THE MAN IN THE GILLY SUIT   Leave a comment

Central Illinois bowhunter Marc Anthony is known for his taking of mature whitetails in the north-central part of the prairie state.  He has been doing so for over 30 years. 

Many of his trophy bucks are recorded in record books.  The most recent ten bucks all average over 160 P&Y points.  Marc prefers ground hunting as opposed to use of a treestand. 

Marc prefers the dryer years in his pursuit of mature deer.  Anthony likes it when water is sparse as its location is a key factor in his hunting plan.  He also prefers food, water and bedding areas to be within 200 yards of each other.  In his early season scouting Marc places trail cameras in prospective hunting areas in order to get a handle on just what deer are using which area. 

Early season as deer are easier to pattern according to Anthony.   “If you bust a big buck during the scouting trips,” says Marc, “do not worry as he will return.”  What attracted him to the place will cause him to come back when he thinks it is safe.  “Do not set up too close to his bedding area and remember his habits,” cautions Anthony.  This bowhunter maintains that the deer will feed late and come home early in the morning.  Marc also plays the wind.  He wants all factors to be in his favor. 

It is commonly believed among bowhunters that a deer’s ability to smell is 100 times greater than we humans.  A deer will pick up scent that a human cannot detect.  They are constantly monitoring the air for particles of scent.  The wind is the key factor in where the hunter’s scent will travel. 

Once you have established the deer’s routine, do your homework early and get a wall hanger early, according to Anthony.  He maintains waiting for the rut is a gamble. 

During the rut bucks are moving around and hunting for big deer is a game of roulette.  At that point one has to sit in one location and take a chance that a buck will walk past.  The bucks follow the does and deer can be scattered all over. 

Beginning in late August Anthony spends time in the field scouting the activities of the deer in his hunting area.  He strings yards of string between trees at about 60 inches above the ground.  It is hoped that a big buck will break the string showing giving a picture of his travels.    

Marc also looks for broken spider webs that could show a deer passed this way on his journey to a bedding area.  He does not waste his time with any broken spider webs at a lower location as it is not broken by a big buck. 

Marc places his blinds in advantageous locations where he can move into and out of the area without disturbing the deer.  He never goes in and out by the same trail on a given day.  Once in place he never moves his stands unless forced to do so.  

An unconventional aspect of Marc’s game plan is the wearing of a gilly suit.  This type of camouflage clothing was designed to resemble heavy foliage.  It is a cloth suit covered with loose strips of cloth made to look like leaves and twigs.  

Originally designed for the military, hunters are adopting the suit to blend into surrounding vegetation.  It presents a 3-D breakup of the hunter’s image.  The strips move in the wind the same as surrounding foliage. 

Marc has worn the gilly suit for some ten years and swears by it.  It’s most important feature is that it breaks up his image.  “It turns you into a blob as far as the deer is concerned,” explains Anthony.  He also finds it conceals any movement he makes as a bowhunter.  Marc has adapted his suit by trimming the arm and one knee.  This way the string of his bow does not strike strips of cloth on the suit and he is able to kneel when shooting.

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