When preparation, planning and persistence combines with a little luck resulting in a buck of a lifetime
Story and Photography by Bob Zaiglin
I first saw the buck in early January, and with 12 tines, several pushing 12 inches, I immediately realized that I was looking at a buck of Boone and Crockett proportions. Standing not 50 yards from me on an aerated strip of brush, it was not a difficult shot, but I had already taken a nice buck and would have to wait until the following season to match wits with this magnificent animal. On a parcel of land exceeding 100,000 acres, I knew that would be challenging — if not impossible.
The following season my sole objective was to relocate the big 12, but knowing that the six-plus-year-old could have succumbed to natural causes remained on my mind. The fact that it appeared healthy the year before and an adequate amount of moisture had occurred during the spring fueled my optimism. Persistently returning to that same area we first met, I observed a number of bucks, some scoring in the 160 inch range, but I was after only one particular animal and was willing to go without until I had the opportunity to see the buck I now considered an apparition. I had a good idea where it lived, even though I was unable to locate its sheds, but in the ocean of thorn scrub, I could have walked within feet of those appendages without seeing them.