The alarm rang at the vicious hour of 04:30 I rolled over and shut it off with the intention of blowing off the morning hunt and snuggling back into my pillow. I lay there for about 5 minutes and developed a severe case of over achievement got up and dearly dressed my tired stiff old carcass. After a nice truck stop breakfast on the run of a ham and cheese croissant and a Pepsi I headed out into the frigid dawn drove south of Lamar CO and pulled off the main road onto a two track that led into a state wildlife area that was to be my first glassing area of the morning. I shut the truck off and started glassing a deep cut that lay directly east into the rising sun. After about 5 minutes I set the glasses down stretched and took a long pull from a bottle of Pepsi then continued to glass the draw with no results. The draw was barren so I started the truck up and was just about to drive off when some movement to the right caught my attention. About 400 yards off to the right was a sight that many public land hunters wait a lifetime for. Standing tall and broadside was the most magnificent whitetail buck I've ever seen, his inside spread went at least 6 inches outside of his ears his G2's towered at least 12 to 14 inches and his main beams held their mass all the way to the tips with a really cool bladed main on his right side and went way past the end of his nose and were accompanied by 6 additional tall thick points. My brain quickly calculated him to be at least a 170 to 180" class buck. Now I'd love to write this post with the picture of that monarch in my possession but the hunting gods are cruel and sometimes Diana the goddess of the hunt has quite a snide sense of humor. The buck was fully alert and I instantly got a case of the fever. Greed filled my soul with visions of putting a true Boone and Crockett buck on the ground as my heart rate elevated, I clumsily and with fumbling fingers shut the truck off yanked my .300 win mag from it's case jumped from the truck and chambered a round. Ladies and gentlemen I had a full fledged case of buck fever something that rarely affects me nowadays but apparently was not fully dormant it hit me like a case of cerebral malaria, full force and with brutal effect on my ability to think or shoot. I ran a short distance to a small rise dropped my bipod acquired the buck in my scope and snapped a shot off, of course it was a clean miss. The buck turned and ran directly towards me the shot was high the buck was confused and ran into open ground traveling towards the draw at a not too panicked loping gate. He pulled up and stopped broadside in the wide open at about 250 yards. I snapped another round into chamber and without the slightest use of proper shooting technique or discipline I yanked the trigger pulling the shot to the left of the buck. With that the old veteran showed me his tail and disappeared into the deep cut draw. I laid my head onto the stock closed my eyes and wanted to cry I had just blown the chance of a lifetime. I cussed myself and the fever left my brain as fast as it had come on, but too late the trophy buck was gone. I berated myself a bit more and admitted to my dejected subconscious that I had just pulled the rookie mistake of the century. I dejectedly walked back to the truck pulled it off the road and went over the last place I'd seen the buck and checked for blood knowing damn well that there was none to be found. I found his deeply imprinted tracks and started following them the spoor was dry there was no sign of a hit. I decided to follow a bit further just in case. After about a half mile I had topped the back side of the draw and put the glasses up. There he was! I moved up to position laid down and waited for him to present a shot I was able to get a range on him with my laser at 389 yards he was standing broadside with his head down behind a large group of yucca I waited clam now and ready. Waiting for him to lift his head just to be sure this was the same buck I waited he was standing I imagined that I saw him get a bit wobbly and even convinced myself that I could see a wet bloody stain on his flank I told myself that you must have hit him after all, besides with all that shooting earlier how could it be not be my boy? Any other deer would have vacated the country right, RIGHT? The buck shifted a bit and I caught a flash of white antler through the screen of yucca and what I saw was thick and mature this had to be my boy. I sucked in a breath let it halfway out and applied pressure to the trigger. At the report the buck jumped straight into the air and I was rewarded with a soggy echoing ker smack as the the 180 gr TSX took the buck square through the shoulder. The buck came down took one leap and piled up dead, as dead as yesterdays dinner. For the second time that morning I instantly went from total elation to a sick empty feeling in my gut. When he jumped up at the shot I knew instantly that this wasn't the same buck. A good mature deer but not the monster I had started on, staying on the scope I racked in another round and watched to make sure that he was indeed finished. To the right and about 50 yards closer the monster appeared in my scope he had been standing in some tall cactus the whole time I hadn't seen him until now. He stood for a moment looking back at me, I shifted the cross hairs over to his vitals and for as a split second had an evil urge to shoot him too. As soon as the urge came on, a heavy case of ethics and character kicked in and I watched him in the scope as he trotted over the horizon and out of my life forever, leaving me with that last haunting vision of those massive antlers flashing in the sun. I went over to my buck and placed my orange hat on antlers. I cut the tracks of the big boy and dogged them for another 500 yards or so just to make sure, I couldn't find any sign of a hit the trail was dry. When I got back to my dead deer I sat for moment enjoying my buck the solitude and the silence of the morning and thanked Diana for the privilege of being allowed to take this buck and the awesome privilege of being able to hunt in this stark beautiful land. I took a few pictures and set into the job of field dressing him. At some point I looked up and noticed a blue pickup with a spotting scope out the window watching my from the county road about a half mile to the east. I started to drag my deer up to the county road and the blue truck cut off the road and came out into the plains to meet me, it was the DOW. The officer came over and checked me and offered me a ride to my truck which I gladly accepted. After a short time he looked over at me and said "For a second there I thought that you were going to shoot that other buck." I replied "You watched that huh?" he said "Yep I was up on the butte and saw the whole thing." I told him that the thought had crossed my mind. He just smiled and said I'm sure glad you didn't do that, I said yeah me too whether you were watching or not I'm sure glad I didn't do that either. I like to shoot further forward than most Americans do on game. Here is the shot entry and generally where I shoot stuff. Many claim that this shot is to far forward for a heart shot. But in reality it isn't. Here's the heart any questions?