I spent a couple seasons hunting a specific buck...that I never killed. Did see him twice though. Once was walking out on a full moon and he crossed the road I walk in on about 1/4 mile from my stand. lit up by the moon, could have smoked him lol....the next time I saw him I got into my stand one morning after a long 1 mile or more walk. and a young 4 point came up right as I stepped on my platform. I had a good wind, but I reckon he heard some commotion in the leaves as I approached. He walked all around , and stomped for a bit but finally left. I stood there frozen the entire time, it was a well hidden stand. when he left I looked up, and I saw the rack of a the buck id been hunting through the thick timber and he was with a doe, he turned her away from me and escorted her back into thicker darker timber. I never saw that deer again. I never got a picture of him the next year until after the season, though I hunted him believing he was alive...which he was. The deer was special to me because I had passed him as a young 2 year old nine, and got to watch and hunt him until he was 6. To my knowledge he was never killed. He was wounded once on a neighboring property. It was actually the night before the last time I saw. I still hunt stands and areas where I have good bucks on camera but on public I don't particularly hunt a specific deer. Its miserable having no success but the chase is fun even if its unsucessfull. Ive only killed a deer that I hunted all season once. I have however killed target bucks before that I knew existed but generally it was on the first time in type situation.
You're not hunting the whole herd. It only takes one buck to turn your entire season into a successful one. - BILL WINKE