If you’ve been hunting whitetail deer for very long I don’t have to tell you because it’s happened to you on occasion.

According to the Urban Dictionary, ground shrinkage is:

when you see a big buck through your gun scope, but when you walk up to it on the ground, its antlers have magically shrunk.

While shrinkage has a negative connotation, it’s not really a bad thing. It’s one of the quirks of deer hunting. It happens. Embrace it.

The Texas buck in the photo is a good example. His rack was a good 20 inches smaller on the ground than when I lined my 6X scope on him at 200 yards, but he was still a fine deer, and good eating.

Accept shrinkage as we might, none of us wants it to happen. Click here for tips on how to judge and shoot a buck that, on the dirt, has antlers as large as you thought when you pulled the trigger, or, better yet, even bigger.

No ground shrinkage on this buck is what we all want to see and hear.