I have not had buck fever now for some 20+ years, so when I had a dose a couple of years ago it took me by surprise and I didnt realise it is proportional to the size of prize!!!
I was hunting at my old mucker Jagare's place, it was his first year in Sweden and he had a 2 day license and we could shoot any single animal.
Now I have previously shot a number of Elk (moose) in Sweden over the preceeding 15 years, including a 2 year old bull. In reality we were only hoping for a calf or maybe a heifer given the size of the area and the time we had.
Jagare had invited some of the people we had hunted with over the years to join us and we sat and stalked. The weather was clear and frosty and to be honest too cold to sit another evening. No one had seen a thing except the odd Roe and Caper.
We had gone to the shops to buy some supplies and Jagare was shopping like my wife, no idea of time and something still to find. I chivied him on saying we had only this evening to get one before our license was ended. He looked at me as if to say your a bit optimistic but packed his bag.
When we got back I raced into my hunting kit Jagare decided prospects wern't good and decided to put dinner on. I stalked the whole boundry hoping to catch a glimpse, scanning every clearing and cutting. On the last hill back to is house I was knackered, the final 600 meters in a gully, needing a climb to look over the top to a clearing. I nearly didn't bother no more than 5 minutes and it would be too dark to see let alone shoot.
I made the super human effort to climb the 6 feet up to see onto the clearing. The moment I put the Leicas to my eyes a cow elk snapped into focus about 150m and yes she had a calf, yehaa.
I was on auto pilot, I dropped to one knee and shouldered my rifle and rested on my stick.
Now I am one of those who sight both eyes open (years of duck flighting) and as I drew a bead on the calf a strange wobbly oak tree caught my attention through my left eye, somewhere out next to the calf. Why I hesitated I shall never know, I was on the trigger. A second glance, it was no tree but an effing great Bull Elk.
At that moment I suddenly transformed into a convulsive epileptic, the sight picture looked like I was aiming while riding a horse. When I finally got him in the scope some sense he was standing quartering head on looking over to me with a silly bush hanging from his mouth.
At this hour, at this angle and this distance I knew he had to be stopped if I fired as there are big penalties for losiing an animal in Sweden and this guy was going to take some stopping. The first shot was square on his front shoulder and he was off. 2nd shot gave him about 3 foot lead in front of his chest and just managed a third with double the lead but he was 300m+ by this time, and he was down. Later I was pleased to find 2 in his heart/lungs the third in his hip.
While I fired the wobbles completely abated and I managed 3 shots in as many seconds, it was now dark and they returned with a vegeance I could hardly stand. Jagare had come out of the house and shouted down the hill, he thought I was mucking around for a wind up, but when he realised it was for real we both made our way to the animal like school kids over exited.
A couple of hours later with Jagares tracked log puller in the swamp we managed to get my Bull back to his lawn, what an evening.
Buck fever .....you can still get it............
sorry about the lawn Jagare!
Makes a nice trophy though worth the effort.