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Featured Hunter

Judd McCullum

Age: 21

Home: Cuba, IL

Occupation: Student

How many days a year do you hunt? It varies greatly.

Favorite piece of gear? I like my boots. I don't know why, but I always feel like something is going to happen when I put my boots on. I can go absolutely anywhere in a good pair of boots.

Gear you splurged on? Before last season started I bought some pretty expensive scent-free clothes. After having 10 or 15 deer walk within 50 yards, stop, and look directly up at me I figured something needed to change.

Most memorable outing in Illinois? My most memorable hunt has to be a trip I took turkey hunting in Pike County. I went with my grandparent's neighbor who is 82 years old and has a cigar in his mouth from sun up to sun down. We're sitting behind a blind that he constructed sometime before I was born with his cigar smoke wafting lazily around, when I heard a bird come down from roost behind us. Before I could blink, George rasped out "[expletive] Judd! A [expletive] hen just came down right behind us!" This announcement was by no means covert, and the bird was gone. I laugh every time I tell that one.

What got you interested in hunting? My dad was an avid waterfowler when I was young, and decided to pick up archery deer when I was about 10. He bought me all the gear and we tried our hand at deer hunting. To this day he hasn't gotten one, but I'm not doing too bad.

How long have you been hunting? I tagged along on dad's duck hunting trips when I wasn't very old at all. All the camo I needed was a hat and an old jacket with the sleeves pinned up. He'd tell me to act like a bush when anything came in.

Favorite species to hunt? I love to squirrel hunt, because I usually get a early look at the deer that'll be around later in the year. To tell the truth, I see more big bucks in early August than I do for most of the rest of the year.

What breed hunting dog do you have? I've got a Labrador retriever, but she's not much of a hunter. In the spring I'll have a wire-haired griffon. They're not too common in the midwest, but they do it all. My boss has one and it's the most amazing breed.

Favorite places to hunt in Illinois? Pike and Fulton counties.

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