Went out tonight with a mate on one of his permissions local to us looking for an buck that we had seen during the does and was getting a bit past it, My mate had left him for a few years to propagate his genes but this year his time had come. We have seen him a few times since the start of the season but he’s always won the battle of wits either being in a place where there was no shot or he’s winded us while standing unseen and barked letting the whole valley know our intention. We set off tonight full of hope, it was a great night to be out, warm, touch of sun now and again and the gentlest of breezes from the south…….ideal. we glassed the edge of the strip he frequents and picked up a doe just emerging from the wood having a stretch then wandering of away from us, so we made our way to the wood edge fenceline and slowly stalked along worried we would bump the doe and give ourselves away but we never saw her again, as I was glassing in front of us my mate tapped me on the shoulder motioning out into the field about 100yds off the wood edge, and there he was, our buck, but he was not alone, he had a challenger to the throne with him and they were going at it, standing off each other seemingly unconcerned one minute then scrapping for all they were worth the next. The decision was made to take them both if we could so we crawled out across the open pasture hoping the bucks would stay interested in each other and not us, we closed the ground slowly inching forward until we were around 120 yds from them on a small rise and my host very kindly said I could take the biggest one so I placed the crosshairs of the Schmidt on the usual high heart/lung shot exhaled and held then squeezed the trigger, the 55 grain softpoint from the 223 found it’s mark, the buck jumped and made about 10 yds before collapsing stone dead. At his demise the challenger took his moment and ran at the downed animal standing over him. I passed the rifle to my host who took the other cleanly, felling him next to the first with a shot to the same place. After the usual handshake we approached and checked each beast before the Gralloch .Only when we got there did we see what a cracking head the bigger buck had, all in all a fairly easy end to what has been a worthy opponent, we both loaded him in the landy with a tinge of sadness beneath the elation. As I’m no trophy expert can anyone advise if it’s worth getting this one measured ??