3 years ago, i missed what i believed was the biggest buck i had ever shot at in my life. he came in like something you watch on t.v. following a doe, grunting every breath, lip curling, throwing his head around, the works. i was in a stand on the extreme southwest corner of the property line. i rarely miss. actually it was the first deer i missed in about 12 years. when he turned broadside i got lightheaded and then dizzy. i could see the lil fireflies just like when someone punches you in the head. i took a deep breath (mistake) held it in (another mistake) and shot what i am certain now, was the moon. (final mistake). i was so sick, i couldnt eat that night and refused to hunt the next day, even though technically it was part of my job. i obsessed over that deer. the rest of that season and the most all of the next i hunted him like a college frat boy hunts free beer. i saw him again that next season. this time he snuck up behind me. we saw each other at the same moment, and he bolted dead away and across the river sleu just behind me. i took a shot for center mass. i felt real good about the shot even though it was a tugh one. we looked for that deer for 5 hours without so much as a piece of hair or a single drop of blood. once again i was devastated. last season, i spent every moment i could in pursuit of what i knew had to be a bruiser. after the last hunt on the last day with no sign of "the buck" i figured he had just died of old age, or gone even more nocturnal. end of that. hell, it was a relief! a little while ago i got word from my boss that one of our foresters had found the a skull in the southwest corner. i am the only person who has hunted the property in the last 3 years who missed a buck in the southwest corner. it was an 8 point. 19" spread. at first i thought my boss was just messin' with me. but, playing it back in my mind, like so many other times, it adds up. i was shooting down at an angle from directly behind him as he ran through water. it is horribly possible that i did indeed hit him and the bullet entered on top of his back, missed his spinal cord, but hit his lungs, and never exited to leave a blood trail. that would have allowed him to run the extra distance needed to cross the next sleu over. which is where we called off the search. it breaks my heart... not just to know that he would have been my pb. or that knowing i put in all of those hours scouting, hunting, taking every precausion, etc. were wasted. but also knowing that he went to waste. here i sit, in the middle of April, broken hearted about a deer that i havent seen in over a year. famous last words of the best deer hunter i have ever known "there aint no deer in them woods!"