December 01, 2011
Illinois Bowhunter Tags 30-Point Freak Buck - 18
by Marc Alberto
Each summer hunters across the country set out trail cameras to help locate big bucks for the upcoming fall hunting season. Trail cam users know that once you pull the memory card from a camera, you’re just itching to get it into a computer and see what’s on the card. Travis Cockburn was scrolling through trail cam pictures with his son when his jaw abruptly hit the floor--this was a buck like none he had ever seen before. His son aptly named the buck “Ginormica.”
Cockburn, who hunts with a small group of family and friends, hunted an 80-acre farm in southern Illinois where the group took some impressive whitetails in the 140” to 150” range over the years.
When Ginormica showed up in July he was a buck of a totally different class. In fact, the buck had over 100-inches of additional antler, bigger than anything they had taken on the farm before. The buck tended to use the west side of the farm, and Cockburn continued to get pictures of the brute throughout the summer. Then things changed.
As early season approached and Ginormica shed his velvet the giant buck suddenly disappeared. The group of hunters had permission from several neighboring farms and they rotated hunting areas in an effort to cross paths with the buck.
Shotgun season quickly came and went without any news of Ginormica being shot--a huge relief to Cockburn and his hunting group. After the first shotgun season, Cockburn headed to a thicket he had recently found while hunting one of the farms. There was only one tree he could climb, but it was just what Cockburn needed to hunt the secluded thicket that was loaded with big buck sign.
By 2:30 pm Cockburn was settled in his stand. The weather had changed and the temperatures were dropping. Around 4:20 pm Cockburn caught movement as Ginormica crossed a creek knee-deep in water and on a path leading right past Cockburn’s stand.
With the buck already in bow range, there was no time to get nervous. At a mere 18 yards, Cockburn watched as the buck turned broadside, bleated to stop the deer and put the arrow right behind the shoulder. Seventy yards later Ginormica hit the ground.
Ginormica green scored 258 5/8-inches with a massive rack holding 30 scorable points. The base measurements were 7-4/8 and 8-4/8 inches. Incredibly, Ginormica had an astonishing 49 inches of mass measurements! Cockburn’s buck could break into record books after the 60-day drying period in the number four or five spot as the all-time archery deer in the state of Illinois.
For more on this story, visit Realtree.com.