posted on January 27, 2013 14:27
By Mike Handley
A dialed-up riflescope's magnification is okay when you're expecting to take a long poke at a whitetail in a bean field or food plot. Even when a deer is fairly close, the extra power usually isn't a deal-breaker.
But a buck wearing nearly 200 inches of antler doesn't classify as usual. Bolstered by the element of surprise, such an ostentatious display of bone can render a scope as ineffectual as a turkey call in a duck blind.
Just ask Brett Robertson, who knows what it's like to yelp when he ought to be quacking.
In a span of 10 minutes on Dec. 2, the hunter from Valley Falls, Kan., nearly went from hero to goat. The first bark of his .300 Win Mag ended with a solid thump, a dead doe and a thumb's-up from his 12-year-old son, Ridge. The next two shots produced only echoes.
After an unproductive morning hunt, father and son visited a soybean field Brett has hunted for two decades. They followed a fence far enough out into the field to adequately cover it.
Two hours after settling into the sparse cover of the fencerow, Brett spotted a couple of does and shot one. The boom apparently rousted an enormous buck.
“I literally turned around, and there it was, running at 100 yards,” Brett said.
When he threw up his rifle and tried to aim at the fleeing deer, antlers filled the scope's viewfinder. The unit was dialed up in magnification.
It took Brett three attempts to hit the 6 1/2-year-old deer. By then, it had gained another 200 yards.
I had the pleasure of taping these antlers while hunting in Kansas last month. The narrow 19-pointer has a composite score of 196 1/8 inches.
The full story of Brett's hunt will appear next fall in RACK magazine.