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Bowhunting Wells Creek Outfitters
in the big buck country of Brown County, IL

The Digital Log Of A Bowhunt At Wells Creek Outfitters in 1999 - by Robert Hoague

Bowhunting Wells Creek Outfitters . . .
This area consistently produces trophy class Whitetail Bucks for bowhunters. Rob McNeff credits his bowhunting operation's success to proper game management (2-1 doe buck ratio), having lots of land to hunt on (12,000 acres), and setting up right for bowhunting.

Wednesday, Dec 1,  the 10th and last day of the Wells Creek bowhunt:
(Morning hunt) Joe Ermatinger saw a bomber buck in the trees to his left. He watched as the buck walked behind his stand and laid down 80 yards away. In short order he couldn't see the buck any more. An hour later Joe heard a deer walking behind him. The sound neared and the buck passed Joe on the right, too far away for a shot, but it cut in front of Joe's stand and stopped 20 yards away, behind some trees. All Joe could see was part of the buck's face and the ends of his thick antlers. Then he saw something he had never seen before, still standing, the buck closed his eyes for several extended periods. Then it closed them for several minutes. The buck was alseep on it's feet (like horses do). If Joe was to get a shot the buck would have to move forward. Time passed . . .
The buck's eyes opened and he looked around. Joe drew. The buck stepped ahead and Joe had a clear shot between two trees. He took it. The buck burst downhill and Joe heard it crash in the leaves. And here is the pic of Joe and the bomber buck he caught "napping."

JimboTX saw 8 does and 4 bucks. Two of the bucks bedded near him, one of them was a nice 8-point. But it never got close enough. I jumped a bomber 10 point going in. Brad saw 2 does. Fred and the Duck both saw some does.
(Afternoon hunt) Around 4:30 this afternoon I heard some noise uphill and saw that 4 does were coming on down. I decided to harvest one. They came right to me, just like I pulled them in on a string. Suddenly another deer ran up and stoped behind some trees. We all waited to see what was up. The new deer ran uphill and circled down toward the does and stopped. Another deer charged up behind the trees. Through the limbs I could see the deer had antlers, not huge ones, but they looked like ok. It ran uphill on the does trail, circled and took off after the doe. The 3 of the 4 does scattered. The buck and doe raced back and stopped by the 4th doe, all of them were 10 yards away, in the open. The buck had long tines and was a 6-point with fairly heavy horns that were just outside his ears. A pretty rack. I let him walk, maybe he will show up in a couple of years. JimboTX saw 8 does and 4 bucks. The last buck was an 8-point with an outside the ears spread. Jim walked it and he saw the buck bedded down nearby.
Brad spotted a doe 80 yards away but approaching his area. Behind it walked a large bodied "Booner" with a extremely heavy, wide rack with 4 points on one side and 5 on the other. They came in behind the stand, where there was a lot of bursh and trees, and the shooting angle was tricky. The doe passed Brad's stand and he looked carefully for a hole he could shoot through. He found it and drew, aiming at the hole, waiting for the buck to get to it. He noticed that his top wheel was touching a large limb on the tree. Brad crouched, it looked like he had clearance. He got centered back on the buck, the buck was almost in the hole. Now he was there and the pin was on his vitals. Brad released. CRACK. The bow's top limb smacked the tree limb and the arrow went low. 
The Duck and Fred both zipped. Our hunt is over for this year.

Tuesday, Nov 30,  the 9th day of the Wells Creek bowhunt:
(Morning hunt) It was 14 degrees this morning, (that's cold for us Texas boys). Nothing moved where I was until after 9:00 when a doe came to one of the scrapes and pawed in it. She stayed in the area and 15 minutes later 3 more does came through, but not within bow range. Later 1 doe and a fawn came up from across the dry creek and passed by. It's amazing how sometimes they can be real close but still somehow only walk where there are obstructions. Superguide Brad saw a 10-point with heavy horns. It was too far away. Three does came by later. Fred Lutger had two groups of does walk right by his stand. Donald Duck got skunked, or maybe I should say frosted. JimboTX had to stay in and call home, work, etc.. 
(Afternoon hunt) I used decoys this afternoon and a doe approached them cautiously, checking them out. Finally she snorted loudly several times as she watched the decoys. Eventually she walked into the distance. I called at her with my grunter and she slowed down. I made quiet Cchhh sound with my mouth. She turned and started back. She circled until she was 15 yards from my position but she just never did get in the clear. Then she walked back to where she had been and disappeared.  JimboTX saw was watching several does approach when a buck charged in on them and they all scattered. Brad saw 2 does. The Duck saw one doe. Fred Lutger zipped.

Monday, the 8th day of the Wells Creek bowhunt:
(Morning hunt) As is got light I saw that a big scrape was made last night 50 yards from my stand. Right away, 3 does came by the scrape and moved on out. A 4th doe walked right to the scrape and stood in it for 10 minutes and then hung around for awhile. My stand had a ridge behind it and 3 does came down from it and walked through. Later I saw 3 does walked along the top of the ridge. Around 10:00 two fawns came walking up to my treestand and started looking toward the scrape. A Fork Horn walked to the scrape and pawed in it. Next it walked over to the does, sticking it's neck out and grunting at them. The fawns walked back the way they came and the Forky walked behind them. The Duck saw 1 doe and 2 fawns. Two other deer came up behind him and winded him. He didn't get a good look at him. Bill Goodwin saw 7 baldies. Superguide Brad saw 5 does. A 10 point came in from his left, he let him go on by. JimboTX saw a doe group and a young buck.
(Afternoon hunt)
This afternoon Fred Lutger of Freddie Bear Sports joined us. A sixer came by close to his stand. An hour later he saw a buck coming that had pretty good looking horns, it was an 8-point but at the last minute Fred passed him up. Shortly, a large doe approached on the same trail the bucks had used. Fred drew, aimed and released. The shot was perfect and the doe went down in 40 yards.

Fred Lutger With the doe he harvested this afternoon.
Superguide Brad saw a buck chasing a doe across the hollow from him. JimboTX saw a Bomber after he got down from his stand. The Duck saw 11 does and 3 young bucks. Bill Goodwin saw a buck coming that had thick and wide horns. When it got closer he saw it had 5 nice point on the left but the right main beam had no points and split fork on the end. I hunted the scrapes I hunted this morning and saw a few deer in the area but no scrape action. I left my bow in the tree and will go back there tomorrow morning.

Sunday, the 7th day of the Wells Creek bowhunt:
(Morning hunt) Just before 8:00 3 does came down the hill and walked behind me and through the dried creek bed below my stand. I looked at my watch at 10:00 and in a few minutes a fawn doe came up with two Sixers following her. They ran short spurts and stood, etc.., all over the hillside. Eventually they left and soon two does came right under my tree and browsed on the twigs of the freshly cut branches that were cut to make shooting lanes for the stand. JimboTX had 2 does come close to this stand. Superguide Brad had a doe and 2 fawns come out in front of him and go up the ridge. A 6-point came next. Two coyotes ran through. Five does walked by with a year and a half 8-point walking with them. The rest of our group went to the North Camp.
(Afternoon hunt)
This afternoon I saw the Kowabonga, the Big Cahounna, the Double Bomber. When I saw him he was with a doe and they were in a stand of trees about 80 yards off. He was looking in my direction as I put the binoculars on him, I thought, "I can't see his antlers good, a bunch of limbs are in the way." He moved his head. All the limbs moved too, they weren't limbs, they were dark, baseball bat sized main beams deep in the 20's wide and fat tines, lots of tines. He turned his head broadside. The main beams were so long they curled out to his nose. A bonified Booner. He was twice the body size of the doe he was with. He didn't get any closer but just seeing a deer of this magnitude make my day, big time. In my entire deer hunting life (I started bowhunting deer when I was 15) I have only see one other buck this big, and that was here at Wells Creek, the first week of October, 4 years ago.
JimboTX and Superguide Brad were covered up with deer activity all afternoon, both saw several groups of does and as well as a few young bucks. Brad had what he calls "a shooter" 8-point on a ridge above him, 80 yards away. He grunted at the buck but it didn't respond. The North Camp Hunters got back at 7:00. Bill Goodwin saw an 8-pointer and some does. Rob McNeff passed on a 130 buck (18 yards away) with real tall eye guards and also saw some does. Joe got skunked. The Duck saw a small buck and a doe.

SATURDAY, the 6th day of the Wells Creek bowhunt:
(Morning hunt) Around 7:45 a big Red Headed Woodpecker landed in a huge tree 50 yards from me and started shredding it (yes, I'm back amongst the living). I got out my binoculars and watched him for 20 minutes. I think they are awesome. It blows me away to watch them drill a tree and I never can believe they can make all that racket and keep on ticking. ( I wonder what that noise sounds like to them?) At 8:30 a doe and a fawn picked their way out of a gully and right under my stand.  At first good light Superguide Brad saw a bomber buck walk through the area in front of him, but too far off for a shot. Later 6 does in a group came right by the stand. A 120 class buck was dogging them but Brad walked it. Bill Goodwin saw a 120 buck and walked it also. Here's a picture of one from Wells Creek that Bill didn't walk last year, it's not 120, it was 210. To make sure you have it in perspective compare the size of Bill's fingers with the main beams and tines. 
(Afternoon hunt) Bill Goodwin had a Forky walk under his treestand this afternoon. Brad saw some does from his stand. Later a nice buck came down the hill slowly and finally wound up underneath his stand but unfortunately, by that time, it it was past shooting light. JimboTX saw 3 does. Where I was 1 fawn walked up out of the creek and slowly walked by on a nearby trail. Mark, Joe, and J.R. all saw young bucks and several does. J.R. saw tow young bucks get in a tussle and push each other around.
The Bombers Moved Friday !!

Friday, the 5th day of the bowhunt: 
(Morning hunt) A doe with 2 fawns ran up underneath Superguide Brad's stand. The does tongue was hanging out and her sides were heaving from running. Checking her back trail Brad saw a Spike coming. They all moved on. In the corner of his eye Brad saw a large deer, 35 yards away, half hidden by some trees. It had black hocks and Brad got ready to shoot. The buck moved, a bomber 8-point. Brad looked ahead of the buck, straining to see a place in the trees and limbs where he could get an arrow through. He saw it and drew and grunted with his mouth as the buck walked in the lane. Brad's shot was low. (Just in case you're thinking poorly of Brad, here is a pic of one of many that he didn't miss. He got it here last year and it definitely proves if he says it's a bomber, it is.) Mark saw several does and young bucks before a big one showed, the buck came right on in but it had busted tines on one side. Approaching through the thick brush, the Duck noticed a big bodied buck with very thick antlers. Don got ready and as the big buck came in the clear he saw that the left main beam was broken off above the brow tine. JimboTX saw 5 does and 2 fawns. JimboTX saw several does.
(Afternoon hunt) Mark had a bomber 8-point run 2 does all over his area for 15 minutes, but when they were within range they didn't get slowed down enough for a confident shot. Joe jumped a bomber that was bedded down with a doe, they were practically underneath his treestand. Later on another nice buck came through, Joe decided not to shoot, hoping for a better one, and the buck picked up the does scent and trailed it out of sight. Joe can be picky, here's his buck from last year. Superguide Brad saw another bomber but it didn't get close enough, and he saw another 17 deer, does and young bucks. The Duck saw another big buck but it wasn't as obliging as the broken horn buck and never got close. Bill Goodwin saw a pack of coyotes. JimboTx zipped. Mark, J.R. and Joe all saw several deer each.

Here's the hunt Monday - Thursday.
About Wells Creek Outfitters - the wrap up of the hunt 
Wells Creek Outfitters Web Site

Wells Creek Outfitters Other 1999 Bowhunts




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