Edge Hunting Joliet IL

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Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor
Headquarters 815/588-6040
201 W. Tenth St., #1-SE
Lockport, IL
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Biking; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Dick's Sporting Goods
(708) 675-3100
Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(815) 806-4952
7370 West 191 St.
Tinley Park, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(630) 553-5365
Route 34 and Cannonball Trail
Yorkville, IL
 
Sumbaum Cycle
(815) 744-5333
114 North Larkin Avenue
Joliet, IL
 
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
(815) 423-6370
30239 South State Hwy 53
Wilmington, IL
Other Activties
Biking; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Wildlife Viewing

Dick's Sporting Goods
(630) 554-9061
2470 US Hwy 34
Oswego, IL
 
Dick's Sporting Goods
(630) 548-1476
Springbrook Prairie Pavillion
Naperville, IL
 
Days-Gone-Bicycle CO
(815) 726-0282
207 Ruby Street
Joliet, IL
 
Enchanted Shores
(815)476-9433, (815)476-6686
11018 W. Wilmington /Peotone Road
Joliet, IL
 

Hunt the "Edges" for Deer

Author: 
Jim Boyd

The massive buck eases up through holly, elm, gum, bay and oak trees. He skirts a dense tangle of trees and a blown down white oak, ever so slowly. At 6.5 years old, he is one of the monarchs in the forest.

Normally secretive and entirely nocturnal, these shortening days find him still roaming in spite of the coming daylight.

A light dusting of frost lies on the ground, the first of the year, and acorns crunch underfoot, but hunger is not on his mind.

Romance is, however.

The cold weather is like a spark plug to him – he is keyed up and very alert…

Not quite yet daylight, he stops below the crest of the hill, allowing the slightest of wind currents to come gently to him. Using the incredible power of his nose, he is searching for what he must find – a receptive doe… while he must remain aware of any foes that may be in the area. He knows that a fight can erupt at any moment this time of the year and he is entirely unafraid – but still wants to know of other bucks in the area.

He knows where his pawed areas are and he will check them.

Soon. 

Moments pass and only the faintest aroma of male comes to his nose… nothing to indicate a receptive female.

Scanning left and right, he is also very aware of an increased human presence in the woods and constantly searches for that scent, as well.

Moving upwards, toward the crest of the hill he stops and rakes his antlers, slowly but with tremendous force, on a 5” cedar that he has used a signpost for the last three years. Shredded bark falls as he grinds the tree. The trunk of the tree is twisted and gnarly looking from years of abuse. 

The black darkness that was pure night a moment ago has begun to fade to shades of gun metal grey… but still he stands, listening and checking the wind currents…

Finding no news on the now freshening breeze, he steps fully into the old logging road. The road separates the planted pines on the top of the hill from the old hardwood growth as the land falls down toward the creek. 

Scrapes dot the road for many yards in both directions under the overhanging oak limbs. Some of the scrapes are 48” in diameter and 4-5” deep and many reek of fresh urine and feces. The licking branches are laced with male buck smell.

Completely shredded pine trees also line the area, some bent over and destroyed by the aggressive bucks in the area.

This is a deer intersection, where trails all converge. It is the equivalent of where Main meets First Street in Anytown, USA… It is a gathering place for does and bucks alike… even more so during the rut – as the scrapes and tree rubs all indicate.

The buck moves forward to the deepest of the scrapes and begins the process of raking deeply into the dirt and then raising up on his hind legs to gain the higher of the licking branches, biting and chewing to leave the most scent possible. He knows many bucks and does visit the area and wants to take full advantage of this – by leaving his “prese...

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