Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.

 

Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

One Sleepless Night!

September 30, 2010 at 09:00 AM

Twas’ the night before Christmas…or should I say opening day! It might as well be a holiday because tomorrow is one of my most anticipated days all year. No matter how early I go to bed, I never can sleep on the eve of opening day bow season here in Illinois. There is just too much to think about. Where will the wind be? Where will I set-up? How will I be able to get him/her out of that particular area? How early should I proceed into this one area? How long should I stay in one place? These questions and many more will ramble through my head all night!

I’ve opted for two places to hunt tomorrow, depending on the wind. One place I’ll have to pack it in and go deep. It will require a soft foot and a careful path with regard to the wind as I don’t want my scent to be blown into the direction I will anticipate deer to be. My footsteps will sound like a deer’s footsteps while I walk and my clothes will be bagged until the last minute. One thing I’ve learned from the past is to be virgin clean going in on opening day! Even over time when your grounds get a heavier dose of your scent, deer will be accustomed to it! They will eventually proceed with more caution but they will accept it. The opening day though, is the big surprise for them or for you, depending how you look at it. If your woods have been free from human scent for months and then on opening day they wind a heavy plume of you, they won’t go anywhere near you. If over time they wind small amounts of human scent, they’ll work around it and begin to accept the danger and maneuver around the area anyway. I’ve watched deer scope farmers out while working in the timber and in their fields with little to no surprise. They won’t even spook most of the time by hearing farm equipment but they will dash like mad hearing the sound of a four wheeler! Certain things they associate with danger with and others they learn to live with. Don’t give them a heavy dose of your scent on opening day! Be stealth-like and enjoy what could be the most relaxed hunt all year!

I’m going to stay in the woods all day, so I’m packing food and water. I have an area that I’m sure contains the quality deer I’m looking for, so I feel it’s inevitable to be there every possible minute hoping to catch that opportunity to present itself. By staying in all day, you lessen the chance of spooking deer by walking in and out of your hunting grounds displaying your whereabouts each and every time. The best way to hunt these animals, in my opinion, is to act like it’s YOU that is being hunted! Being less exposed and remaining low keyed is the best way to smoke a relaxed buck or doe. HIDE like you’re the target.

I am taking my portable internet device to hopefully upload any exciting developments, whether they be from me or you! Send pictures and/or stories of your bow hunt to me and I’ll start posting them when I get a chance. Like mentioned before, I really think this will be a banner year for Illinois hunters for many reasons, so get out there, don’t take any chances or get lazy. Be safe and remember it’s not worth taking someone else’s life, or your own, if you are in doubt of your target! 

Do it right, do it safe and for crying out loud, have fun whether or not you harvest anything!

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