BuckTracker: Big Things on Small Parcels

Think you need a sprawling spread to tag a world-class whitetail? Dave Emken doesn’t. The Illinois taxidermist and whitetail fanatic shot the buck below—a main-frame 8-point with enough junk to push it over the 200-inch mark—on a 94-acre farm near his home. “I just bought the farm last winter,” Dave says. “I spent the late winter and early spring walking it, hanging stands and figuring out how I was going to hunt it come fall. And then I stayed out of there until late October.”

000_0002

Emken knew this goliath was living on his parcel. “My son had seen him in each of the last two seasons, and so had a couple of other guys,” he notes. “But I couldn’t lay eyes on him for anything. But I had scored his sheds and knew he was a monster. Finally, on an evening sit in late October, I watched him head to a corn field. He cut my boot tracks on the way, and I could just see him thinking ‘Oh man, I shouldn’t be out here.’ So he followed his own trail back into the timber.”

On the morning of November 3, Dave watched the buck chase a hot doe into a corn field. “I never thought I would get a shot,” he notes. “They were just out there for about a half-hour and too far to shoot. Finally, a group of five does came by, chased by a young buck. They came right by my stand, and eventually the doe came in off the cornfield. The big buck followed her, and eventually he worked in close enough for a 15-yard shot. I got a great hit and watched him go down.”

This tremendous Midwest giant was 7-1/2 years old and field-dressed 255 pounds. “I’ve been lucky enough to kill some great deer in this area,” Dave says. “But nothing like this. I love to hunt funnels and put in my time during the rut. This buck proves that it just pays to be out there, putting in your time!” Amen to that…and hearty congrats to a devoted bowhunter!

Buck Tracker Stats
Date: November 3, 2007
Location: Knox County, Illinois
Weight: 255 lbs, field-dressed
Points: 17
Green Score: 209” B&C (gross)
Weapon: Hoyt bow
Shot Distance: 15 yards
Method: Tree stand