March/April 2012 EBJ (Issue 70) - Being careful not to expose too much of my silhouette, I peeked over the ridge and began to survey the aspen draw below. As I lifted my binoculars to my eyes, I caught movement to my left. There, not 50 yards away was the unmistakable outline of a huge velvet rack. There was no need to use my binoculars to confirm what I saw…this was a huge buck.
I quickly dropped out of sight by taking a knee. I felt like a quarterback in the huddle trying to call a game-winning play. It was fourth down and the game was on the line…the play had to be perfect. Thoughts were buzzing through my head. Do I stalk closer? Do I use my rangefinder? When should I draw? I knew that all the decisions I made in the next minute would make or break a chance of a lifetime.
"Calm down,” I told myself. I removed my pack and slowly crawled eight to 10 yards closer. I carefully did a pushup to peek over the rise. Again I spotted the buck’s antlers as he fed from my left to right. I raised my rangefinder and tried to hit an aspen tree that was in front of the deer. After several misses due to a shaky right hand, I had my yardage…41 yards.