Well, I've discovered that even on a very very dry year with low grass, finding fresh sheds in South Texas is no easy task. I walked over 5 miles of heavy game trails and didn't find a single fresh antler... However, I did come across this:
This is the buck I was going to hunt this year, but he broke more than 20 inches off of his right side early in the season, so we decided to carry him another year. He was 7 this year.
I also found this buck:
I hunted this buck, who we called Jigsaw, for 3 years... starting when he was 9.
My dad injured him high in the shoulder when he was 7, and his rack the following year took a hit because of it, so we carried him through 8.
At 9 years old, he was a wide typical 6x7 with a couple of small kickers, but God was he smart. He whipped my butt all year long. He came into a ground blind setup once, but looked at the feeder from 55 yards away, didn't like it, and walked off. A few weeks later, a friend and I headed into the brush in his area and rattled. 5 young bucks and Jigsaw came running in. Jigsaw came from straight ahead and stopped at 18 yards facing me. He stared at me for about 20 seconds before turning around and running off... We didn't see him again that year.
At 10, he dropped to a 5x6 with no kickers. I drew on him at 20 yards very very late one evening, but I couldn't see my pins or my peep sight, so I let him walk. A week or so later, I had my girlfriend at the time... now wife... sitting at another stand looking for javelinas, and Jigsaw spent more than 10 minutes within 30 yards of her stand that morning. The following morning, we sat there together and the old buck came back, but never stepped within 45 yards and was way too alert to try that far of a shot. That was the last time I saw him.
Finally, at 11, our manager sent me pictures of him... He jumped back up to a typical 8x6, but his frame took a crazy twist... Cade described him to me as a Wind-Blown Buck... a strong west wind brought his left beam curling in (figuratively speaking), a configuration we had never seen on him before. He must have died early that season, as he was never seen on the hoof.
He and I have more history than any buck I've hunted, and it was pretty exciting when I came across his skull in the brush. I wish I had taken a picture of him where he was laying, but I'll remember that spot in the brush forever.