After last year, I was somewhat uneasy about applying for the public land spot. My wife Amy did not get enough hunting hours in last year to be able to join me this year. Luckily, my brother has been waiting for an opportunity. Since Amy was unable to apply with me this year, my brother Zack did.
Luck of The Draw
As luck would have it, we were drawn this year. We do have a couple of other spots that we can hunt together. But, I really don’t get enough hunting time with him so I was really happy when we got the email. That email stated that we had gotten a spot this year.
Surprisingly, my brother and I were given the same spot that Amy and I have gotten every single time. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve had success there or what the deal is. Last year, between me and the single hunter that had the second season, we shot 30% of the deer taken in that entire particular area for the county for those given permission. I alone took 20%. I know that sounds like big numbers, but in reality it’s only 2. My first bow buck and a fawn buck. There were 10 total deer taken from our forest preserve last year.
Scouting This Year
I wasn’t able to make it up to the area to scout until half way through September. This was only 2 weeks before our season opens here in Illinois. Upon walking around the outside of the woods, I verified that most of the main trails leading out of the woods are still being utilized. In fact, one of the biggest and most well used trails is still being used on a daily basis. This was the first year that my brother was part of the program and therefore obviously the first year he’d be hunting this location. I decided our efforts were best spent getting him antiquated with the section and how it pertains to the sections surrounding us.
After showing him old rub locations and where I thought that most of the deer would be funneling through, I also took the time to show him my favorite spot that I hadn’t yet figured out how to hunt. There will shortly be another story on how I found my tree (hunted this past weekend).
Conclusion to getting back on public land
Overall, we were not as prepared for the season as we should have been. We did not make it back up there before the season started to hand stands. Therefore, Zack would be using the climber and I would be using a sit drag as a saddle to hunt from (again, more on that coming in a following article). With hindsight, I will say that the season went pretty rough for both of us. Our block of hunting time started October 1st and ends this coming weekend on November 10th. Stay tuned for the hunting adventures from being back on the public land!