Prior to the 1983 gun season, Richard Pauli of Peoria, Illinois, saw this huge-antlered buck twice while bowhunting and once at night when he drove into a pasture to attend to some cattle. His headlights illuminated the deer drinking from a pond.
Richard headed out on opening morning with a particular stand in mind. En route, he crossed a fence and ran into the giant buck he was hoping to bag. Hunter and hunted just looked at each other until the latter simply walked away.
The hunter changed plans after that. He knew the buck preferred to travel in a crosswind, so he went to an oak tree in a pasture, surrounded on all sides by woods. Instead of sitting in the stand, he climbed up and sat on a limb.
Richard never saw the buck until it was only 15 feet from the base of his tree. When he reached for his gun, a piece of bark jarred loose and fell right on the buck.
Richard thought his hunt was finished, but the buck didn’t run. It just walked slowly forward and stopped behind some brush.
A few minutes later, the buck stepped clear of the branches. Richard aimed for the neck and dropped it with one shot.
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Hunter: Richard Pauli
BTR Official Score: 248 2/8
BTR Composite Score: 269 1/8
Location: Peoria County, Illinois
Date: November 1983