I read the same story recently but with a Zeiss scope (including pictures). Either there are a lot of careless owners of top European optics about or most are based on one original story.Reminds me of the similar lost rifle story reported by Kahles a few years back
Kahles scope found 27 years later - The Optics Talk Forums
Chances are it was left there long after 1882. I know people who hunted with those rifles when they were young. Oddly, it's not uncommon to find a firearm in the woods. A friend found a 1906 Winchester leaning between two rocks many years ago. It was rusted and rat chewed, 50 miles from the nearest town. One can't help but think that some disaster befell it's owner.~MuirMakes you wonder what the person who lost it was up to all those years ago.
BBC News - Rifle from 1882 found leaning on tree in Nevada park