The deer didn't bound out of the drive like the first rack buck Cathy Moses saw earlier in the 2008 season. That one got by her unscathed after three rapid shots from Cathy's .44 Rugar.
Instead, this one snuck up from behind, testing the wind like a wily veteran.
Moses - who serves as Schroon Lake supervisor and chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors when she isn't chasing Adirondack whitetails - knew this was her chance at redemption.
"I kept thinking, I've got to get this one," Moses recalled about the chilly November morning. "I had missed that beautiful buck my first time out so all I could think is I can't miss a second time or they are going to chop off my coattail."
Cathy aimed carefully at the front shoulder of the six-pointer - as her son, Todd, had instructed - and the .44 barked, finding its mark in the buck's boilermaker, and dropping it in its tracks.
Not long thereafter, Todd crested the hill in front of her, pumped his hand in the air in triumph and ran to embrace his mother.
"He charged down the hill and threw his arms around me," Cathy said. "It was an amazing moment with my son I will always remember."
Even more amazing is the fact Cathy hadn't picked up her rifle in more than 25 years - hadn't even sighted it in.
But, having been brought up in a hunting family, the sporting tradition wasn't alien to her. In fact, she began hunting deer in her teens, but hung up her Rugar shortly after.
At the urging of her son, grandson and brothers, she decided to take it back up.
"I think I hunted every weekend but one," she said. "The season started fairly slow, but we ended well. Todd got a 10-pointer the day after I got mine."
Cathy said she understands hunting isn't for everyone. She even questioned if she'd be able to pull the trigger when the opportunity presented itself, given her love of animals.
"But, I believe in women enjoying the sport of hunting. It is entirely different than just seeing them under an apple tree in the back yard," she said.
It also is a great way to appreciate the outdoors while connecting with loved ones - and can help put food on the table during tough economic times, she said.
"I'm so glad I decided to get back into it again," Cathy said. "The woods are a great outlet. So serene and peaceful. It's 100 times better than paying a therapist."
Cathy took a lot of good-natured ribbing from her fellow supervisors after missing the huge buck her first time out, but, in the end, she got the last laugh.
"I was the only supervisor to bag a buck this season," she said triumphantly. "I just really had a lot of fun with it."
Even better, it was the first buck Cathy had ever shot.
"I can't wait for next year," she said.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.