Your story made me smile. I bought a Remington 25-06 and put a 6x Leupold on it when I was 13. Rifle seemed to drop deer in their tracks. I’ve shot deer with other rounds that had bigger bullets and faster velocity. The results always seemed less dramatic then the 25-06. What do I shoot deer with at 41 years old? Back to the 25-06. Wish I still had my original. Congratulations on a beautiful deer. Love your choice of equipment.
Ha! He was just a 3x3, a legal buck. Cut the antlers off the skull. One is still untouched, but the other antler was cut up into dog chew toys. Dog loves 'em. Not a trophy buck, but a good one, with delicious meat!