PUBLIC Land Buck! Bowhunting the Illinois RUT! #saddlehunting #bowhunting #whitetaildeer

Matt Millard travels to Illinois during the heat of the 2023 Rut!

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Well this right here is What happiness and Chaos looks Like I'm all packed up it is November The 3 got off work got everything thrown In the truck here and we are loaded down And we are headed west from Tennessee to Illinois and uh we're going to be there For a couple weeks or Just sh of a Couple weeks and I'm so excited for this Trip and thankful that I'm able to do it Because last year I was not able to had To stay at home so we're trying to make Up for some lost time last year Hopefully we can get us a big mature Public land Buck on the ground but I'm Going to run in here take a shower and We're going to try and get on the road By 4:00 or shortly thereafter and I'm Hoping to make it to um Illinois border In time to buy my license tonight so I Ain't got to worry about it in the Morning but but I'll check in with you Guys as we are going down the road bow Hunter die Baby well we have made it to Academy Here right on the border of Illinois $500 piece of paper is in hand it has Been acquired well good morning guys I Just hopped in the truck it's uh right At 8:00 got in late got camp set up I don't Think I laid down till 1:30 1:45 didn't really sleep great um but We're going to get after it but the game

Plan today is to do a lot of driving um Drive by a lot of these areas I've Hunted in the past and just see where The pressure is you know see where guys Are hunting and hopefully pop into a few Of these areas and get some stealth cams Up and start Gathering some Intel got a Big 9 person tent you might be able to See it's a mess But got plenty of room for gear and Clothes and everything and if you you Know get a day or two of rain you have Plenty of room to stay in there I also Put up a little popup Canopy a table with my grill and Everything chair cooler you know all the Camping Basics that was an absolute Disaster everything's so crunchy I was Taking my time to get here trying to Being as quiet as I could obviously Stuff still going to hear you walking I Actually heard a couple deer walking on The other side of the Ridge but the first tree I picked was a Little too big and this was the closest Thing to it that had cover and it's like A Shag Bar Hickory so I mean literally Everything within several hundred yards Hard me climb this Tree It has been As Dead As Dead gets zero Deer we saw four or five turkeys and a Woodpecker that's it November the 8th

This is my fifth day here in Illinois I Think this will be my fifth set I think I have done a ton of scouting on a bunch Of different pieces of Public and uh gotten on some good stuff It's just the weather really hasn't Cooperated since I've been here we had Warm weather the whole time but that's About to Change uh scouted basically the whole First day and then every afternoon um From midday on until yesterday last Night was the first evening set that I Made but we're going back in here to a Piece that I found a couple days ago Just by chance I've never scouted Anything within a couple miles of here Uh but I was just driving around in the Afternoon and just thought this set up Really good on the map and looked good Ran in there with a camera just in case And found a really good area that was Just shredded um came and hunted it Yesterday morning and while I was in the Tree my Stealth Cam went off about 80 Yards away and had a big shooter on it Big tall deer won't score super great But he's an awesome public land Mountain Buck so um I'm going to slip in with the Saddle we got a little bit of wind this Morning which will kind of help cover up Some noise and with any luck we might Get this deer on the ground or at least Lay eyes on him I'd love to just see him

See what he looks like but I'm going to Finish getting ready we'll see you guys In a [Music] Tree [Music] I absolutely love this tree this Probably won't be the last time I hunt This spot this specific tree it is in The right Spot the bad news is the wind is Swirling like crazy so I don't have very High Hopes [Music] [Music] [Music] I Me Me What just Happened I've been contemplating getting freaking Down because this wind is so bad and Swirling he come right up that ditch the Only reason I even knew he was there is I heard him Cough I don't even really know what he Is or how big he is I just knew he was Big enough Holy cow I hope I got it on film I just Had to zoom out and point it that Direction the camera was on this side And I had to shoot him on the other

Side oh my Gosh I have eaten tag soup the last two Times I've been here shot one didn't Find it or couldn't go get it long Story Oh that feels so Sweet I have Seen basically no deer this is my fifth Set and I'm done sitting there Celebrating and looked over in that big Huge tall Buck just walked down in up That Ridge where the Buckeye shot [Music] Ran This stuff never really shows up good on The uh camera we'll see if we can put Maybe a little too or something but Basically got these tall Ridges on this side and this Side and they all funnel down to this Point and there's a ditch that goes Right down the middle of them it's steep On both sides and uh it seemed like all The travel was running out each one one Of those fingers head to this ditch so You've got rut great rut funnel first And foremost any buck that wants to Check those CRP Fields you know that That's where a lot of do's like to bed And bucksville too but you know if they Want to go check that one and then check This one they got to come through here And there was a ton of rubs it was just Shredded you know from October and even

Real real fresh stuff so it kind of told Me they were living in here too and I I Knew when I found it that had the Potential to be pretty special but I'm Going to run over here and grab my Stealth cam I've got put up over here so I don't have to make another trip and Then we're going to go over here and Take up the track it's Been About probably close to an hour Now so I'll check back in with you in Just a Minute oh I'm hoping this is going to be A short blood So when I the shot when I saw it like Real time I thought it drilled the Offside Shoulder I know roughly where he was Standing over here I'm just thinking There's probably not an exit hole so Blood might be Limited that we shall See the last place I saw him was over There in that green bar and Stuff is somewhere right around in Here check that out right there where he Was standing all right we got first Blood here you can see it looks like we Might have it on both sides cuz we' got It here and we've got it blown all the Way back to There that makes me feel better to have That blood like that right at the

Impact can't tell you exactly which tree But I was over there in one of those White Oaks those smaller wide Oaks um it's 35 yard So longer shot But especially in that Wind it's good Blood oh Yeah I can pretty much see where the Leaves are kicked up Here all the way down through there Bleeding good Already yeah he's dead we got plenty of Penetration I think he's going to be Dead down in this [Music] Ditch Man I hope it's not just one Long I lost that section of arrow that Come out of Him it was at least 5 Ines on it just in Case he's bleeding too good for this Just to be an entry Hall I see him laying down here I can't I sees the white belly I can't see his Head to make sure it's down it's about a 100 yards up Here oh he's down yes baby yes I'm still Going to sneak up there just to be Sure a big seven Point Look at That Yes

Hallelujah not excited about getting This thing out of here but we'll get it Done I going to sit here and enjoy this Real quick and I'll talk to you guys in Just a minute well guys here he is and I've got to say this thing is bigger and Cooler than I even thought uh he's just A giant Mainframe seven-point he had me Worried for a minute um he ran about 200 Yards down all the way down this ditch Down to the bottom the very bottom died In the worst place possible for me to Get him out but uh super thankful for This deer to kill him on public here in Illinois I think this is my fifth day Here and haven't seen a lot of deer but I knew I was on the right stuff and I Knew this place here had the potential To be pretty special when I found it a Couple days ago and hadn't seen a deer All morning and then saw two Shooters in A matter of 10 minutes is pretty Incredible this deer is definitely an Old one um got gashes in his ears big Body huge blocky head definitely going To send the teeth off on this one to see Um just how big he is but this is a Great Illinois public land deer for down Here in Southern Illinois in the Mountains this is a great beer super Happy with him but I'm in a race against Mother Nature it is already hot and I Have a long ways to go so I got to get Started on it but until next time B hund

Die well good morning everyone and Welcome back to Northeast Tennessee it Is November the 26th and I would say the last time you Saw me I was in Illinois killing a Pretty cool Buck on public ground up There we hunted here in Tennessee for The first time Thanksgiving morning and Had a pretty good hunt saw quite a few Deer but this it's just like a nursery In here right now um I saw seven or Eight deer and they were all I think it Was like four Fawns and three spikes or four points Basically off Spikes this year has been a weird one I've hunted this property for close to 20 years now and you know it's I've seen The Peaks and valleys you know you've Got couple bad years and then you'll Have a stretch where it's really good But I think the absolute Peak was like 2018 to 2020 as far far as number of Shooters we'd have this year has been Brutal but it's probably been one of the Best years for just seeing deer so it's Kind of odd we are hoping for kind of a Late season Miracle here I've it's Happened several times in the past I've Killed a bunch of good bucks in December Including the pie Bal last year I'm Going to try and hunt this inside corner Down in the bottom seemed like that's Where most of the activity was kind of

Centered around um the other morning When I hunted so finish getting ready We'll see you in a tree shortly [Music] Well we are set up later than what I Wanted to be but it was for good reason I was slipping through this field behind Me cuz I wanted to come to this inside Corner and I was moving slow cuz I could Hear deer moving around up here in the Woods And I stopped and I heard deer running Sound like a a dough getting chased and It's getting closer and closer I'm like They're running right at me so I flip my Light on and the do's coming right at me And she kind of fears off she gets about 10 yards in front of me and runs past me Loops around and starts turning to run Back and I hear the buck grunting he's Coming right at me my light hits him and It's a Shooter it's one of of those tall tight Eight Points I don't know which one I've got Three that look the same but one they're All different Sizes definitely a shooter he chased her Back down into this bottom over here but I'm getting ready to smack these horns Together and we're just going to go For Broke I mean hot dough in here can't Hurt So

[Music] [Music] Right [Music] For It's been a lot slower than I thought it Was going to Be I saw a pretty decent Buck this Morning not long after I done the Interview and Rattled down below me here on the other Side of this little Field we just had a really small Spike Come by but that's that's been it I Heard some tin hitting together down There before I saw that Bug been pretty slow slower than I I Thought especially after how the morning Started but it's just probably 8:30 no It's 8:10 so we still got Time For Oh For Is Is [Music] I don't Know both of those arrows the second Arrow I missed I just guessed it yardage I rolled it and it was a real tight Window but I'm not kidding my arrow hit That far to the right on the first first One and the second

One it's my fault I haven't shot my bow The last Week I mean that shot that first shot he Was just broadside perfect 20 Yards I hit that deer in the lungs nine Times out of 10 I lost him right here he's he's if He's not bed down right now he's going To be absolutely hate that I'm I'm like I mean head shot was Perfect that's the deer I saw this Morning almost sure of it he's one of The tall top eight points yeah I don't Know I Hadn't something's definitely off I Don't know what But oh my Scopes Loose yep that's it My sight's Loose damn It all righty guys we are on the ground And just got everything packed up I'm Going to slide right over here and look At the Arrow I lost him I saw him probably 15 Minutes after the shot up here on top of The Ridge and I lost him up there I'm Hoping he lay down up there probably 100 Yards from us right now the wind is Mostly good but we're going to check This arrow and then we're going to slip Out of here and we'll come back later Tonight I hate it when this stuff Happens first thing I'm doing when I get

Home is shoot my bow and get it dialed Back In you just got to check your equipment I I've said that so many times but we Just get so caught up in what's going On I got arrows right over here I just want To get out of here without bumping that Deer that's the number one Goal there's some dead balls up there And I think it's probably where he laid Down right here's the Arrow It's a lot of blood for just a gut shot I'm really hoping I caught the Liver okay I made it right back to the Shot side you can See you can see I stuck the arrow in the Ground right There I'm going to follow the blood Trail enough to get the second arrow That I shot and I want to clean off the Lens on my Stealth cam it's got a bunch Of moisture and just dirt on it I didn't Clean it off before I put it out and Then I I watched him go under this you Know five or six string cattle fence up Here and I'm going to just walk that Fence till I see where you went under And then take up the trail from There I did not find one ounce of Blood Crossing that fence but I come up Here for the last place I saw him he did

Bed down I see him laying right Here Yes Yes well here he is and thankfully this Rain decided to hold up at least until We had found the deer um I was starting To get a little bit worried I decided Not to follow the blood from the impact Site just because we were working with So little daylight and it was honestly Hard to see but I decided to jump ahead To where I had seen him cross this Cattle fence up here and wasn't able to Pick up blood so I ended up pushing up About 20 or 30 more yards to around Where the last place I saw him was and Looked over and he was laying there dead And honestly I don't think he'd been Dead that long um so I'm super thankful For this deer anytime you kill a nice Buck you know you're you're very Thankful they're all special but this One here is um pretty sweet because I'll Be honest I really didn't think it was Going to happen for me this year in Tennessee um it's just been kind of a Down year for Quality bucks but Thankfully this dude showed up the other Night on trail camera I didn't realize It was the same deer when I shot him um But thankful he read the script this Morning I didn't quite do my part on the Shot but I think we've got that ironed Out

Now but every time I kill one off of This property I've been hunting it for Close to 20 years I think 18 years is What I figured and I've killed a ton of Great bucks on it you know most of them 110 to 20 in but everyone I kind of Wonder if it's my last one you know the Lady has let me hunt for a long time She's getting up there in age and uh Hopefully we've got many more years to Go but I know all good things come to an End at some point and this property has Been so good to me over the years it's Where I've learned to bow hunt so Everyone that I kill out here just gets A little more special it seems like now As far as the rest of the year for me Goes we've got I don't know two more Tags two more Buck tags potentially in Tennessee I've got one of my you know Season Buck tags and I've got a quota Hunt where I can kill a buck that Doesn't count towards a state limit um Here in a few weeks so maybe we can get On another one or two but until next Time bow hunter Die healthy Snacks we're already into our snacks and It's not 8:00 yet but they need anything For Breakfast

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