deerblind11_17_18_e1542806190740.jpg

Many of us shared similar views, at least of the fields and timber, during Illinois’ first firearm deer season, which ended Sunday.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Rut, snow and an early start: Snapshots of Illinois’ firearm deer season

SHARE Rut, snow and an early start: Snapshots of Illinois’ firearm deer season
SHARE Rut, snow and an early start: Snapshots of Illinois’ firearm deer season

Rut and snow — or melting snow — colored Illinois’ first firearm deer season. With the earliest possible start to the firearm season Nov. 16, there was some rutting activity.

‘‘Down here in Clark County, rut is full-blown, bucks chasing does day and night,’’ Ken Jahnke messaged. ‘‘All the snow has melted. Been in the 40s all weekend.’’

Chris Cammack had a different experience and messaged: ‘‘Seems like no rut, per se, down there, Cumberland County. All bucks were just seeking. No chasing seen at all and no pairings, either.’’

It was a rare opening weekend when virtually the entire state had brushes with snow. Parts of northern Illinois had fresh snow Saturday and Sunday.

I think snow flying makes it feel like real deer hunting.

‘‘Here in Mason County, we got a [seven-pointer] and a nine,’’ Tim Howe messaged Friday. ‘‘Several does spotted, but no shots at them. Four inches of snow when we got here [Thursday], but melting quick now at 3 p.m.’’

‘‘Headed home,’’ Gary Bloom messaged Sunday. ‘‘Great hunting weather: nine hunters, seven deer, four bucks, three does, one fawn. Had a 13-year-old girl kill her first deer.’’

Bloom and his crew were hunting in Edgar County, where Luke Brewster arrowed his huge non-typical buck Nov. 2. Click here for that story.

‘‘Very quiet opening day as far as shooting in the area. . . . we all saw deer (not many), including some bucks and rutting action’’ Bob Coine emailed from Ogle County. ’“Attached is a young buck who was out looking for does at high noon, nicely cooperating on a photo op at 20 yards.”

A young buck looking for love in the middle of the day during the beginning of Illinos’ firearm season.<br>Provided by Bob Coine

A young buck looking for love in the middle of the day during the beginning of Illinos’ firearm season.
Provided by Bob Coine

Coine said even a young buck was out looking for does at high noon.

Such are the memories building.

Preliminary harvest numbers will be posted at chicago.suntimes.com/section/outdoors when they arrive.

Wild things

Sandhill cranes are migrating through in time for a Thanksgiving break at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (23,727 on Tuesday), southeast of Valparaiso, Indiana.

Stray cast

Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks is to the gridiron what a 45-inch northern pike is to a weed line.


The Latest
Parker finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists becoming the third player in WNBA history to record multiple career triple doubles.
Joliet Catholic’s Brett Mouw and Logan Kinsella earned the Hilltoppers’ first state championship in the IHSA bass fishing and led a sweep of the medals at Carlyle Lake by Chicago-area teams,
Brewery CEO Petteri Vanttinen described the new lager as having “a taste of security, with a hint of freedom.”
Hendriks not buying Donaldson’s “inside joke” explanation for calling teammate Tim Anderson “Jackie”