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The Buddy System

My buddy and I have hunted together for 17 years. We have been on numerous guided hunts for whitetail and mule deer, elk, bear, turkey and hogs. Fortunately we have never been on a "bad" hunt. We have always been with good outfitters that provided adequate hunting opportunities, accommodations and meals. We never judge our hunting success on what we kill. We judge our success on the opportunities that an outfitter provides for us; to kill a quality animal, attitude among the outfitter and staff, accommodations, meals and the overall "hunt" experience.

We have always had certain goals we wished to obtain while on our hunting trips. One of those goals was to kill two Pope and Young deer on the same day with our bows. This finally happened on November 8th, 2004 while hunting in Pike County, Illinois with Darrin Bradley of IMB outfitters. Ironically we were hunting on the same farm that cold November morning. I was the first one to connect at daybreak when a 140 class main frame 10 point with a split brow tine and a kicker off of the right beam walked underneath my stand at 8 yards. My Spit-Fire 80 grain expandable broad head found its mark and the" Big" Illinois bruiser fell within sight of my tree. I was elated as this was the biggest buck I had ever shot with my Matthews bow.

Meanwhile, 500 yards away in his treestand, my buddy had just finished sending his wife a text message that said he was waiting on "The Man" to come by. Fifteen minutes later "The Man" came by at 22 yards in the form of a 140 class 8 point. His Spit-Fire 80 grain expandable broad head flew true from his Matthews Outback. The "Huge" Illinois Monster only made it 100 yards before expiring.

What a great morning! We had successfully achieved another one of our goals. This would not have been possible without IMB outfitters and their superior staff. The property that Darrin Bradley has leased is second to none. Where else can you go and shoot two Pope and Young bucks on the same farm, the same morning, within the same hour? No where but with IMB outfitters in Pike County, Illinois. In addition to the buck I killed, I also arrowed a coyote at 30 yards while still sitting in my stand trying to recover from the excitement.

Mark Branski

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