So myself, Heidi (Blue Eyes), and our best friends Danny, Diana, and Blake all decided to try our hand at public land hunting at JEPC near Springfield, IL.
We drove down Saturday morning and checked into our place in Chandlerville, IL. First we started out by checking out Danny's new blind he bought so his wife Diana could hunt. This is her first year bowhunting.
Left to Right. Me, Blake, and Danny
Diana practicing her draw in the blind.
After that we all checked out our options for hunting. We knew of a few places that had been recommended but we had limited time to put boots on the grounds and check out the spots. The weather was NOT cooperating and neither were the crops. Most if not all the crops are still up and the temps were in the upper 60s with strong winds. Ugh.
Left to Right Blake, Danny, Me
After picking out a few spots that looked good we went out and tried our best. Here are a few shots of Heidi and I getting set up on the first evening.
We hunted in many different spots. We tried clover, cut fields, timber draws, and thickets. Nothing worked. In fact Heidi and I did not see a single deer all weekend. Blake saw lots of does and a decent buck and Danny and Diana saw lots of does and about a 130" buck. We all hunted hard and moved stands all weekend but no one connected on a deer.
For those that are interested JEPC looks like a great place to hunt and if you decide to hunt it put LOTS of time into scouting. The place is very intimidating because of its shear size. Food is VERY abundant for the deer and so is cover so you really have to put in your homework if you want to take home venison.
As a side note on our way out on the last night Blake finally connected with a buck.....with his BMW. We were on our way out of the park and an 8 point ran out of the ditch and Blake mowed him down. Damage was significant which really sucked. I didn't get pics of the damage, I didn't want to add insult to injury.
All in all we had a great time. We go to spend time with our friends and time in the outdoors. Maybe next year will be better.