Brown Gold from the Black Gold Ranch
(Published in Nov. 2005 Rack Magazine as
"Freshman Gets an 'A' in Hunting" )
19 year old Cole Foglesong of Astoria, IL, a freshman biology student at McMurry College has already made an impressive mark in the deer hunting world as he has harvested an incredible 13 point buck during the fall 2003 deer season in Illinois.
While hunting on his familys property
in Fulton County, Illinois in 2001, Cole found an incredibly
large shed from a buck known to inhabit the area. Some time and
some distance later the other side of this massive shed was found
by a neighbor. No one knew the whereabouts of the buck that had
carried these sheds. All during the 2002 season the buck that
wore them was never seen. There is a lot of hunting pressure
in this area all during the hunting seasons. I had even heard
that it had been killed, but no one could or would say how or
by whom. It may have been hit by a car when the antlers were
off, who knows, its just that it vanished Cole spoke.
No matter, the buck was not seen again,
|It was November 22, the first day of the Illinois shotgun season. It would turn out to be a beautiful autumn day with temperatures that would eventually reach near 70º. Cole was a bit late into the woods due to some pressing issues on the family farm. However he was finally situated just after daylight in a concealed ground hideaway in the large swamp on the family owned Black Gold Ranch in Western Illinois. I have been hunting this area for several years as it is one of my favorite places to hunt. I had a tree stand nearby for bow hunting, but I like to stay on the ground for shotgun season and there was plenty of good cover nearby, Cole explained.|
He had been watching and listening for quite some time, but had seen nothing. At around 9:30 he heard a noise to his side and came to full alert. I spotted a very large deer moving from the swamp toward a nearby pasture field.
There had been quite a few gunshots in the surrounding area and the deer were feeling the pressure for sure, Cole said. At first I wasnt sure if it was a buck or not, but it was a very large deer, so I prepared for the shot if it came close enough. When it passed through an open area I saw enough to know it was a buck, and a big one too.
The deer continued angling toward the hunter and finally came into the open at just 15 yards. Cole raised the twelve gauge and prepared to send a rifled slug on its way, the deer was coming in broadside and would be a near perfect shot, but perhaps a bit too close. When the buck stepped into the open, I forced myself not to look at the antlers. I aimed at the vitals, slipped off the safety and squeezed the trigger, Cole admitted. I must have been too close or shaking some because I hit the deer higher than I planned, the slug cut the spine, and it dropped right where it had stood.
I walked right over to the downed buck as it was still moving but not going anywhere, I watched as the life went out of it. I stared at the rack, it was huge just huge, bigger than I could have imagined. I sat and stared at the rack and the beautiful drop tine, it must have been 10 inches long. I counted the points once and then again as I stared at the buck, 13 points, WOW! Even then, lying there on the ground, I knew right away it was the same buck that dropped the sheds two years ago. They looked exactly the same, just a whole lot bigger, exclaimed Cole.
Cole continued, After a good fifteen minutes I decided it was time to tell the family, so I got out the two-way and called out that I had a nice buck down. I didnt want them to know it was a monster so I played it down as I told them exactly where I was and told dad to be sure to bring the camera along.
I guess dad knew from the sound of my voice that
it was more than just a small deer, but he and my brothers were
all surprised at the size when they finally gathered around.
Lots of hand shakes and Hi-Fives were swapped and lots of hooten and hollerin too. Then my dad took some pictures of me with my buck, declared Cole. I dont think there were any deer left for miles around from all the hollering that I was doing, I was really excited about it now! This was a terrific buck!
We got the deer field dressed then out to the truck
and finally to a check station were