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On November 22, Kreag Cotter of West Sparta, New York was getting ready to process a few does that were taken over opening weekend of gun season. On his way to the deer shed he noticed what a perfect day it was to be out in the woods, and decided to pick up his Model 87 Ithaca and go for a stroll in the woods out back.

Only halfway to his treestand, Kreag caught movement as a doe worked her way through some thick brush. A few minutes later the heavy-horned buck appeared right on the doe’s trail. “Possibly the biggest buck I had ever seen,” Kreag said.

As the doe moved through the brush the buck stayed one step behind. Over the next hour, the two deer worked their way towards Kreag until the doe suddenly caught wind of Kreag and abruptly turned back. It was at this point when Kreag had a decision to make–the buck was looking right at him, but this was the only shot he was going to get.

Knowing his firearm well and trusting its capability, Kreag fired a round from his Model 87 and the buck took off into the thicket. The blood trail was easy to follow, but the buck also seemed to be moving quite well. Kreag decided to back out and left his hat at the last sign of blood.

Later that afternoon, Kreag returned to the blood trail and continued the search for his buck. As he pushed deeper into the thicket deer began pouring out including Kreag’s buck. Kreag followed the deer onto the neighbor’s property where the neighbor joined in on the search and helped Kreag push the deer back into the thicket. Kreag knew if he got the deer back into the thicket the buck would feel safe and secure and hopefully bed up for the last time.

That night was a sleepless night for Kreag. He couldn’t bear loosing such a magnificent animal. Kreag drew up a plan to grid search the thick eight-acre patch where the buck was bedded starting with the southeast corner.

The next morning Kreag headed to the southeast corner with some help and found his buck lying right there in front of him. Kreag finally had his buck! The buck had heavy mass throughout its rack and carried 13 points including a huge 10 inch drop-tine. This was truly one special buck.

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