From: njbuck
30-Nov-21
Wow, what a buck, congrats!

From: Zim
30-Nov-21

Zim's embedded Photo
Here’s view to my right where buck came out. He stopped between those two white bark trees and stared me down but he was blind on driver’s side and sun was in his face too. I shot him at left center of photo, bending under that branch.
Zim's embedded Photo
Here’s view to my right where buck came out. He stopped between those two white bark trees and stared me down but he was blind on driver’s side and sun was in his face too. I shot him at left center of photo, bending under that branch.
Zim's embedded Photo
View to my front. See another tall shrub in front of me obstructing deer’s view.
Zim's embedded Photo
View to my front. See another tall shrub in front of me obstructing deer’s view.
Zim's embedded Photo
Btnbuck, Here’s a photo of buck #1. His rack is very symmetrical and body was a tank.
Zim's embedded Photo
Btnbuck, Here’s a photo of buck #1. His rack is very symmetrical and body was a tank.
btnbuck, Actually yes it was a toothpick. However, it was surrounded by big tall shrub trees on all sides, so no deer could see me if they were closer than 10 yards. And the thickets in front of me would have obstructed many views close to the deer. This buck was actually the only deer to spot me. Others walked back and forth in front 15-30 yards away and never saw me. I’ll see if I got a photo that shows the cover. My compact 14.7# Lone Wolf Assault climber was perfect for skinny 8” tree.

From: ahunter76
30-Nov-21
Being a long time bowunter I have a few words for you. Awesome, congratulations, Excellent Buck with lots of character...

From: btnbuck
30-Nov-21
Nice first buck too. Looks like he goes from right from shoulder to his head (no neck).

Doesn't look like there's a bunch of trees to pick from in there. It sure looks thick though.

Congrats again on a couple of bucks well deserved.

From: Zim
30-Nov-21
Btn, I was sad I chose not to do a shoulder mount on #1 he had a great cape and nice rack. That neck was tight as a drum. But Ultimately promised my wife I would not mount any more unless it was “special”. So I reluctantly chose a euro.

From: Matt
01-Dec-21
Congrats on your accomplishment.

From: Drahthaar
01-Dec-21
Beautiful, Congratulations. Forrest

From: Firsty
06-Dec-21
Nice job, now back to b#tching about every state's game agencys!!!

From: SIP
06-Dec-21
Amazing buck Zim. Congrats

From: Zim
07-Dec-21
Firsty, You got it 100% wrong, but please, don't let the facts get in the way of a good false narrative. It's corrupt politicians taking coin to bypass the ILDNR from managing the deer herd I have a problem with. Turned my stomach during this hunt's travels when I saw an actual highway named after the father of Illinois crossguns, Jerry Costello. Made me want to hurl. Took major coin from Ravin lobbyists to force xguns down our throats. While ILDNR wildlife professionals get their hands tied behind their backs. Sorry, I just don't see how this is in the best interest of wildlife management, stakeholders, nor taxpayers..............only Jerry Costello! Maybe it's just me? What a system. I believe after that he tried unsuccessfully to expand the IL firearms season. Want to see his wildlife management qualifications? They don't include ANY related education. Go ahead and Google him. It's there for all to see. His cronnies bankrupted the state employee pension system, forcing my family and I to move to Indiana. It's a dumpster fire politically. Glad I no longer finance it. But none of this is the deer's fault. I support them.

Now you can go run away with your lie's, same as Elite GSP, a legend in his own mind of IL deer management........from Pennsylvania. Lol

From: Buffalo1
07-Dec-21
You persevered and prevailed !! Congrats on a real beauty !

Hope you will follow up after the 60-day wait with the official score.

From: RK
07-Dec-21
Zim

Was this private or public land

Congrats on a very nice deer

From: Zim
07-Dec-21
Buffalo1, Yes I was actually texting with the closest measurer to me this morning. I moved here in 2019 so still making acquaintances. Will take buck in as soon as he qualifies, and post here.

From: LWood
07-Dec-21
Awesome buck and story, Zim. Thanks for sharing.

From: Zim
15-Jan-22

Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Had my November 16th buck officially scored today after 60 day drying period. He made both Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett at 185 5/8” nontypical.

From: Screwball
15-Jan-22
Congratulations Zim, awesome gives us older bow hunters hope.

From: t-roy
15-Jan-22
Beautiful buck! Congrats!

From: skull
15-Jan-22
Big Congrats, I miss the midwest

From: Bou'bound
16-Jan-22
Great buck. Well earned.

From: Rocky D
16-Jan-22
Zim, that’s a beautiful buck. Congratulations on a great deer!

Your hero shot doesn’t do the buck or you full justice!

The other photos provide a much better view of a truly great buck!

16-Jan-22
Very nice!! Congrats

16-Jan-22
Zim I’m assuming buck number two is getting mounted full shoulder mount? I’d consider him special…

From: Supernaut
16-Jan-22
Great buck, congrats!

From: APauls
16-Jan-22
What a specimen!!! Congrats again!! Would you post up the sheet? I’d love to see some of the numbers! How much bigger is his one side than the other?

From: Zim
16-Jan-22
I should have taken a photo of the scoresheet before it was submitted to P&Y/B&C. But I failed to. Will need to wait until I get my package in the mail from one of them.

From: Slate
16-Jan-22
Yes beautiful animal

16-Jan-22
Congrats, Illinois delivers once again. Fantastic genetics.

From: trublucolo
16-Jan-22
Congratulations Zim on a beauty of a buck.

From: Mule Power
16-Jan-22
Wow nice. It always interests me to see a buck or bull that has all that beautiful junk on one side and is completely typical on the other. Beautiful buck!!!!!!

From: Leo17
16-Jan-22
congratulations. beautiful buck

16-Jan-22
Congrats!

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