My beloved uncle passed on his Winchester Model 94 .30-30 to me before his death. The rifle was made in 1941, making 2016 its 75th deer season, so I left my bolt actions and scopes in the safe and set out to mark this anniversary as my uncle would have done–by putting venison on the table with the iron-sighted 94. I thought it would probably just be a nice doe, but my uncle was still looking out for me. As I walked down an old logging road I spotted this very nice 8-pointer sparring with another equally impressive buck in some brush about 100 yards away. I sat down under a tree to watch, never thinking I might get a clear shot at either buck… but then they separated. One headed off in the opposite direction, but this one came up the hill toward me, sniffing for does. I raised my uncle’s rifle once more, and the buck stopped at about 30 yards. He was clearly suspicious of the odd man-shaped lump under that tree, but it was too late. My 170-grain round nose took him in the heart, and he fell in his tracks. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to my uncle and his 75 year old rifle. I’ll recall his memory and lessons every time I look at this beautiful buck on my wall.
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