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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from my first trip to Pike County...I am not sure I have the words yet to describe the experience. Unbelievable, Enlightening, Magical, Astounding...all understatements. I did not come home with a deer, and may be going back for the second firearms season. I wish I'd bought an archery tag because I'd love to bowhunt those monsters. I saw 59 deer in 3 days, about 10 of which were bucks. I passed on a 140s class 10 the first AM (actually the first deer I saw), and passed on a few other 130 class bucks during the trip. I saw a monster (180+) typical right at dark the last day...I could clearly make out his rack from 400 yards, and estimated his G2's at 16-20 inches with my binos. He was coming right into my grunt call, and I ended up running out of shooting light and losing him at about 175 yds. He came into the finger I was hunting about 50 yds downwind of me and that was all she wrote...that encounter alone will keep me coming back for the rest of my life. Thought you's enjoy these pics.
1: 10+ YO deer found dead on the farm of natural causes (no teeth left in his mouth). His bases were as big around as a quart beer bottle and the pic gives no justice to the mass.
2: A dog named "wheelbarrow", paralyzed in back legs and walks on his front...awesome dog!
3: A couple bucks taken by our group...guesses on scores?
4, 5, 6..view from some of my stands
 

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Was this an invite or a payed hunt?? If payed how did they run the hunt?? Was it guided and you were instucted on the bucks you could take or did they turn you ought and trust the hunters to shoot muture bucks only?? What kind of rules?? kinda of wondering how they run the hunts in Pike county since it is so famous... thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This was a paid hunt, but at a VERY reasonable price. It was not one of the $4k + deals where someone holds your hand the entire time and tells you what to shoot. They have a 130" minimum, and me and the guy I was with had about 500 acres to ourselves. They basically gave us maps, showed us boundaries and turned us loose. The outfitter we used rotates their tracts and are very serious about limiting the hunting pressure. There seems to be a solid management mentality in that area. If you're looking to go up there I can get you some info, just PM me...also, don't overlook Adams, Brown, Schuyler, Scott, Calhoun Counties....awesome trip! Oh, and as is the case with most outfitters up there, there's a pretty steep penalty for shooting <130" bucks.
 

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I'm hunting Alexander Co. second season. My first deer trip north of the TX border as well. Have seen some trail cam pics that look promising. Did you use shutgun or black powder?

Thanks
fishjunky
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used my muzzleloader because I have one I am pretty comfortable with. Don't know that there is much advantage to a slug gun, and I'd have had to buy a new barrel, sight it in, etc...either one would be fine and it seems like there was a 50/50 mix of the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
fishjunky, is this your first trip to IL? How are you getting up there Second Season? I'm not sure if I'm going yet, but hate to spend $340 on a tag and not put it on something. Worth a car pool? Shoot me a PM if you want to discuss this or the trip...
 
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