Although the buck’s bed was frozen by the time I reached it, the track leading from it was crisp. It was clear that the buck I was on would make the magic 200-pound (when field-dressed) mark. Whereas deer hunters in most places talk of antler score, in Maine it’s all about the weight. He began feeding as soon as he left his bed—just a nip here and there. I sensed that he wanted to rest again somewhere nearby, since he was at the tail end of his nightly run. Just 30 yards farther, he fed around a blowdown and bedded again. Now I was in super-sneak mode, scouring the brush everywhere for any sign of him. Taking one halting step at a time and dissecting every inch of the woods with my eyes, I eased around the low-hanging limbs of a small spruce. A mere 30 yards away, antlers and ears poked above a blowndown log. Although most bucks bed down facing their backtrack, this one was looking away—with a rack stretching well past his ears. Using the barrel of my Remington 7600, I pushed down the limbs of the spruce, put the bead on buck’s neck, and sent the 180-grainer on its way. With little commotion, the buck merely rolled over in his bed. I eased over to where he was to find a beautiful Maine big-woods buck breathing his last. I sat down and thanked the good Lord for providing me with this buck.