Taxidermists get to see and work with a lot of big bucks. They also put their hands on bucks of every age and antler configuration imaginable. That knowledge and experience are partly why Steve Garverick knew he was looking a potentially incredible buck shed when he stumbled upon it while hunting mushrooms in 2016.
It wasn’t so much that the shed was incredible, although nobody could have blamed someone for shooting the buck that Steve estimated was 3 1/2. But his taxidermist eyes could see what the deer might become in a year or two. It never crossed his mind what the buck might look like four years later, nor that he’d be the one to have to pick out a pose for the mount.
That shed was the first encounter in what became a four-year quest for the avid hunter from Ohio.
Multi-year pursuits are my favorite type of buck story, and although I’ve never connected with a buck after chasing it for more than one year, I can imagine the bittersweet moment of wrapping my hands around such a rack and realizing the journey was over.
You can read about Steve’s four-year journey for the 197 1/2-inch buck he nicknamed Kickstand in the Summer issue of Rack.
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