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Well Gents, it's been a heck of a year for me. I harvested a 350+ bull with my bow earlier this year and then began to chase deer with my bow/muzzleloader/rifle. It came down to the last weekend before I was able to find the bucks we had been spotting all summer. I have passed on dozens of bucks this summer in hopes that I would find one big enough to harvest. Finally last saturday it looked like the opportunity was going to present itself. I decided that I would sneak through some extremely good deer terrain to get to a vantage point above and glass this terrain at first light. I was worried that I would disrupt anything in the draw as I moved through there, but decided that I had to take the chance in order to get into position. Right at first light I was sitting on the ridge that I had planned for, tripod set and glued to the binos. Dozens and dozens of does and smaller bucks crossed through the area, but no shooter bucks. FINALLY, out of no where, in a place I had glassed over probably 10 times a buck with a respectable rack stands up from the brush, turns in a circle, and beds back down. He had reveiled his location to me...only bad part was now he was facing my side of the hill. Every time I would make a movement that buck would look right at me. I was stuck...at 561 yards according to the range finder. It quickly became evident to me that this was as close as I was going to be able to get, and if I was going to finish this buck it would be from 561 yards. I took my pack off, slide my rangefinder out, dropped the bi-pod on my gun and settled in for the wait. After a while of waiting I began to notice that the buck was getting ancy, and nervous for some reason. He kept looking in the draw below him. Ears alert, staring. Then I notice two other hunters creeping through the thicket only 100 yards below him. Panic set in as I was sure that buck would explode out of there and over the ridge presenting me with no shot. (Obviously with two other hunters on the hill side I would not shoot at the buck if he busted.) Instead however, this buck lowered his head into the sage and sat motionless. The hunters must have glassed in his direction 5 times and never discovered him bedded. Finally they began to move off and the buck relaxed. After 2+ hours of waiting, the buck finally stood up facing me at 561 yards. I settled the crosshairs just under his chin, slowly squeezed the trigger and my bullet struck center mass in his chest. After three or four huge leaps downhill he stopped. Back in my scope again I could see him wobbling doing the chicken dance to prevent falling over. I centered my crosshairs again and shot. MISS! Right over his back. He slowly started to walk again and stopped just long enough for one more shot. This one hit its mark right on the money. He dropped in his tracks and remained there motionless. I had done it! Two trophy big game animals in one year! It was an awesome experience, my heart wishes that I could have pulled it off with my bow, or even the muzzleloader, but it has been a long time since I had harvested a deer with a rifle and it was pretty fun to change things up again after 4 years straight of successful hunts on deer with my bow.
I doubt that I will be able to top 2007...but at least the bar is set high, and I now have something to work for! :D
I have scored him, and I will give you his rough conservative score but hey...how about a challenge! Let's see how close you can score this buck! I will post the official score in a day or so.
Enjoy!





My dad with the buck:
 

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Great buck and congrats!!! I'm not even going to guess on how big, but those are nice deep forks all around. You should be proud.
 

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nice deer ...he's about 22" square
 

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Congratulations on a great hunt and a nice buck. My guess on the score would be 174.
 
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