Well I have been really busy recently with a new school schedule these last few weeks. Organic Chemistry and Biology are interesting but they take a heavy toll on my down time. However I was able to make the X12 opening weekend for deer season in Mono county. I knew that I would have limited time and resources so my plan was to take the 1st legal buck I could find. I left the house Thursday afternoon and after a lengthy stop at a friends house we managed to get to Bridgeport via the Sonora pass at approximately 8am the next day.We set up camp in Obsidian and then started driving around the zone doing some broad scouting to check out the terrain. Found some good looking areas but saw a lot of other hunters getting ready for the Saturday openers. We drove to Twin lakes for lunch and to check out the fishing and then to Buckeye and Emma to asses some terrain. We also went into Kens Sports Shop down town to chat with some of the locals what a cool little spot, I recommend all sportsmen to visit this shop. The owner I assume Ken and his wife and staff where more then happy to chat with us. I like small towns they have a charm and the people who live there do too. Well it has been a warm year apparently and the deer don't move much till the snow brings them down based on the intel I gathered while there but that didn't deter us.We made it back to camp and decided to go for a walk and see if we could glass something for us to chase in the morning. We calculated a route that seemed to hold deer based on our view of the surrounding area and planned to hike back to the truck in the dark. Our 5 mile hike gave us a good lay of the area and there where deer everywhere must have seen 30 or more. Unfortunately they where all does and spikes. We also managed to piss off some cows and had a bull come over to take a closer look at us, seemed like he didn't care for us being around either. Now I don't know much about cattle but I didn't like this bull following us around. Unfortunately the cows and the bull where between us and the trail back to the car so there was no other way around. It took a load of screaming and smacking brush to scare the bull off of us as he kept getting closer and wasn't the most friendly looking. I was wishing I had my rifle in case it really decided to charge us but fortunately we managed to change its mind around sunset. We made a B line for the truck at this point since we didn't want to come up on the bull again in the dark as that could make for an interesting story, those Spanish bull fighters and rodeo clowns have even more of my respect. Well all this heifer excitement was too much for us and apparently the deer too so we decided to try out another area for openers. Our intent to hunt here was thwarted by some fierce tri tip that did not want to play fair. I wonder how many ranchers get a kick out of watching non rancher folk like myself running around the woods looking for deer where they purchased the grazing rights for their herds. Maybe I need to volunteer some time at a ranch and learn how to think like a cow or in this case a bull, I remember a friend of mine mentioning how to castrate bulls but that's a different story, pay back?We hit the sage hills before sunrise the following day to a warm 32 degrees Fahrenheit, my idea of warm and the locals idea of warm is skewed but that's OK I can hang. As the sky lite up and we where meandering in the 4x4 we saw deer everywhere. Or should i say my buddy did I couldn't see anything till he pointed them out too me, I was not on my A game. There where spike bucks sparing on one hill side with about a dozen does scattered around. There where another 12 or so more does on the other side of the hill. We where still in the car trying to figure out where to hike when we saw some other cars coming our way. We decided to pull over and hike towards one of the hills away from the other hunters as we didn't want to solely road hunt. We continued seeing deer and occasional rabbits, some of them where the same ones as earlier, but I finally spotted a deer and it was a legal buck about 800 yards away. He was following a herd of a half dozen does we had seen on the other side of the hill. We decided to get back to the vehicle and drive down a half mile or so and see if we could head him off. We hiked around a half dozen ridges and glassed as much as we could but it wasn't until the last ridge where we had last seen him that we found him. He was bedded down behind a rock at what I ranged to be 150 yards! This was a great start to the day.Well here I go with the excuses but for the new hunters that read this I hope you learn from my mistakes. The hiking at almost 10,000 feet elevation was making me breath like an exasperated yeti and was not helping me steady my crosshairs nor was the fact that the type of shape I'm in is round or that I haven't been to the range because of my pre dental curricular activities taking up most of my schedule. Regardless I aimed and shot at the bedded buck. Boom...... I missed! We where higher then the buck with the sun at our backs. The buck jumps up as the bullet smacks the rock in front of it, stupid rock it it wasn't there I wouldn't be running the following fiasco (This is where you roll your eyes). It runs a little but doesn't know where to go. I'm even more nervous now cause I missed. I rush the shot Boom....I missed again. I'm thinking noooooo! (range time is never over rated) But wait the buck is still confused as to where the shots are coming from and he starts walking towards us up the ridge. This time I hear my friend say, "Take your time hes coming right to us." I start to breath slower and steady my aim, I follow the moving deer till he stops broadside at a hundred yards. I relax and pick a spot right behind the crease of his front shoulder and decided to take the shot. BOOM...... I don't see anything as my scope jumps. Did I hit him, did I miss again? The whole time I'm thinking I should have gone to the range. The buck starts side hilling away I hear my friend yelling "He going down." He means to say that "I shot him," I understand it as "Hes getting away." Now I am even more nervous I take another shot and I hit him again right in the guts.....I'm not impressed with my shooting skills at this point at all nor is my hunting partner, I'm rather disappointed in myself. However I scream out "YES!" like a giddy little kid when he finally beats his brother at a game of backgammon for the first time in 15 games. I'm happy because this beautiful buck goes down in my friends sense of the words, I had shot him. We let things settle in particular my nerves and are presence is acknowledge by some curious Chuckar who have been screeching and flying up and down the hill side where we are perched. We decided to quarter him out and pack the meat to the truck. He's not big but I'm happy. I have been eating tag soup for the last two years so this year I'm making some venison sausage. That same day we headed back home. It was a long journey but I had to study for a Biology exam. Sometimes we do crazy things just to get some time in the field. I'm glad I was able to make it out and be successful on a whim but next time I return I hope to have more time in this beautiful country.Be safe out there and never under estimate the importance of the shooting range.