My first hunt in Pike County, Illinois was starting off right. It was the afternoon of September the 30th and I have been watching several bucks feed in a newly cut corn field with my guide. One buck in particular was a large bodied 10 pointer we estimated to score in the high 140ís, the hunt was on! The following morning was the opening day of the 2003 archery season and I was lucky enough to be hunting with IMB Outfitters and Darrin Bradley. I would also be in a treestand on the other side of the hill from the corn field where we had seen the big 10 pointer. The first day was no disappointment, seeing 29 deer before 9:00 am with a huge 150 class 8 point just out of bow range. The guides had told us that the mornings were not as good as the evening hunts, I was blown away. The next 4 days were no let down, day after day there was sightings of big deer just out of bow range. The last afternoon of my hunt was here and I was hunting a strip of woods between a standing bean field and a small creek. The afternoon was warm ( temp 85 degrees), but my hopes were still high that a big buck would be by before dark. It was 3:00 pm when I heard something to my left, it was a buck cruising down the creek. I saw 4 tall points on his left side and new he would meet the camps 115 inch minimum size and drew my bow. As he came closer my heart felt like it would come out of my chest, this was the biggest buck I had ever been close enough to take a shot at with my bow and I didnít want to mess it up. The buck wouldnít stop to my grunts or whistles but did pause at 32 yards before he came up out of the creek bottom and I touched off the release. The shot was quartering away slightly and just a little back, worry immediately set in. After talking to Darrin, we decided to let him go for about 3 hours just in case. To make a long story short, we recovered the 163 class 13 point whitetail that night and made my year. The taking of a Pope and Young whitetail was only a small part of the experience, the lodging, food and fun we had at camp is what made me rebook for the next year. Thanks Darrin for giving me the hunt of a lifetime.