My son and I had scouted a very nice 8 point buck before primitive weapon season. We were able to set up a spotting scope and spend quite some time checking him out. He was heavy with very nice G2 and 3s. I saw him the day before the season began but did not see him again. I hunted the primitive weapon season and then rifle season and passed on many does and other bucks hoping to see him again. Then the second weekend of rifle season I was watching a group of does with a few young bucks. This guy joined the group and I was sure that he was the one. The range was 235-265 yards(checked with range finder the next day). I had decided that I would use my Winchester 70 Safari grade 375 H&H since I have not hunted with it before (and it does not look like I will get to Africa any time soon!). It was carrying a 1.5x5 power Leupold scope on quick release rings. At that range, late in the afternoon, and with that scope he looked very good. At the shot he ran less than 20 yards and went down. I could not see him after he went down (eyes are not too good as it gets dark after cataract surgery). I waited a few minutes thinking that maybe I should shoot a doe too as they had run toward me at the shot instead of away. The longer I waited the more nervous I got as I could not find him on the ground with my binoculars. Forget the does! I decided to go on down the hill to where I thought he was. As I got closer I thought that I saw belly white! Nope, just an old log with no bark-getting more nervous now as I have not used this rifle at that range and only had my ballistic table to gauge the shot for. Finally at 40 yards I saw an antler sticking up. Whew!! Antler stinking above the grass is at least a decent buck. I got to where he was and was very pleased with him. A nice buck for my farm. His width looked good but he looked different than what I remembered?! Where were his 10 " G2s and 6" G3s? I had shot the "wrong" buck!?! I called my son to come down and help me get him back to the barn. He agrees that it was not the one we had been waiting for but he is still nice. Had I known, I would probably have passed on him and left him for one of the younger guys. That's OK because I still have 6 more weeks to look for the big guy!
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