"Scouting Pays Off"
Written by Brian Linford

Scouting Pays Off
Brian's Buck Grosses 183 4/8 B&C
The first time that I saw this buck was July 15th, 2002 and he was with 5 other good bucks. One of the bucks that he was with that day was a very tall 32" non-typical that I believe would have scored around 210" gross. I never did see the really big buck again and have not heard of anyone getting him or even seeing him so maybe he is still up there.

During archery season, I was able to get a little over 40 yards from this buck, but I didn't have a good shot angle.
On the opening morning of rifle season I was watching a saddle and saw some deer come over it about 15 minutes before shooting light. One of them looked like a non-typical, but there wasn't that much light so I just thought it was some brush behind a deer's head. I saw plenty of deer later that morning, but no good bucks.

Later that morning I started to check out a few areas that some of the better bucks in the area normally bedded in. At 12:05, I spotted this buck bedded down, facing away from me less than a half mile from the saddle that I watched the deer cross that morning before it was light enough to shoot. It was also in the same direction that the deer were headed, which makes me think that I saw him cross the saddle before light and wrote him off as a doe with brush behind her head.
He was bedded under a large pine surrounded by thick brush so I couldn't see his antlers very well, but I could see his bases had good mass and the single brow tine that bent down which made me think that this was the smaller non-typical buck that I had been watching for the past few months. Even though he was less than 200 yards away, I didn't want to take a chance on missing so I backed up the hill about 10 yards to a bolder and set my pack on it for a rest.

The first shot from my .300 Winchester Magnum and hand-loaded 180 grain Failsafe hit him right through the lungs and he rolled over on his back and started to kick his feet. I didn't want him to suffer, so I put another one in his lungs even though he was probably already dead by the time the bullet got there. After I walked up to him I found another fresh bed about 30 yards away that had some large deer tracks leaving it, which makes me wonder if that tall 32" non-typical was right there and I didn't even see him. My deer's teeth weren't very worn down, so I believe he was a younger buck.

The day that I took my buck he measured 26" wide. After drying the antlers he scores 183 4/8 inches non-typical gross.