Weather Updates

Buck of the Week (Sept. 28)

Bob Drazdik Sr. saw this buck “hanging around” near his deer camp Pope County.

Bob Drazdik Sr. saw this buck “hanging around” near his deer camp in Pope County.

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Updated: November 11, 2011 4:18PM

The big, nearly mythical bucks of Illinois sneak in on dreams or trail-cam photos. On Saturday, when bowhunting opens in Illinois, reality can set in for the third or so of Illinois’ 200,000-plus deer hunters who bowhunt.

Bob Drazdik Sr. sent an early submission for Buck of the Week. The suburban man’s trail cam caught this buck, still in velvet, “hanging around’’ near his deer camp in Pope County this summer.

That’s the stuff of dreams. Reality is the early part of bow season is for harvesting does for the freezer. The time for trophy bucks comes during the rut in late October and early November.

The herd and harvest have leveled off from the peak in 2003-06.

“I’m not expecting a record harvest; it should be similar to that seen in the past few years,’’ forest wildlife program manager

Paul Shelton said. “The total statewide figure is not as important as whether individual county harvest is achieving the desired effect. If the harvest is distributed properly with that in mind, we can be on track with the statewide levels we’ve been getting.’’At least some fields are opening up. Corn harvest in Illinois picked up until recent rains. Corn in Illinois was 22 percent harvested by Sunday, but only 4 percent in northeast Illinois and 7 percent in the northwest. Soybean picking has begun.

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