Skip to main content

How One Illinois Woman Targeted Big, Elusive “Elvis” Buck

Ashlynn Schulz first encountered this Pike County, Illinois, giant during the 2020 gun season. After close encounters and even one season when the buck completely disappeared, Ashlynn finally arrowed the buck she calls Elvis on Oct. 29, 2023.

How One Illinois Woman Targeted Big, Elusive “Elvis” Buck

Breaking News Bucks is presented by ARCUS hunting brands. To find out more click here.

Ashlynn Schulz’s first encounter with the Pike County, Illinois, buck she later dubbed “Elvis” came during the 2020 gun season. He was a 3 1/2-year-old then with lots of potential.

“We prayed he made it another few years, but we knew it wasn’t a guarantee,” Ashlynn recalls. “So, when Dad found both of his sheds, we were happy.” In 2021, Elvis became a regular on cameras as a 4 1/2-year-old. His brow tines had a noticeable flip at the top, similar to that of Elvis’s hairstyle in the 60s. Ashlynn again hoped he could get just one more year under his belt.

“My dog, Barlee, and I found one shed and my dad found the other that year,” Ashlynn explains.

At 5 1/2 years old in 2022, Elvis blew up. After watching him all through the summer, Ashlynn and her dad were worried when he completely disappeared. They didn’t see him the rest of the year and never found his sheds, which added to the theory that he may have been gone for good. Then, in the summer of 2023, they saw the ghost while velvet scouting. He was a little far from where his home range had previously been, but he was alive and healthy. In that moment, Ashlynn and her father began making a plan to get the buck on the ground.

as-2

They put cameras up close to his new location with hopes of locking down his summer pattern. Elvis was consistently on camera from July to early September, but almost always at night. Then, in true Elvis fashion, he was gone shortly after shedding his velvet. This time, they were very worried about EHD. As season approached and no fresh photos of the buck were taken, Ashlynn worried again if she was hunting a ghost.

“We kept with our original plan and set up at a spot he had been consistently at,” Ashlynn says. “I hunted there multiple times with no sightings. With him being missing for over a month, we were back to the drawing board. We did some serious scouting and camera location changes. And just like that, as quickly as he had gone missing, he was back. It was right where I’d seen him during the 2020 gun season.”

He was home after being patterned nearly a mile away. Now 6 1/2 years old, Elvis was a smart buck. The valley he had moved to was also tough because the winds were inconsistent. Hunting in a stand was not an option, so the only chance they would have to take Elvis would be in the low valley below him during the afternoons when the thermals would pull down consistently. Once they found a spot where they could get away with the wind, they brushed a blind into the standing corn.

as-3

“We believed this location was between his two main bedding areas,” Ashlynn claims. “Connecting the bedding areas was a string of large community scrapes.”




Ashlynn’s first live encounter with Elvis in 2023 was on Oct. 28 just before legal shooting light ended. He was feeding broadside at less than 15 yards, but when she came to full draw she just couldn’t find him in the peep. It left Ashlynn feeling defeated to have hunted the buck for so long and have this happen. The wind was still good for that spot the next day, so she went back for another try.

At 1:45 p.m., she got a cell camera photo of him hitting a scrape 200 hundred yards away.

“At this point my heart dropped, because I was between him and what I thought would be his next scrape,” Ashlynn says. “But at 2:06 p.m., he came to the plot via an old logging trail. He stood at 46 yards, scanning the field for does. He was absolutely breathtaking. So much so that I froze as he continued walking on the trail out of sight. I instantly grabbed my bow and got ready in case he changed his mind."

Recommended


Sure enough, he wrapped the far corner of the plot at 30 yards and started feeding her way. Ashlynn pulled back her bow and waited for her chance.

“He fed facing me for what felt like 30 minutes since my bow was already drawn back,” Ashlynn explains. “Finally he turned, and I took my shot at 25 yards at 2:14 p.m. He then ran directly at my blind to exit the field on a mowed path. That was a wild experience! I called my dad and my fiancé and they met me for the track job.”

Other than the part of her arrow that snapped off when Elvis lunged after the shot, they were not able to find any blood at all. They resorted to following his tracks. After doing so for 65 yards, they found Elvis piled up. It never occurred to Ashlynn until they walked up to him that Elvis could be a Boone & Crockett deer.

image0

“I only cared about the history we had with him and the time and energy we all invested,” Ashlynn says.

Elvis green gross scores 176 5/8.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Ripcord Arrow Rests Rejuvenates Lineup with Three New Models

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Don't Sleep on Conventional Trail Cameras

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning Trail Cameras Announces Cellular Innovation for 2024

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

ATA 2024 Core SR First Look from Bowtech

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning OVIX Camo: Ultimate Concealment for Any Time, Any Place

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Air Venturi Avenge-X Classic PCP Air Rifle Reviewed

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Primos Edge Carbon Fiber Tripod Shooting Sticks

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Bowhunting Aoudad in Texas with Browning OVIX Camo

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Bowtech CP30: A Better Bow Made For The Whitetailer

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning's Exclusive OVIX Camo Gives You Complete Concealment

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Start to Finish Success for Ultimate Season Bucks

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Early Fall Tactics for Big Ultimate Season Bucks

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now