I met "Walt" several years ago doing a welfare check - we immediately hit it off and became best of friends. He had a great sense of humor (little foreshadowing here). About 5 years ago he asked if I would like to hunt his land (about 80 acres of the most beautiful white tail woods you can possibly imagine). I knew he had family and friends that hunted it so out of respect I "just never asked".
I told him I appreciated the offer but didn't want to intrude on his family and friends hunting area. To my surprise non of them had been hunting there for the past couple years - they just lost interest. His son-in-law would hunt it one or two days a year. No archery, just rifle.
Walt, due to some medical issues, no longer hunted, he had a difficult time walking.
Every year Walt would tell me about this giant 10 point - every once in a while a monster 12 point. I spent many, many days hunting there (bow and rifle) and saw all the deer he would tell me about, except "the big ones". He would see them out his back window, either just after I left or on the afternoons I wasn't there hunting.
Every time I hunted there I would "have to" stop in and tell him the stories of all the wildlife I saw - deer, coyotes, ducks, geese, bear, fox, etc..
I told him to get a license and if he ever had the chance to shoot a deer I would come over and take care of it for him whether I was there hunting or not - just call and I would be right over. He said he couldn't due to not being able to walk and he could no longer handle the cold. I told him that since he was seeing all these deer in his back yard to just shoot it out his porch window. This last year he finally purchased a license.
This past November, I was a few hundred yards back in the woods and heard him shoot. My phone rang - "BOB, YOUR NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS BUT I JUST SHOT THAT BIG 10 POINT I'VE BEEN TELLING YOU ABOUT" he was so excited his voice was shaking.
Of course I hustled right in - he met me by his tool shed and pointed to the edge of his pines. "RIGHT OVER THERE BOB, RIGHT THERE" He had the biggest smile I have ever seen, when I looked and there laid the most perfect fork horn you ever laid eyes on.
When I looked at him he just smiled and winked at me and said - that's the big 10 I've been telling you about.
Walt passed away a couple months ago just after his 90th birthday. Every time I stopped it to visit, he always greeted me with a big hug and smile. I miss him every day.
I was invited by a dear friend to hunt a bowhunting only club along the Mississippi river. I had heard about this place but could never afford to hunt there. We drove up on Thursday and he told me all the rules and we looked at maps. Well he put me in a ladder stand on the edge of a dried lake bottom that was full of cockleburr. Between the lake bottom and the ladder stand I was in there was a thin willow tree line, I was in an oak flat on the edge of cutover. It as quite cold that morning as there was a light fog coming off the river making it colder than it actually was. At about 8am I saw a huge buck about 75 yds starting to cut across the dry lake bottom. Not knowing what to do I grunted and he stopped on a dime. Grunted again softly and he was heading my way. He was walking in the willow like and when he hit a little opening I made a noise and he stopped. I was already at full draw and all I kept saying was put the pin behind the shoulder, well I did and as I watched the arrow fly it went right under the deer and right behind the front leg. I had pre ranged everything and forgot that was 26 yds and not 20. I about cried as he crossed the lake bottom blowing with that white flag up.
Later when we met up at camp I told him the story we laughed and he gave me hell. What I did not know is he watched the whole thing play out through his binos. My dear friend is in his mid 70's now and we laughed about it again 25 years later. I was able to buy his Bronco that he always hunted out of this year so it gets to continue to hunt on.
Oh and about the deer I miss a chip shot on. Two weeks later someone killed it and scored 163. Would have been my biggest ever but the shameful laughs are all worth it.