A promising public-land tract. A handful of revealing scouting missions. When a father-son duo lean on HuntStand for guidance, our Week 10 winner emerges.

Illinois hunter Caleb Phillips knows all about the value of leaning on HuntStand while scouting and building a solid rut-hunt gameplan. As proof, Phillips, 36, can point to his personal-best buck—bagged in early November on state public land he’d never hunted before, as his 8-year-old son looked on. For sending in the photos and story of a very special HuntStand success story, Phillips is the final, Week 10 winner in our 2020 HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest that earns him a sweet pack from ALPS OutdoorZ: The Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (see below). The weekly win also makes Phillips eligible for our Grand Prize drawing that we’ll announce next week (more on that below).

“I bagged my biggest buck to date on November 7th on public land in Illinois, with help from HuntStand—a pretty awesome experience,” Phillips wrote. “It was my first year hunting this piece of public land, and yes, it was very important to have an app like HuntStand to build a solid gameplan. I spent a lot of time checking out the property with the many helpful HuntStand map layers before we went down.

Week10two 900“I used HuntStand to scout areas where I wanted to put boots on the ground; the new-to-us public tract we chose is quite large, and kinda all looked the same when driving around it. I studied the aerial maps from home, then hiked in and dropped pins where I found good fresh beds, good buck sign, well-used trails, and favored creek crossings. My favorite HuntStand feature is the ease of dropping pins and ability to log/describe hot sign; it really is fast and easy.

Week10five 900“A group of guys from church and two of my kids and I took the trip down (about two hours) four times before the season even started, to scout and hang trail cameras. We got some nice bucks on camera, but nothing as big as the one I killed. A group of us stayed at the local campground November 6-8, so we would be able to hunt all weekend. I told the guys going in that November 7th was my favorite day to hunt of the whole season.Week10four 900HuntStand accurately forecasted that the afternoon of November 7th the weather would not at all be what we hoped for; the day proved to be almost 80 degrees with a south wind. I had my eight-year-old son Jack with me, and we hiked in almost a mile before we found a suitable deadfall where we could sit. With an eight-year-old I knew there was no way we could hunt from a treestand; I brushed in our makeshift natural blind the best I could.

“The blind overlooked a bedding area I’d found, and we eventually saw a couple does and even a nice buck, but the deer were never in range. Just before 5 p.m., my son said he heard a deer to our right, and asked if I could blow my grunt call a couple times. I did, and within a couple minutes this buck appeared. As he approached I could see his antlers skylined, with the sunset behind him through the trees—absolutely beautiful!Week10three 900“It didn’t take long before I saw his drop tine, but didn’t really realize the buck was as large as he was. He walked in to 9 yards, slightly quartering towards me, but felt confident in the shot; using my Tenpoint Titan M1 crossbow I drove my arrow cleanly through his vitals with full penetration. In seconds we thought we heard him crash, but backed out and came back in an hour—just to be safe. We found him piled up against a tree within 50 yards.

“I was very thankful for all the help we had getting him out; it would have been almost impossible if it was only Jack and I. Thank you HuntStand!”ALPSQuickdraw-Edge 900Team HuntStand has now chosen 10 weekly winners that we began sharing with the extensive HuntStand community Sept. 25; EACH weekly winner will receive the Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (valued at $79.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above). This unique single-sling daypack offers quick and easy swing-around access to gear compartments. Unlike traditional shoulder straps, the single sling allows free range of motion. You’ll also find a drop-down pocket that securely carries a bow or gun, MOLLE webbing with bungee system for toting a quiver or extra gear, and a 2L water reservoir to keep you hydrated. ALPSContenderX 900 All 10 weekly winners will now be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize: an ALPS OutdoorZ Contender X pack (valued at $229.99; image above). Pack specialist ALPS is calling this feature-packed design the ultimate whitetail day pack; the coolness of the Contender X begins with its innovative self-standing L-shape frame, which allows you to set your pack on any flat surface. The unique U-shaped zipper provides extra-large, flip-down top access to the main compartment—ideal for easy gear access while hanging in your stand or sitting on the ground, without losing precious pack contents. The Lycra covered molded foam suspension ensures carrying comfort even when fully loaded with hunting necessities.

Team HuntStand would like to thank all who submitted entries for this exciting 2020 contest; we couldn’t offer this timely, engaging content without your cooperation. And if you missed our contest entry deadline, know that we always appreciate hearing new HuntStand app success stories. Anyone who would like to share their 2020 hunt stories and photos with the extensive HuntStand community is urged to email HuntStand Executive Editor Mark Melotik: [email protected]



HuntStand is the #1 hunting and land management app in the country. It combines advanced mapping tools with powerful map layers to allow users to create and share the best hunting maps possible.