I've written about this buck a few different times over the years here. Thought I would post a few pictures and put it all in one thread.
The first year I could tell this buck from all others was 2004. I saw him on the last day of rifle season just after passing up a 2.5 year old 8 point. He was feeding 125 yards from me in the waning moments of the season but I didn't feel I had a killing shot in the last moments of a rainy day. The next day I saw him in the same location and got some video.
In 2005 he became a regular visitor to the backyard buckwheat and clover fields. He watched us play summer kickball many times.
We never saw him during the season but I did see him the day after it closed.
In 2006 he was a common sight. I had many pictures of him close to the house and in the backyard. I saw him a couple times during the season feeding in the plots behind the house. We alwys had Saturday soccer games and he would tease me by feeding while we prepared to leave.
I found both his sheds together in a funnel behind my house. I scored them at a gross of 155.
By 2007 he was a common sight. Typically I would see him Thanksgiving weekend and then again the Sunday after close. Some of that was due to treating the woodlot behind the house as a sanctuary. On the last day of the season I had only a couple hours to hunt due to soccer. I hunted an easy to get to spot and had my first on stand encounter. In total shock of actually seeing him I missed. I'm claiming it was due to not really wanting to kill him. [img:left]
My son found his shed while we were late season rabbit hunting 200 yards from the house. Based on that antler his score would have been close to 140.
2008, the last year we saw him. His rack seemed to have recovered to mid 150s so he wasn't going downhill the prior year. We think it may have been the drought the restricted his antlers in 2007. He disappeared sometime in mid October. While he could have wandered off and been shot by an archer I don't believe that's what happened. A buck his size would have created news. I think he was poached. He really stayed close, particularly during the season. I think he was 8.5 in 2008. I believe I have his 2003 sheds but it was before the split brow developed. [img:left]
I saw this deer hundreds of times. His core area was my backyard. We didn't have a deer within 30 inches of him before or since. It was exciting knowing at any time he could show up. We miss having him around.