Another Slow Weekend – Will Persistence Pay Off?

For the three of you who follow my blog posts you may know that I’ve been having some tough luck here in the suburbs of Northern Illinois.  Heading into this past weekend I’ve only made it out for a total of 5 sits with a grand total of zero deer sightings.  However, with some good bucks on my trail cameras I am determined to stick it out until the bitter end.  Either I’ll end my season with my second Illinois buck or I’m going to die trying!

With November finally here I decided it would be a good idea to use some of that vacation time I’ve been saving up for a three day weekend.  Friday morning brought some unusually cold temps down into the low 20’s so I figured the deer would be on their feet.  About an hour after light I finally caught sight of my first Lake County deer as two does stepped out of the thick timber into a small opening.  Although they were only does it sure felt good to see some deer!

This yearling doe stood in front of me feeding on grass and leaves for 10 to 15 minutes on Sunday morning.  If my freezer wasn’t already full she might not have just gotten her picture taken!

Over the course of the next 3 days I hunted just about as hard and as smart as I could but only managed to see a bunch more does and some 1 1/2 year old bucks running around.  The big bucks still seem to be hanging low.  I’m not entirely sure if I just don’t know what I’m doing, if the moon times kept their movement subdued during daylight, or if someone is just playing tricks on me and walking some pen-raised deer in front of my cameras when I’m not there!

If this guy was only about 3 years older and had an extra 150 inches of antler on his head….

Although I didn’t see any good bucks this weekend I will consider this a big step in the right direction.  I saw deer on all 6 of my trips to the woods this weekend, which was a much needed confidence booster.  That, coupled with a familiar face (or rack?) showing up on my trail camera recently has renewed my drive to fill my 2nd tag with a suburban bruiser before it’s all said and done.

“Big Mac” showed up on my camera several times over the past couple of weeks.  I got photos of this buck for the first time last December but never found any sheds or saw sign of him until he showed up in late October.  He is currently the #1 buck on my hit list.

My quest for a suburban whitetail will have to wait for awhile though, as I’ll be heading down to West central, IL this weekend with my buddy Jeremy.  He’s still looking for this first buck with a bow and I’ll be hard at it looking for a true Illinois giant.  If one steps in front of me my suburban quest may be put on hold until next year, but I suppose there’s worse ways to end your season.  With great moon times and a cold front moving in on Friday it looks like our chances are pretty good, so you never know what might happen.  The rut in Illinois is a wonderful thing!  If not, I’ll return home to continue my quest the following weekend.  The once nice thing about the ‘burbs is that they are bow-only which means I get to keep chasing these deer with archery tackle while the orange army takes to the woods.

Good luck once again to everyone who is still chasing their dream, whatever it may be.  Remember to hunt hard, hunt safe, and have some fun out there!


  1. Ryan Swigart says:

    What county in illinois are you hunting?

  2. I'll once again be in the 'burbs of central Ohio, this weekend. Here's to hoping that our persistence pays off soon!! : ) I got a feeling the "always next weekends" are are in very limited supply, at this point.

  3. Brandon T says:

    Justin keep at it bud. I hunt out in the suburbs of Kane County with a good friend and seeing the same as you. The warm temps have screwed everything up this week. Im a big believer in Charles Alsheimers's rutting moon theory. If that is the case the rut should pick up around gun season and after. The theory seems to be holding up because scraps seemed to be made later, and bigger bucks just are not moving the way we want them too yet. I know there are a lot of deer in general where Im hunting at and I see no evidence of hard rutting activity yet/

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  5. Shane Self Southern says:

    I have heard nothing positive about this weeks warm weather. is anyone seeing deer this week?

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