He's a nice 8 with arguable stickers that might make him up to a 10-12 if you go by the wedding ring rule, but I'm not arguing.
It's nice to see folks thinking seriously about the stuff I write. I dunno. On the one hand, I was sort of sad I didn't let that guy grow up, but on the other there was a good chance what he had was genetic. The last thing I want to see is a bunch more like him roaming my ridges.
This whole thing, starting with the big guy last year, brought up a lot of issues regarding how and why I deer hunt. The path of hunting for ever-increasing antlers is kind of a dead end. I am sure I could best The Big One currently on my wall if I threw a lot of time and/or money at it, but then I would be back staring at a slightly larger rack and the monkey still would not have satisfied. There is not much to deer hunting once you get in a position like mine where you can scout all year round and the question of "IF" goes away and all you have left is "WHEN." I passed on a good twenty individuals before I took him. In fact, I could have been tagged out by noon of the Muzzleloader Opener.
I find myself heading more towards "NOT-Hunting." That is, taking a minimum number of deer to keep it all real, and spending the bulk of my time just enjoying the time in the stand. I was doing a lot of Not-Hunting last year at the end of season ( see [url=http://blackholecoffeehouse.blogspot.com/2007/11/sport-of-not-hunting-for-deer.html]"The Sport of Not-Hunting for Deer")
Friday I had trouble with the truck after driving the buck to the processor. I finally got it solved Friday after sundown when KYHillChick showed up with a replacement battery. Saturday was a never-ending barrage of cold stiff wind, and rain squalls. I finally got back out on Sunday, and had a very enjoyable sit in the snow. However, I was vexed with a problem: if a doe does show up, what then?
Kentucky has an unlimited number of bonus doe tags available, but I only have a limited amount of freezer space and the quota for donations has already been met. If I bag one more, that is going to be just fine. However, I would rather be left with an open tag at the end of season than give up a chance to be in the stand on the last weekend. So there I was sunrise Sunday, taking 25 MPH winds laced with graupel and having a blast, but at the same time wondering what the heck I was doing out in weather like that.
Honestly, that nice solid 8-point seemed to do me just fine. I'm not saying I am disavowing QDM and going back to brown-n'-down. However, I had a fun time taking him, and almost as much fun not taking the doe that never showed up Sunday morning. I've spent this morning, back home, running the washer and maintaining the deer guns for all the deer I am not going to take when I get back out Not-Hunting next weekend. In fact, I've invited my buddies John and Beryl over. They both are already in the same situation I'm in-- a full freezer and an open tag. The three of us will all go out and engage in what is becoming our yearly Not-Hunt.