A buck that I called T9 (Tall 9) crossed paths with me for one final time this Saturday. I have watched this buck for at least two years. By the teeth wear my taxidermist believes him to be 4 1/2. I have pictures of him last year as a high racked 8 and I actually let him walk one day last year due to a questionable shot angle. This year he grew longer G3's, longer beams, mass, and a 9th point. I was getting pictures of him pretty regularly, but all at night or right at the end of shooting time. Sunday, November 12th, he came in 5 minutes into legal time at 25 yards, but it was too dark that morning to get a clean shot. So I videoed him and had to painfully let him walk away. The next evening, he came back out and for 90 minutes I watched him dog a doe, finally breeding her. 65 yards was as close as he would get that evening. I hunted this deer every day except for Thanksgiving after that encounter. I spent 24 out of 28 days in the stand hunting him or one of two other bucks (both giants), as I had made my that I was not settling for any other deer this year. I passed up many real good bucks this year that I want to see make it another year, as my mind was made up. This past Saturday morning it all came together. I had just watched 4 does mill around and leave not 30 yards from me. Once they had left, I was texting a buddy, joking about getting an itchy trigger finger, when I looked to my left and there stood T9, 40 yards from me. He sniffed around and then came across in front of me. At 25 yards I let the 450 Bushmaster eat. A 15 yard snow plow run and it was over. All of the 100+ hours of stand time over four weeks and it came down to a 30 second encounter. Elation for the reward and sadness that the cat and mouse game was over ... all in one moment. This has been the most enjoyable year of hunting that I can ever remember and this buck was just the icing on the cake.