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"The Bookend Buck"

Tom's Bookend buck
The buck on Tom's left is his 29 3/4" mule deer buck, which in combination with that greatwhitetail, makes up Tom's Bookend Bucks.
It was during the 1998 rifle hunt that Tom Montgomery first laid eyes on the band mule deer bucks. Several were of trophy caliber, and yes, they lived to see another season.

During the off-season, Tom spent many hours thinking about those bucks, wondering just how big they would be in 1999. Tom applied for the tag, and was lucky enough to draw a leftover Black Powder tag for the area.

By early September, Tom's treestand was in place. It was hung along the edge of an uncut field where he suspected the bucks to be feeding on opening morning.

It was unseasonably cool for a late September hunt, and Tom knew that the cool weather meant those bucks just might continue to feed well after first light. 5:00am opening morning found Tom perched in that stand with great excitement for what the day might bring.

At about 8:30am the first of the four bucks appeared from the unharvested field. The bucks were separated by about 10 or 12 yards as they feed into the open. It was the perfect scenario, as it allowed him to carefully examine each buck, then make the correct decision as which to harvest.

There he was "the big one." He was the last to leave the field; maybe he felt a little safer having the smaller, younger bucks lead the way. There was a slight breeze, but it was in Tom's favor. What a great opening morning! The big buck was only 60 yards away, and Tom's 50 caliber Thomson center fire did its job.

Written by Brian Latturner as told by Tom Montgomery