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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Would like to start off by saying I don't normally write long storys. But, I guess I feel that the deer that went down the Evening of December 21st deserves it. What a long season it has been- thus I give you the "Story of High Boy".

August of 2019- The Hot days of summer were here. As I was busy with work and life in general, I didn't make much time to scout from the road. My Mom and Dad had recently purchased a golf cart, and began to travel to the farmland evenings to cool off and look for bucks. In scouting the back farm dirt, they had told me that there were many bucks this year. Much more than any other year. It seemed as if a Bachelor group picked a great spot to hang out, eat and nap! While they scouted, they seen a Tall Racked buck. Not wide, but Tall. He started to stick out among the others and was for sure a regular to the buffet of Clover fields. Dad started calling him "High boy" at that time. I decided if there happened to be that many bucks in the area, certainly a camera would be a good idea. And so the first pictures of "High Boy" Unfolded.

He seemed to be a fat and happy farmland buck. With a tall rack. Of the 20 or so photos I have of him, he always seems to be intermingling with the other deer and for sure comfortable and camera friendly! I have never had a buck like this guy with so many photo encounters. I started to peak interest in this unique buck and let the camera do the scouting for me. Did he ever put on a show!
 

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September of 2019- As we crept into fall, and the days grew shorter, I couldn't help but hope to get a chance at High Boy next month. My treestands went up late, but Dad and my 3 year old nephew helped finish them. Things were set and looking good. From the scouting aspect, ol High Boy continued to live high on the Hog enjoying his leafy green meals with a full pot belly. He was King of the Hill and he knew it. It's not uncommon to see 30-40 deer in this clover field from August to early October, and he ruled them all.

I got a great picture of his Velvet shedding on September 7th. I think he posed for it! Haha. The interesting thing about ol High Boy, is that after his velvet shed he still remained active in the daylight and came out each night to feed. It didn't seem to change his attitude toward nocturnal movement. Which was nice to keep seeing him and getting photos. The pictures I kept getting were incredible. He was the star of the show, the big Boss, the Alpha of the Hill. Oh did I hope he stayed in the area until the first week of October!
 

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October of 2019- Opening day. My stands were ready, my gear was prepared. I had a time and place to be that evening and not much would slow me down. Rain, Lots of rain was in the sky falling if you all remember the opener. It poured. I waited patiently in my car to get out between thunderstorms. "Am I crazy"? I kept asking myself? Oh yes, All the way back to the shack you see in the pictures I told myself I was for going outside that evening. If it hadn't been for the break in the clouds I would not have went. I slipped in and hunted. High boy did show up, but 400 yards away won't cut it with a bow in hand. He had girlfriends on his mind and "House Salad" of the hilltop!

Over the next few days I tried to slip out and connect with Ol High Boy to no luck. If he didn't show up at all, he was still 400 yards away in the field filling his face with greens. Thanks buddy, all I can do is watch! The King maintained his ground and slipped by my attempts at tagging him.

Late october my Sweetie and I had a chance to get out to the deer shack. One of the best shows unfolded for her to see. High Boy, in all his glory came up the other side of the hill toward the shack we were sitting in. He seemed to just be meandering by, Doing a circle beside us at 100 or so yards. The hill covered his body as we could only see his Tower of a rack sticking up. Teasing us. Sweetie was frustrated and for sure wanted a crack at him. Ha! That was cool just to see her reaction. I explained it's just part of hunting and we come home empty handed many times. Just how it is.
 

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November of 2019- Camera pictures of him fell off a cliff. His brain turned to girls and we didn't see much of him. I did have 1 possibly blown opportunity, where he came charging across the field with 10 other deer. Something had scared them, and they ran toward me. Getting the cross bow up on the box blind window ledge, I bumped it. The window slammed shut and man I was disappointed. The first 3 deer still ran into the woods upon hearing the noise, but Ol High Boy knew something was odd. He turned around with the others and slowly walked back to the hill. Taking his time. Again, Taunting me.

As the leaves were now gone from the trees and the days grew ever so short, and High boy had totally shifted his pattern now it seemed my chances were slim. He just was not coming out during daylight to feed with the others. Some of the neighbors had pictures of him, so his cruising for does emcompassed many acres. I was just 1 stop in his travels. He disappeared from the farm by late November.

December of 2019- Things were slow, I had taken a nice 8 point buck back in November while High Boy eluded me. He just seemed to vanish, the Fat happy farmland buck found better places to be. The 2nd weekend of December, my good friend seen him on his property fighting with a smaller 10 point. And he said High boy kicked its butt, Still King.

I had hunted this season alot. And as we crept into December I doubted I would see him at all...
 

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December 21st- Dad had commented that he had been seeing a group of 15 deer in a Rye field each night on his way home from work. He told me that I should try this spot out. Not having any treestand around or ground blind I decided to hunt on the ground, Next to the big cottonwood trees. I thought they would give me enough cover from the deer. Wind was PERFECT, and what a great warm 42* day to be deer hunting, my last evening hunt with a muzzleloader. In my scurrying around to get to the stand of cottonwoods I forgot my rangefinder. Called dad, and he delivered at the roadside. What a guy! (Dads rock! And note to Self, they are always RIGHT!)

So the hunt began, I hadn't seen anything. I began to think "Why did I pick here, I could have went somewhere else". Oh well, it was a Norman Rockwell painting of a sunset. Who cares! Standing by the tree, movement caught my eyes. A group of deer started to come toward me in the field, but 300 yards away. 3 of them crossed a small drainage ditch to get to the rye field I was sitting alongside. First 1, a small buck 7 point. Feeding along with a doe. About 5 minutes lapsed and I seen more deer moving 300 yards out. HIGH BOY was coming. His sky high rack bouncing up and down as he trotted on a string in my direction. I will hopefully never forget that vision. I started to lose it, Like a red Maple leaf drifting down on a windy day, I was starting to lose it and shake. I watched him come up to the drainage ditch and cross it. WOW--- Just 205 yards away now. I have a chance! As the deer continued coming closer I waited paitently. They filtered toward me closer, As the lead doe was now 135 yards away I waited for H.B. OH NO! I can't see him! The big trees I am next to are blocking my view. I started to freak a little as I couldn't see him. Did he run off with the other deer out farther? Where is he?

He was coming, the King was walking toward the lead doe. He cleared the trees I couldn't see past, and walked 5 or 6 steps. I hastily moved my Bipod over 1 foot and began leveling off the crosshairs on him. My vocal grunts didn't stop him from walking, but just like that he stopped and put his head down to eat after a long hard fall of defending the hill and chasing the girls.

Steady, Aim, BOOM!!!

About half the deer ran off while the others stayed close and didn't move. I couldn't tell if I hit him as they peeled out and away across the field. 3 short seconds later I seen a deer start to wobble (THANK YOU Lord!) and go down like a helicopter coming in on a hard landing. High boy had been heart shot and skillet flipped.

On seeing him go down I called mom and dad and sweetie to share the news. Not believing what happened, I crossed the field to look at him for the first time thinking maybe I shot the other buck by accident? Oh no, it was High Boy. Down for the count. The pursuit was over, Bittersweet almost in a way. The recovery took place with photos and high fives.

We found out later this Fat farmland buck weighed in dressed at a whopping 124 #s. A fast and hard fall for High Boy left him at a shadow of his former self.

I am so thankful for the chance just to chase him. For the chase to be over is kind of sad, but also in a way rewarding to tag him. What a great buck, I am truely blessed by God for I don't deserve this deer. The Creator made this 1 of a kind buck and we had a very amazing journey this fall. It's the pursuits like this that seem to be the cherry on top, Icing on the cake. Deer hunting is a gift really. A chance to get outside and enjoy what was created and to just be filled with thankfulness with what has been given. A true gift. I am thankful for many things including Salvation, family, friends and all that I have a chance to be a part of. I hope you have had another wonderful season this year and enjoy it for years to come. Every sunrise is a great one, we are not here but for a short time. Happy New Year!
 
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