December 06, 2022
By Josh Honeycutt
Ty Moore’s 6 ½-year-old Illinois buck is the stuff of dreams. And this season, he made his come true by arrowing this legendary whitetail. It came as a slight surprise, though.
“We had zero history with this buck up until this year,” he says. “He showed up on a trail camera we had on a mock scrape the day before opening day. Between then and October 18, he probably daylighted on that same camera five to six times.”
With his own experiences, and hunting lessons learned from his father, Hal, he made a game plan to hunt this deer. He’s been hunting in Illinois for several years and hadn’t wrapped his tag around anything prior to this season. To say the least, it’s been a grind.
October 18 was amidst a significant cold front. The wind was high, well into the 20s, and it was cold. Highs never got above 45. The conditions were great, but it wasn’t an easy sit.
Hunting in a CRP field surrounded by soybean fields, he hoped to see the big deer. Farmers were harvesting soybeans, but he didn’t think that would negatively impact deer movement. Still, it was day two of a four-day hunt. He had time if he needed it.
The morning sit was unproductive. So, he got down for lunch; and then he returned for the afternoon hunt. An hour after settling in, the deer appeared.
“I looked over my left shoulder and he was coming out of thick bedding into this CRP bowl I was in,” Ty remembers. “I could tell by his calm demeanor I was going to kill him. He had no clue I was in the world.”
The deer walked to Ty’s mock scrape and stood broadside. Ty drew back and took the 25-yard shot. The arrow blew through both lungs. “He jumped a ditch, and all I could see was blood pouring out,” Ty says. “I knew he was not going far. I made phone calls and then recovered him. He didn’t run 50 yards.”
“I am just blown away,” he concludes. “So grateful I even get the opportunity to chase these unbelievable animals. I’ve dreamt my whole life about shooting a deer like this. Never did it cross my mind I would. Everyone was just so pumped and happy for me.”