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Buck of the week

Joe Spillone’s first chance to arrow a buck turned into a birthday present and Buck of the Week. On Nov. 27, the Melrose Park man was hunting on a family friend’s private farm in Calhoun County.

‘‘I have been bow shooting for about four years, but this was the first time ever shooting at a live target,’’ said Spillone, who turned 29 the same day. ‘‘[I first saw] this beautiful buck about 50-70 yards away, best chance in about six hours. I took aim. First shot miss. Buck didn’t move. Loaded up again, second shot, bull’s-eye, just behind the front left leg. [It] ran off, found him about 30 yards from where he was hit. Call it beginner’s luck.’’

Good enough luck/skill for an eight-pointer weighing 229 pounds.

For bowhunters, the season continues through Jan. 16. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, Illinois bowhunters had reported 59,628 deer.

The first part of the late-winter antlerless-only firearm and special CWD deer seasons is Thursday

through Sunday. Some county permits remain for over -the-counter sale. Heidecke Lake also offers standby hunting during the late-winter seasons.

E-mail Buck of the Week nominations to .

Dale Bowman

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