Tim and his First Illinois Buck
For years it seems Country Born Traditions Pro Staffer Tim Blauvelt has been traveling to the land of the Giants…Illinois. Every year it seemed he would come back to his home state of Michigan with the an empty truck bed. This year was a little different, he would not be hunting public land, but land he and some of the rest of the C.B.T. Pro Staff had leased in Adams and Hancock County right on the edge of the famous “Golden Triangle.” Tim and many of the other staffers had made few trips down for bow season. With a few unfortunate misses, the big bucks continued to elude Tim and the rest of C.B.T. On November 17th Tim departed from Michigan and started his 6 hour journey back to Illinois. November 18th marked opening day for gun season in Illinois. Tim had staked out a spot that night on the edge of a picked bean field in a stand hung earlier in the year. He had his bow that night and observed a few decent bucks chasing does. The moon had chased the sun out of the sky and put an end to bow season. The next morning came and Tim was in the stand well before the sun was to rise. As morning broke and the sun beamed through the trees, deer began to wander in and out of the field. No shooters though, a small buck here and there chasing a hot doe . Morning had left and the afternoon had come, his cell phone showed 11a.m. and a few minutes after that, his hunting life would be changed drastically.
A camera arm was loaded with single camcorder facing the bean field. His bow had been replaced by his 12 gauge and freshly sighted in scope mounted on top of it. A hot doe blasted out of the woods and a shooter buck was hot on her hoofs. Tim flicked the camera on and positioned it where he felt the deer would run across the screen. As quick as the deer enters the frame it exits, but not without a shot being fired. Tim had placed the shot on the front shoulder in his sights, but the deer was almost at top speed and the slug had caught the deer’s back hip. It continued to run off-screen and then another shot echoes throughout the woods, and meets the deer in the hind quarter and finally the deer is dropped to the ground, neither shot was a fatal one, so Tim rattles off a final shot to put the deer out. The camera is then turned on the hunter. It is then when we find out how special this moment is.
“Well folks I just put down a nice one down there in that field.” Tim spoke softly to the camera still in a state of shock and unknowing on just how big his buck was. After he replayed the events that had happened minutes before, we truly see the reason for hunting. Seconds after he replayed the events a child like smile was planted on his face. At that moment it was just him and his buck that laid 60 yards away. All the effort, time and money he had put into hunting Illinois had paid off. In a single sentence we watch a 48 year old father, husband, and son transform into a 15-year-old boy who had just shot his first deer. His eyes lit up and with a beaming smile he says, “I’m pretty excited.” So simple yet so revealing. It seems that there are no words to describe his excitement and happiness. All you can do is watch as he is over come with joy and like a boy on Christmas morning he wants to get down out of the stand and get to the present that awaits him in the field.
We are then welcomed back with Tim walking out to the deer the camera zoomed in on his face topped with a bright orange hat. We follow him step by step listening to him say things such as “Were getting ready to walk up to my first Illinois buck,” and “he’s a good one, as far as i can tell.” His eyes aren’t fixed on the camera but they are fixed on his trophy that lies in the field waiting to be claimed. He then flips the camera around as he gets even closer, he stops and zooms in on the buck, and walks towards it “it looks like it’s just an 8 but….looks pretty darn good to me.” As he walks closer it becomes more real to him that it wasn’t just an 8. This 8 point had split brow tines and was s trophy on any hunters wall. It was when he got close enough to take in the rack in full that he began to laugh in disbelief. The mass of the rack along with the split brow tines had sent Tim into an excitement that few have felt. “OH MY WORD” followed by more shocked laughter, “I think he’s a little bigger than I thought he was.” followed by more laughs, “Wow wow, somebody was smiling down on me today, wow, i gotta go get my hands on him.” The camera cuts off and we than find Tim holding his deer’s rack and showing off his trophy to the Camera.
“Well folks here he is….I couldn’t be more happy right now, this deer has been a long time coming, 40 something years probably anyway, I’m really really tickled, he’s a giant in my books, he might not be the biggest one here in Illinois, he sure does make me smile.” That right there, that last little statement, “he sure does make me smile.” As hunters we all envision ourselves holding the rack of a 150 inch class deer. For a select few that dream will become real, but for most, especially those here in Michigan that dream will remain just that, a dream. From October through December we will be out there, No matter the weapon from Bows to shotguns, scattered throughout the woods, listening, waiting, and watching, we will be out there…Chasing Dreams
Proud of you Dad
Country Born Traditions