A friend and fellow firefighter and I decided to go to our deer hunting lease on a very cold and snowy day. We made our plans the evening before, and I was reluctant to agree because of the foul weather. Personal preference aside, I met Randy at 5 a.m. at our lease. I didn’t have a truck at the time, so I met Randy at the gate and rode in with him.
The area we decided to hunt was one I was not very familiar with. Randy had a treestand set up in the area, which I had been to, and he knew of another that a fellow hunter had set up. Since I
knew where his stand was, we agreed that I would hunt from his stand while he hunted from the other. This seemed fair because both were box-blinds and both had heaters. We parted ways on the trail and wished each other good luck.
By the time I climbed into the blind, I was nearly frozen. What a relief the heater was when I sat down and lit it. I’m not accustomed to having a heater in my blind, so this was a rare treat. The sun started to rise, and I was forced to open my windows due to frost. Snow continued to fall, but I remained quite comfortable in the blind. I saw two does foraging early in the hunt, and later a small buck appeared.
At about 8:30 AM, I caught a glimpse of a deer moving through the tree line, traveling west to east across my field of sight. It turned south in my direction and as it exited the tree line, I realized it was a buck. When he came to about 150 yards, I looked through my binoculars and realized he was a very large buck. He continued in my direction and stopped at about 90 yards. I had already replaced my binoculars with a rifle scope. He stopped, turned broadside to his right, and I took my shot immediately.
He ran hard north, circled to his right and stopped at the tree line where he had entered the field. Just to be sure, I placed a second shot right behind his shoulder. This shot dropped him where he
stood. After taking a couple minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking, I exited the blind and walked to my kill-an amazing buck. He was by far the best deer I had ever killed, and one
of the coolest looking 12 points I had ever seen.
I called Randy on my cell phone to tell him of my fortune, and he said that he would meet me at the blind. After he congratulated me on my hunt, we went to work field dressing the deer. I reached into my pack for my knife and couldn’t find it. I knew it was in there when I left home. Luckily, Randy had his knife, and we were able to finish the job. We dragged the deer back to Randy’s truck and loaded the deer. On the way, Randy told me about his hunt.
When he got in the blind, he noticed the heater had been removed. Apparently, the hunter who maintained the blind had taken it out. Randy sat for 3 ½ hours in someone else’s blind, shivering the entire time, without seeing a single deer. That’s 3 ½ hours of freezing to the bone, looking at trees and snow. But he was genuinely happy that I took the deer.
In short, I rode in Randy’s truck, sat in Randy’s blind with Randy’s heater and shot an amazing
deer. Then Randy’s knife was used for field dressing (I later found mine while dragging the deer to the truck), and Randy helped me drag my deer to his truck. It never seemed to bother Randy that he had such a horrible hunt, while mine went so well. I was glad to have a true friend hunting with me that day. I hope I can someday return the favor.