We’re staying at Matt and Martin Duffy’s new lodge, The Country Lodge. Great accommodations and outstanding big buck hunting to be sure!
After waiting a whole year, I finally made it back to southern Illinois. I could not be happier to be here.
I spent the last six days hunting northwestern Oklahoma with four writer buddies on a hunt sponsored by a muzzleloader manufacturer. About the only thing that could have made it worse would have been if one of the two-foot prairie rattlers I almost stepped on had actually gotten a piece of me. I never saw a buck over 1 ½ years old on the entire trip. None of the other guys got a shot, either.
My cameraman John Brown of BOSS Productions named this food plot in my honor after we botched a chance at a 160 buck in 2007. It’s still good this year!
Last night I made it back to southern Illinois, a place where I spent a week last season but was a week early. In that time I did have a 160-class 10-pointer at 40 yards for 60 seconds begging me to shoot him. And I would have ? but my cameraman couldn?t get on the deer, and that was that. And we saw lots of great sign, too. This place definitely has it going on! My friend John Brown of BOSS Productions picked me up at the airport and we made our way to town. John will be filming my hunt for the QDMA television show, and it will be a ball. We?ve been friends and worked together off and on for more than a decade. He has a big swath of prime agricultural land leased, put in numerous food plots this summer, and the place is tuned up. We had dinner last night with Martin and Cathy Duffy who, along with their son Matt, built a new lodge this winter to conduct guided hunts (www.thecountrylodge.com), and we got jacked up!
The weather forecast is good, crisp mornings and daytime highs in the 60?s. Toward the end of the week it is supposed to get cooler, with lows in the 30?s and highs in the 50?s. Brown has several great tree stand and ground blinds set up already. The rut is one and we are ready to rock!
This first morning Brown took me to a tree stand set just inside the thick woods bordering an uncut soybean field and in front on a bedding thicket. We saw one small buck and nothing else, but I was not discouraged.
This afternoon we went back to the food plot where I saw Big Daddy last fall. Glassing cross a cut soybean where we have stands set we saw a few does moving. And then, HE went across. A giant 8-pointer I dubbed Sumo for his beer keg belly and giant body. Oh, did I mention the huge set of 8-point antlers John and I figured would go at least 160?