When I was a young man I once went deer hunting with my brother in the hills above our home. I was wearing a red and black Filson Mackinaw Cruiser and a worn Stetson outfitters hat. I was also carrying an old savage rifle chambered for the 250/3000. We went quite a distance into the woods that day. Just before dark my brother spotted a mule deer. It was standing on a gentle slope not more than fifty yards away. At first sight I thought it was an elk because its antlers were almost black with silver tips and I knew that there was a herd of elk in the area because I had hunted in there earlier. My brother counted the antlers. It had at least five points on each side and its antlers had a wide span, extending far beyond its ears. It was the biggest deer I had ever seen. When I fired my first shot I jerked the trigger and shot just over his front shoulder. I was amazed how quickly he moved; almost like a ghost he vanished over the hill and was gone. I quickly chamber another round into my gun and ran to the top of the hill, hoping to have another chance. When I came to the top I nearly stumbled into two bull moose that were grazing in a meadow. In my excitement I rushed past them not fully appreciating my danger. I never did see that trophy mule deer again. Naturally, my brother was very disappointed in me. Thinking back on that experience now in a way I am grateful I did not shoot that deer. I have no doubt I encountered a true monarch of the forest. It was fitting for me that I was wearing a true classic. My Mackinaw Cruiser was both rugged and warm. As we quietly made our way down to the valley below, with the shadows of night closing around us, I was grateful for the added warmth I felt from my Mackinaw Cruiser, and I marveled at what I had seen. I knew I would never come that close again to a deer of that size and grandeur. It does me good to know that there are still giants in the forests.
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