In the forest at Ferne Clyffe State Park near Goreville, Ill., this week, a whitetail deer looks at me, hoping I'm not really looking at her. It was morning, and she had just bedded down amid lush green grasses and wildflowers. Ferne Clyffe is one of several beautiful state parks in the Shawnee National Forest country of southern Illinois. The Shawnee is believed by many to be home to America's largest whitetail bucks. The national forest, state parks and the woodlands and farmlands of the surrounding counties also host a significant overall population of whitetails.
T.E. Griggs is a writer, editor and photographer and a retired U.S. Marine.