Deer of the Day - 23-Point Prairie State Mega Buck, Mike Gabe

Deer hunting is always a great excuse to take a break from college and Mike Gabe was doing just that as he was hunting near Elmhurst, Illinois where he attends school at Elmhurst College.

While sitting in his stand, he spotted a massive trophy buck unlike anything he'd seen before. The buck appeared to have horn everywhere, including two massive drop tines that still had velvet on the tips. It truly was the buck of a lifetime. Gabe grabbed his grunt call and got to work, attempting to bring the buck into bow range and it worked as the big boy strolled closer to Gabe's stand in response to the calls.

Just as it looked like Gabe was going to get a shot off, the unbelievable happened - a coyote sprinted out of the brush and started fighting with this monarch! The massive non-typical dropped his antlers to the ground and through a series of kicks and thrusts was able to scare off the Song Dog, who probably wouldn't have fared to well in this tussle.


Thankfully, the buck didn't spook and responded again to another grunt call, coming back towards Gabe's stand, this time with a doe in tow.


The trophy wasn't completely broadside, only offering an awkward shot that Gabe took. The shot connected, but it wasn't a great one and the buck, with his doe, just walked away.


For the next six hours Gabe and his two buddies - Dan Krupa and Steve Stocklen - tracked a weak blood trail that took them two miles deep into the woods. The trio didn't find him that night and the next morning Gabe headed back out, alone and saying prayers to St. Anthony for a recovery.

The young hunter walked in a giant circle, looking for any kind of sign when suddenly he spotted blood. Drop by drop, he followed a weak trail that took him to the top of a hill and there the buck was! A true Illinois trophy!

Then the real work began as it took Gabe five hours to drag the buck out of he woods as everyone he knew was either at work or school. But he persisted, just like in his tracking job, and got the job done, reaping the reward of the awe and amazement of the crowd that started to congregate to see this incredible deer.


The buck featured two 12-inch drop tines on both sides and green scored 240-inches non-typical.

Outstanding job Mike!



We want your buck as our Deer of the Day! Please send us an image of your buck, a brief description of your hunt and the gear used to whitetail@imoutdoors.com

Recommended for You

Who says you can't be in two places at once? Other

Real-Time Intel: Moultrie Mobile

Gordon Whittington - July 22, 2019

Who says you can't be in two places at once?

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer Heart Recipe is a good one to add to your after-the-hunt rituals. Venison Recipes

Braai'ed (Grilled) Deer Heart Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer...

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters. Scouting

Will Wireless Trail Cameras Make You a Better Hunter?

Tony J. Peterson

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore explores the pitfalls of puppy training.

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

Gordon Whittington is hunting Eastern Wyoming with his crossbow where he encounters a fast moving situation.

Creating Warm-Season Food Plots

Creating Warm-Season Food Plots

On this edition of "Deer Factory," Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss tactics for establishing warm-season food plots.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season. Bowhunting

The Best Arrows for Deer Hunting

Tony J. Peterson - June 10, 2019

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season.

See More Stories

More Deer of the Day

Everyone's heard the advice, Deer of the Day

James Edwards Buck: 211-Inch Ohio Reward

James Edwards - June 28, 2016

Everyone's heard the advice, "Don't put all of your eggs into one basket." In general I'm sure

Although January's not a time typically associated with killing huge bucks, many Midwestern states Deer of the Day

Steve Niemerg Buck: 197-Inch Illinois Giant

Bernie Barringer - May 10, 2016

Although January's not a time typically associated with killing huge bucks, many Midwestern...

The unlikely events that led me to a 200-inch Ohio whitetail in 2014 actually began back in 2012, Deer of the Day

Zach Singler's 203-Inch 'Out of Nowhere' Buck

Zach Singler - July 19, 2016

The unlikely events that led me to a 200-inch Ohio whitetail in 2014 actually began back in...

See More Deer of the Day

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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