Sons of Bitches. In fact, DOUBLE sons or double bitches, whichever is worse.
Doe and a yearling fawn came through...together, so I figured the rut is winding down, as it should be. I was watching from the tree and things were very quiet after the pair came through at 7:30. (I'd have missed them if I hadn't been looking at the spot where they came out. Funny how that works sometimes.) Was just about to unbranch my butt at 9:00 when I looked across and saw an enormous buck at the far scrape standing on his back feet sniffing the licking branch.
There isn't much time with big bucks. You have to get on the gun RFN. I got on the gun and watched him dig out an old scrape. He wasn't Big Ten. He wasn't the buck I passed on. I could tell he was big but he didn't look like the huge buck on last nights post. He got antsy on his feet like he was leaving. Decision time.
So I shot him. Down in his tracks, kicked a couple of times and that was it. 130 Sierra Gameking out of the Ruger #1 7X57. 130 yards or so offhand and offbranch. Had the scope dialed back to about 6X. Some buck I had never seen, never cam-ed. I probably have him from last year.
Up close he looked bigger. I did a quick field dress and started dragging. Tough stuff but kept doing the next little thing and the next little thing and slowly things got done. Hard to get photos by yourself. Hard to field dress on the ground. Hard to get back to the road. Hard to get in the 4-runner. Nobody around to help.
Drove him around a bit to show off but the right folks weren't available to really get some jealousy going. (Called Joe to brag and he was in Nachitoches.) Hung him up across the street at Mary Burtons and weighed him. 160, field dressed. Dayum. That's big. Must have gone a bit over 200 on the hoof. Probably a 4 1/2 year old. Have to have Alan take a look at the jaw teeth. The Kid came over and helped and we found the jacket from the Gameking under the skin on the far side. Just enough juice.
Meat at the processor for Major Terrell. (OK, he appreciated him) 4 1/2 hours from trigger break to butcher. Hide rolled up and tossed in the dumpster. Head boiling down to bone on the stove.
The big one is still out there, but it's a one buck county. I don't take a buck every year so he's safe from me for a couple of years. Glad I have the deercams so I can still play even if I don't score.
Update: Dad would be happy.
Update II: Nothing like having your own Kid around. He got the cooler out of the back yard. He hauled the rifles in. He climbed the trellis to hand the scales. He videoed. He took the scales down and cleaned the cooler. Swapped knives as they went dull. Did everything. Everyone ought to have a neighborhood Kid.
Update II: 17 1/4 inside spread.