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Sunday was a good day.

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 8,364 Senior Member
In actual fact it was a perfect day.

I cant remember if I have mentioned it on here before but one of closest friends and hunting buddies suffers from Parkinsons. I have hunted with him for the past 35+ years, from waterfowl and upland game through to rabbits, possums and up to deer. When he was diagnosed, ( about 15yrs back) I made a promise to myself that, while he could still hunt, I would make sure that he would enjoy as much hunting as possible and have a store of memories to look back on when he finally had to hang up his guns. Every year, at the end of each season, whether it be bird shooting or deer hunting I would think that it was his last and I would reflect back on whether I had kept my promise to myself. As each year started, it would bring new challenges regarding how we did things together and adjustments would have to be made. ( surreptitiously of course to ensure that he still felt that he was an equal partner in our 'adventures')
Like most of us, he is a proud person and there is a fine balance between allowing him the leeway to do the myriad of physical tasks that hunting involves yet not allowing him to do too much so that his physical skills diminish as he gets tired.....( I am telling you this so that you can understand why Sunday was such a perfect day as far as I am concerned)

Anyhow, about 6 yrs ago I talked him into buying a T3 Lite in 243 to replace his deer rifle which was a Rem 7400 in ( gasp!) 270. The T3 was lighter and I figured it would be easier to handle. Off the bench with factory ammo and by taking his time he could shoot sub moa groups at 100yds........but hunting was a different story. His reflexes have suffered and while he is still one of the safest people I know with a firearm, the pressures of hunting are not conducive to relaxing or taking opportunist shots when they are presented. For the past 6 years he has hunted unsuccessfully and had not yet 'blooded' his 243. ( you may remember last year I posted a thread up about his son ( 23yrs old) who shot his first deer with his dad standing beside him)

Well, back to why Sunday was a perfect day............

It was the last day of the balloted hunting season and we normally spend most of the day picking up the signs and cleaning up the forest. We also had the opportunity to have a short hunt as a reward for all our volunteer services over the season.
While doing the former, I used the opportunity to 'scout' out a location for my buddy to hunt. At one particular area ( it had rained the previous night which had washed out all tracks in the forest) I saw some fresh tracks coming out of a feed area and heading into thick cover. I knew that from previous experience that these particular deer would be returning in the afternoon and suggested that this might be an area where he could sit in the afternoon and ambush a deer as it came out to feed. ( one of the difficulties with Parkinsons is that when stalking it causes him to shuffle his feet which allows the deer to hear him coming) We roughly picked a spot for him to sit and I ranged the area with the laser to give him an idea of distance to certain reference points.

He agreed that it was a likely place and so at about 3pm I dropped him off to walk in and get himself set up while I headed to another area to stalk up an animal. I told him I would pick him up after dark.

I headed out and spent a pleasant few hours wandering around the forest until it was too dark to shoot, then returned to the jeep and went to pick him up. I hadn't heard any shots from his direction and I wasn't feeling too happy about a successful outcome. When I got to the pickup point he was nowhere to be seen so I drove into where he was located. As I turned around a bend in the track I picked up his orange jacket in the headlights where he was standing on the side of the track about 100yds away.

I pulled up next to him and asked him if he had seen any deer. His reply was " Yes" then his face split into a huge ear to ear grin............. then he walked a few steps and asked me to give him a hand to lift a large doe into the back of the vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right at that moment a gust of wind blew some sand into both my eyes causing me to have difficulty in seeing. ( That's my story and I am sticking to it)
He then recounted how he had set himself up just inside the edge of the trees and made himself a seat from a log behind a windfallen tree which provided a perfect shooting rest.......how he had sat watching the open slope in front of him for the first 2 hours with only a rabbit to keep him company .........how just as the sun came down he stood up to stretch and when he looked back up the slope he 'froze' as 3 does walked out of the treeline and made their way slowly back down their earlier tracks............how he very slowly moved back down, seated himself and rested his rifle on the log in front of him...........how he lined up the lead doe and waited for it to stop........then sent a 90gr psp into its neck ( at about 84 yds) and watched it slump then roll to the bottom of the slope stone dead............How he then dragged it out and field dressed it in the dark ( without slicing a finger off)...........and then figured he wouldn't carry it out as he knew I would be along when it got too dark to shoot.

I made him tell me the whole thing again cos it was like music to my ears. After 6 years of trying, everything had fallen into place and he had finally scored with his 243.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pics as my camera had gone flat............but til the day I die the grin he had on his face will stay fresh in my mind.

After picking up the 2 deer I had shot ( I had emptied my freezer of venison and wild pork for the TAKH BBQ and was given the opportunity to replace some of it,) we locked up the forest and headed home...........and I made him tell me the story again on the drive.

Yep, Sunday was a perfect day.............
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,032 Senior Member
    That could go down as " the greatest story ever told " I'm glad you kept your promise.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,134 Senior Member
    Most Certainly a GREAT DAY.

    Thanks for sharing Alec.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Glad, Alec. Great story.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bhl2506bhl2506 Senior Member Posts: 2,026 Senior Member
    Yep absolutely a great day! Awesome story too! Don't need any pictures as I can just see it in my mind!
    Refusing to conform to the left wing mantra of political correctness by insisting on telling the truth does not make you a loud mouth.
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,725 Senior Member
    Wow.

    It makes me feel good to know that there are still good people in the world and that good things happen to them.

    You are to be commended.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    You are the best friend a guy could have. I'm glad to know you.

    God bless your buddy with his disease.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,123 Senior Member
    Your a good friend Alec.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Now that is a GREAT hunting story! :up:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Alec, my dad died of complications as a result of Parkinson's. That stuff sucks. I have an idea of what your buddy is going through from watching my dad. A successful hunt like that had to have lifted his spirits a great deal. When you've got a disease like that you look for the occasional thrill that somehow comes your way, but not very often that gives you some quality of life. We should all do more for people like that, because someday we may be the one in his shoes.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,111 Senior Member
    You're a good man Alec....a good friend too....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    bhl2506 wrote: »
    Yep absolutely a great day! Awesome story too! Don't need any pictures as I can just see it in my mind!

    That's what I was thinking, my minds eye gave me all the pics I need.
    Great story O-man and thanks for sharing.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,183 Senior Member
    A good day indeed.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    Good job! You're a true friend. :up:
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    That's fantastic on so many levels. That was awesome of you to stick out this adventure well beyond the normal bounds fo a hunt and great to see a guy with so much against him finally score.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,364 Senior Member
    Thanks for the comments guys..............but I only did what I would hope someone would do for me if the situation was reversed. There is a lot of humour in his personality which hasn't diminished over the years. We decided to hang the deer in my packing shed overnight and skin them on Monday afternoon. When he came around I told him we would use the 'golf' ball method to save time..............so I tied his deer up by the neck, made the necessary cuts, then hooked a rope onto the quad and started pulling. Off course, the neck bones where he had placed the shot were damaged and all I succeeded doing was to get the skin half off before the deer before remaining bones let go and the carcase dropped onto the floor, leaving a perfectly skinned neck hanging from the roof.
    He turned to me and in a very deadpanned way said..." Wow, I have never seen a neck skinned so clean, I must remember how to do that"!!
    This then started a discussion about shot placement which lasted 10 mins with various insults thrown both ways............that had us both damn near rolling on the floor with laughter.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    Awesome!
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    A great story about an exceptional day. You are a good man Alec, I don't care what the others say about you.........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Posts: 424 Member
    Nice!! Congrats!!
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