Skip to main content

Best Deer Season Ever?, Chris Walker

I first started getting night pictures of this buck we called "Shorty" in 2009 on our hunting property in Schuyler County, Illinois . We never saw the buck during hunting season in 2009 and only had a few night pictures of him.

In 2010, we started getting a few more pictures, but only at night. My brother and I had one encounter with this buck on a November 6, 2010. He came 50 yards from both of us but didn't present a shot. We searched for his sheds in early 2011 and found one of them and our neighbor found the other side.

In September 2011 we started getting lots of pictures of this deer at all hours of the day. I hunted the area where we were getting the most pictures hard for two weeks, but never saw him. I left our property on October 30th and when I returned on November 4th I had 10 pictures of this deer right under my stand on October 31st and November 1st during the daytime!

I hunted November 4th and 5th and had numerous encounters with small bucks, but Shorty never showed up.

On November 6th, 2011 we slept in and decided to only hunt in the evening. My brother and I went out to our stands at 1:00 p.m. after the wind calmed down. I had a perfect south wind to hunt my stand that was located along the north side of a small funnel. I didn't see a single deer until 5:00 p.m. when I heard a deer running and a buck grunting.

I immediately knew what was happening and stood up and grabbed my Mathews bow. The doe ran right by my treestand and stopped 10 yards away from me, then he came trotting in and stopped 20 yards away facing directly at my treestand. I peeked around the tree and saw a giant deer with a giant frame and knew exactly who this was. I hid back behind the tree and peeked around the tree a few seconds later and saw he was 15 yards and closing in. I pulled my Mathews MQ32 bow back as he went behind a tree and he stood there grunting at the doe. He slowly stepped out from the tree and stood eight yards below me broadside. I took a deep breath and thought, "Don't screw this one up!"

I double lunged him and he didn't even go 30 yards! From the second I saw this deer to the second he was dead was no more than 15 seconds! I soon realized the only two encounters I had with this deer over the entire three years were both on November 6th. I shot this deer a year to the day from the only time I ever saw him with my old school Mathews MQ32 bow. My dreams finally came true of harvesting this beautiful buck.

Shorty was 7 1/2 years old and scored 166 inches as a 12 pointer.

The second buck was a deer we were familiar with. We found his sheds in 2010 but didn't get a single picture of him until the day I shot him. I think he made our woods his territory after I harvested Shorty. November 10th was a beautiful day and I couldn't stand to be at work any longer. My brother and I left work at 11:00 a.m. and headed to our property. I got in my stand at 3:15 p.m. and remember thinking, "what the heck am I doing out here, my chances of killing a bigger buck are very slim."

It was kind of windy out so I was doubting the evenings hunt when all of a sudden I got a text message from my brother that read, "Big buck headed your way." I looked over my left shoulder and sure enough he was coming my way and on a mission.

I softly grunted at him and he immediately started coming right to my treestand. I was particularly concerned because he was going to be downwind of me. I wear all Scent Blocker gear and use Conquest Deer Sticks on my boots and clothes, but I know how hard it is to trick an old buck's nose.

He got right down wind and knew something was not right and stopped. I was already drawn back and must have held my bow back for 3-5 minutes while he didn't even seem to blink the entire time. He was sure something wasn't right and started heading back to where he came from. I had to spin around the tree and try to get a shot off before he left for good.


I was able to get a shot off while he was quartering away from me at 30 yards and ended up smoking him. My brother couldn't believe that I shot another big buck and this one was out of his stand, which was the only time of the 2011 season he decided to hunt my stand!

This second buck scored 150 inches as a 12 pointer.

This was my best year of hunting ever and my 2011 season will be incredibly hard to top! -- Chris Walker


Bow: Mathews MQ32

Arrows: Carbon Express Blue Streak Select 250s

Broadhead: Rage 2 Blade

Camo: Scent Blocker brotherhood and Mack Daddy suit

Boots: Muck Woody Armor

Scents: Conquest Deer Herd in a stick (put on boots and trees around stand)

Congrats on two incredible bucks Chris! -- NAW Editors

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

For years, one of Publisher Laden Force's favorite hunting programs has been the Outdoor Channel's Live 2 Hunt program with Cody and Kelsy Robbins. Their passion for bowhunting and making new hunting buddies is contagious. Additionally, time and time again the pair has undoubtedly confirmed their position as some of the best deer hunters north of the Canadian border. So, Laden quickly accepted when an invite came from friend Mike Tussey of NOMAD Hunting Apparel to test new deer gear on a summer bear hunt with Cody and Kelsy's L2H Outfitting. Join him as he travels to north central Saskatchewan to put new NOMAD, the brand new Bowtech Carbon One and his sense of adventure to the test.
Destination Videos

Live 2 Bowhunt

Opening day is just around the corner, but there is still work to be done! The Forces complete the final prep steps, getting their hunting sites ready for easy access.

Opening Day Prep

The Forces complete the final investment, one that's not so “instant”, by planting new fruit/mast trees. 

Investing in the Future

Baseball transitions to football, which means it's time to get oats, clover & chicory in the ground.  

Cool Season Food Plot

Laden teaches the boys the importance of keeping your property clean to make final adjustments easier and less time consuming.

Property Management

The new hunting blinds have arrived, but the Forces get busy because the blinds aren't going to assemble and strategically place themselves.

Blind Placement Strategy

It's time for weed patrol! Laden ventures out to high cut the perineal plots, weedeat the electric fences and spot spray his clover. 

Plot Maintenance

Laden and the boys plan the off-season “to do's” and prep their equipment needed to execute each exercise. 

The Plan

Laden and his boys work through a timber management plan, letting Dad safely remove a few unwanted trees, opening up a canopy to help with understory native forage growth.

Timberstand Improvements

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


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

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest 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 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