Buck: 188 4/8 inches
Date of Harvest: November 16, 2019
Location: Montgomery County, Illinois
Weapon Used: Compound bow
Lukas Jachino is like many bowhunters, he loves the chase. Last fall, it was no different during the pursuit for a 188 4/8-inch Illinois giant.
“I’ve been a passionate deer hunting since the age of 12,” Jachino says. “I killed my first deer [at that age] and have been hooked ever since. I love being out in the timber and getting away from the hustle of everyday life.”
He grew up around Montgomery County, Illinois, and has hunted in the area for years. He’s spent much of his time on local farms owned by family and friends who allowed him to hunt. Access obviously proved vital in the chase for this big deer.
Knowing a property and how deer use it is half the battle. Locating and patterning a target buck is the other half. While the final act isn’t necessarily easy, pulling the trigger is the simplest step in the process.
Fortunately for Jachino, he first learned of this giant in 2018. It started showing up on camera, but he never saw the buck in person. He spent that season learning as much as possible about the huge whitetail.
Fast forward to the 2019 deer season. Now a 6-year-old, the studly buck packed it on even more. Jachino continued scouting the area and monitored the buck well into November. Once he felt the timing was right, he moved in to hunt the deer.
On November 16, 2019, he settled into one of his favorite spots — a tree line that connected to a large block of timber to the south. Cut soybean fields stretched out to the east and west of the stand. It’s relatively flat ground, providing good visibility.
Conditions were pretty good, too. “It was a picture-perfect morning,” Jachino says. It was cold, probably in the upper 20s, but wind was minimal. Basically, it was your typical mid-November morning in Illinois. The sun started to rise, and he knew something good was on the horizon.
After a year of patience, he finally laid eyes on the buck. “At first light, I saw him heading my direction,” Jachino says. “As soon as I saw his rack, I knew it was him.”
This was his first in-person encounter with the buck, and he hoped he’d capitalize. Anticipation built as the deer worked closer to his setup. The deer finally stopped 17 yards from the stand and tended a mock scrape Jachino made earlier in the season.
Eventually, the deer turned broadside and offered an ethical shot opportunity. He took it, and the buck didn’t make it far before tipping over. The quest for the tree line tank was over.
As Jachino walked up to the deer, he thought about the adventure, the memories and the healthy venison this whitetail provided, and he was thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “I was in disbelief,” Jachino says. “To have trail cam pictures, and to put in so many hours, the payoff was so rewarding.”
Several decisions he made led to the eventual success. First, he knew the area well. That’s important for tagging big deer, especially consistently.
Secondly, Jachino understood where to focus his time. He expected deer to travel along that tree line, and that gut feeling proved to be true. That’s an important lesson in its own right.
Finally, he capitalized when the time was right, and waited for ideal conditions. Being November 16, it was close to the heart of the rut. The cold temperatures were bound to encourage deer movement, too. He also had an ideal wind direction to access and hunt his preferred stand location. These things culminated into an epic sit, and he has a buck on the wall and venison in the freezer to show for it.