September 09, 2011
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!
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