Taking the Good With the Bad

I first saw this buck in early June and just knew he was going to be a good one.

My mind, however, was on another buck I’ve been hunting now for the past four years and he accounted for most of my tracking time. I didn’t think or see anything of the new buck again until the middle of August when I came across him again.

Impressed by his size I decided to send a picture to Charles Alshiemer, contributing field editor for “Deer and Deer Hunting” magazine. He estimated that the buck might grow about ten more inches and he agreed that it was an incredible buck. He wished me luck.

(Left) One of the author’s photos of this buck was sent to Charles Alshiemer.

Unfortunately, I never saw the buck after that not even on my trail cameras. Archery season came and went without sightings of either of the elusive bucks I was after.

Before I knew it, it was the first week of rifle season, then the last day. I hiked to my usual spot, I sat for an hour.  Then suddenly I heard a shot and down from the mountain side strutted the buck that I have been tracking for the past four years.

I put the scope on him and gingerly squeezed the trigger. Click. He continued down the mountain and out of sight. Darn. In an instant I realized that in my haste earlier that day I had forgotten to put one in the chamber.

I was about to give myself an earful when I heard rustle and saw another buck running down the same path. I quickly corrected my mistake, eyed him up and took my shot.  He went down on the spot. 

When I came in to get a better look at my kill it was only then that I realized that lying there was the other big buck that I had spotted earlier in the summer.  I gave thanks to our Father in heaven for allowing me to be so lucky.

(Right) The author with his harvest. (Photo by Jay Drasher)

He ended up scoring 131 6/8 and was 3 ½, not bad for almost finishing the season empty handed.