Plenty to do this time of year; put decoys away; apply for tags, plan future hunts; fish; honey do’s; remodel plans; fish; replant the front yard after killing it during the drought; attend MDF fundraising events; fish; and (last but not least) put last fall’s buck on the wall.
My 2016 Doyle muzzle loader buck is back from the taxidermist and after great debate and lengthy discussions with Linda, the great buck is on the wall next to me as I type.
For a while he was headed to the living room, but as far as I was concerned he had to have the best spot or nothing. Linda said he didn’t rate replacing the kudu which is more colorful and exotic. Therefore the fireplace spot remains with the South African antelope. In my eyes the antelope is beautiful, but not nearly the trophy that the buck is.
The great buck could have hung over the TV in the family room. But another South African antelope (impala) is there and the small antelope is better suited for that spot.
Hung the great buck next to my desk a few minutes ago. Moved him to the most prominent location in my home office and trophy room. He is the buck I’ve been looking for and he will probably be the best buck of my life, but I plan to keep trying to find another like – him for a while.
He is a beautiful buck and obtaining a buck of his stature has always been on my lifetime list. He is wide (27 1/2 inches wide), fairly tall (18 inches high), symmetrical, colorful (very dark with white face) and his hair is very smooth.
My good friend Jerry Lowery deserves credit for doing a great job of field dressing the cape and my taxidermist, Taff Vidalles (Favorite Feathers Taxidermy) turned him into a great shoulder mount.
There is a band on his right antler. It is the band that shows it was in the local big buck contest and it is part of his story. He won the award for best California buck and would have been in the top five in the out-of-state category.
Ironically I’ve hunted in quite a few states while searching for this buck. Here they are: CO, ID, NV, MT, WA, SD and OR. I’ve also hunted mule deer in Canada (AB, BC). It’s ironical that my biggest buck has been killed in California.
When I exclaimed to Linda that the buck was very beautiful, she replied that he was even more beautiful when he was alive.
Yes he was.
But, animals don’t live forever and she would never have seen him.