This isn't a long range story, quite the opposite, it's an extreme close range hunting story.
About 2 months ago a buddy of mine invited me to go hunt fallow deer with him. It was a cold frosty morning which made stalking difficult, because the frost made the grass sound like we were walking on egg shells.
We arrived at his hunting ground about a half hour before first light, so we got our gear ready and started making our way in to where he had spotted a buck the week before. As it started to get bright we slowly made our way through some newly planted forestry, stopping every 20 or 30 paces to glass the area as it would have been quite possible for us to sneak past a buck lying in amongst the young trees without seeing him. We kept going in this style for a couple of hundred yards until we came to a hedge which we would have to cross to get in to the next field.
My buddy unloaded his gun before he went to cross through the hedge, and just as he looked through the gap he was going to get through, he turned to me and signalled that there was a buck coming towards us. I slowly moved to the gap and saw this big buck approaching at around 25 yards.
He kept coming until he was about 10 yards away and turned broadside. I shouldered the .243 and put a 95gr sst right in the boiler room. The reaction to the shot was cool. He jumped about 3 feet into the air, then turned and ran about 30 yards before falling down dead. We didn't actually realise how big he was until we got right up to him, and boy was he big.
I got stuck in to bleeding and field dressing him and then posed for a picture.
My friend offered to help me carry him back to the jeep, but since this the biggest buck I've ever shot I decided I wanted the challenge of carrying him back myself, so I linked his legs together to get him ready for carrying.
Now I'm a 5'10" 180lb farmer, so I'm not weak, and am quite used to hard work and heavy lifting, but carrying that deer about a mile back to the jeep was tough.
When we got him on the scales he weighed in at about 210lbs, but it was definitely worth the hard work, and there are few things that give me as much pleasure as hunting.
He had a very interesting head for a fallow and I've decided to do a skull mount with it.
Here's a picture of the head skinned before we boiled it.