White-tail Deer

Rend Lake’s Monster Bucks Are Real

If you think taking a big Rend Lake turkey is exciting, wait until you have drawn your bow or looked down the site of your slug gun at a big trophy buck. Fall archery season begins October 1st and several thousand bow hunters are white-tail1hanging out of trees attempting to get a glimpse at nice buck. The south central area produces some of the best trophy bucks in the state. The #2 non-typical buck (23 pointer) came from Jefferson county in 1995 (Northern Edge of Rend Lake). The #6 and #7 typical buck came from Jackson county (1990) and Franklin county (1997). The 16 point Jackson county buck scored over 185 Boone and Crockett points. Both of these counties take between 500-700 deer during the bow season.

The fall firearm deer season puts thousands of pounds of venison into the hunter’s freezer. The 3-day season in November and the 4-day hunt in December twobucksproduces some outstanding deer harvest in the area. The top counties which take between 1500-2250 deer are Jackson, Williamson, Jefferson, Franklin and Perry. The third largest Illinois buck (17 pointer) was taken in Williamson county during the 1991 season.

All of the counties provide excellent deer hunting habitat. State, federal, and private hunting areas are a blend of oak forest, agricultural fields, brushy strip-mined spoil banks, and bottom-land timbers which provide food, shelter, and breeding areas for the deer herd.