Illinois Outdoors at
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Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.


Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

Deer Transitions

August 29, 2010 at 10:57 AM

My son Drake and I spent most of yesterday hanging deer stands and clearing shooting lanes for the upcoming season. Although we worked our rear-ends off, we “Got R Done”. The hardest part of setting stands for me happens to be finding the right location for each stand. Bearing in mind that some of these “good” locations can and will change when the rut kicks in, I may have to move these stands again. One of these stands is a double seated stand that we will use when I put my wife in it this year for her first gun deer hunt. Actually, it won’t be her first, it just may the first hunt where she will actually see deer! We didn’t have much luck here in central IL. in the past as the deer here go mostly nocturnal prior to opening day because of the constant pressure. Anyway, I want to be in that double stand with her when that first deer arrives, if anything, just to give her some advise. This stand is so big she calls it the “Ferris wheel” stand, because it looks just like, you guessed it, a Ferris wheel. When I was up in it yesterday, I thought I wouldn’t want to bow hunt out of it because of its design. Trying to draw a bow in it will be virtually impossible because your arm will strike the tree it’s attached to. Good thing she’ll be using a gun!

I found one of my “magic” spots early on and it seems to be THE place for me. I’ll hunt it from the ground but because of its surroundings, I placed a climbing stand close by. The buck I’m going to hunt doesn’t move more than an estimated 80 yards all day from where I placed my stand. It was very difficult getting in there and I’m sure he either saw me or winded me while working there. If he did, he didn’t bust, so that was a good sign. This place is so thick with briars, brush and trees, I literally had to cut my way in. My son asked me: “Dad, with all of this timber along this bean field, how did you decide to place it at that particular location?” As we sat in my truck and looked down this 3 acre section of bean field, I asked him to look down the timber line and tell me what you see different. After looking for about 30 seconds, he nailed it, much to my surprise. He said: “There’s a little bit of change in the timber line, is that it?” He was right! It was hard to tell but there was an area where the bucks had been eating or “browsing” the leaves and stems from the trees making the trees to appear that they were trimmed with a hedge shear. That’s all it took for me (along with my 200 yard rule) to decide on hunting that spot this season. After placing a trail camera there for the last 4 weeks, my suspicions came true. Monster city! Looking beyond that point, big buck sign from the past several years was more than evident. BINGO! Now there’s nothing guaranteed in this business, so we’ll see what unfolds here. 

I did notice a few trees that were freshly rubbed with velvet hanging off of them. It won’t be long where they’ll all be showing bare bone. I also noticed a few scrapes that caught me by surprise! Once looking at those scrapes, I realized a mistake I had made a year or so ago when replying to an email from one of my readers. He asked me about these early season scrapes and I responded to him by saying that they must have been from last season. Strike one for Marc! I was wrong! This was one trait I failed to recognize in my years of bow hunting, so to right the wrong here, yes, they do scrape now and then early in the season. Why they do it, well, there are several reasons but nothing that needs to be addressed to help you with your bow season. My apologies!

With the cooler weather and the crops coming out earlier this year, I think we’ll be seeing more activity soon! In fact, I was surprised to see several farms harvesting corn yesterday in Fulton, Peoria and Schuyler counties. If you haven’t got your favorite places ready to go, better get out there! I do recommend finishing up soon so your hunting grounds can settle down a bit before the season gets here.

Won’t be long!


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