Larry Bair, Illinois

On Nov. 21, 1998, second day of the year's first shotgun season in Calhoun County, Illinois, Larry Bair hunted for three hours or so without seeing anything. Then he heard a grunt and spotted movement coming out of thick saplings on the ridge above. The 165-inch 10-pointer had his head down and was moving quickly, which might have been a problem; however, Larry noticed his shotshell wasn't fully chambered, and when he chambered it properly, the buck heard the loud click and stopped. He obviously shouldn't have. The bruiser had a 30-inch neck circumference and field-dressed 180 pounds.

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