In early July of 2009 my hunting partner (Andy) and I returned from a successful hunting trip in South Africa. Within a week or so he called to tell me he had located a tremendous blacktail buck while scouting in southern Oregon. He actually had pics taken through a spotting scope at 1000+ yards and sent them to me. The deer was clearly a big one but I wasn't convinced he was as big as Andy insisted he was. I was able to make it down to southern Oregon pre-season to do some scouting with Andy. Miraculously we found the buck in the same canyon within a few hours of backpacking into our camp miles from the truck. It didn't take long to confirm what Andy had known all along. The buck was exceptional and was so wide that I didn't even want to guess the measurements.
We hunted that canyon about 12 days of the 35 day season in 2009, Andy putting in much more of those days than I. Short story is we never laid eyes on him during the 2009 season. Andy was able to locate him after the hunting season on one occasion and reaffirm he was in fact a giant. More importantly he had made it through the hunting season.
Andy was unable to locate him during the summer of 2010. In late October of 2010 I was hunting solo in the canyon we had seen the giant some 16 months before. It was a little after 10:00 AM and I had seen no deer since being set up prior to daylight. I was wearing out the lenses of my binoculars desperately looking for a deer. While glassing the same country for the 19th time I located a buck I knew was a shooter and immediately tried to kill him. Just as quickly as he appeared, he vanished before I could locate him in my scope. After about 10 minutes of rather frantic glassing I finally had a clear frontal shot at about 250 yards. A well placed 168gr TTSX from my 300 H&H Legend sent him somersaulting off a cliff. At this point all I knew was that he was a really good buck. 15 minutes later I cautiously picked my way down the cliff and eased into a nook where I found the buck piled up the brush. He was clearly the wide buck from the year before - a heavy 4 X 5 with an outside spread of 29 5/8. One interesting thing about this buck was that he was so wide his horns clearly got in the way of his grazing and he had “broomed” off the tips on each of his main beams.
The big ones are always fun.