Hi Ian,
Well. That was truly an amazing experience. In hind sight, it was perfect, absolutely perfect. Right down to the natural Blind created by the fallen tree and its earthy base sticking up like a mini wall, complete with the comfy seat and handy footrest. Now add a beautiful Autumn day in November, with temperatures in double digits, and a mission to tag a deer for a first timer. The stage was set.
While we are at it, let's throw in late morning sunlight cascading through the trees upon a carpet of moss and rock, illuminating the scene in soft light so serene it spoke peace to the soul. I was held completely in the moment. Once I was comfy in your chosen spot, like an Orchestra Leader, you began to call in a procession of Bucks, conveniently lining them up in a shooting gallery not twenty yards away, for my shooting pleasure. I will never forget those magical moments on that ridge.
I had passed on a "Spiker" just moments earlier, even though I had a bead on the "Boiler Room" at twenty yards for what seemed like a full minute, before it 'blew" and swung away and charged back down towards the willows. Then, after checking our flank for a nice Buck that showed itself to your calling, only to play coy, we returned to the "Hilton" where we got sorted for the next opportunity you would present.
We didn't have to wait long.
I was focused to our right side where the last Big Buck showed, and you had no sooner begun the "Antler Concerto" (in perfect "tine" I might add) when you whispered in an excited tone, "Here's a Big One". I slowly glanced over my left shoulder and saw something that will stay with me forever. There it was. Tall, broad and majestic...standing completely focused on us, as if trying to reconcile what it had heard, with the sight now before it. The sunlight washed over this creature, showcasing it's impressive rack of antlers in proud display. I knew this was the one...but could I move the rifle In the painfully slow motion you had prepared me for, I turned and raised the rifle to the square, then carefully dropped my head to peer through the scope. The instant I locked on target you voiced our fears of the animal turning suddenly and bolting. "Shoot". I squeezed the trigger.
The rest as they say is history. That is how memories are made Ian, and in this life, along with character and relationships, it is all that is really lasting. You have extended to me such great friendship and generosity of spirit in many ways, this being the most recent example. I am very grateful to you for delivering to me such a memorable, and exciting, life experience. I hope you give me the opportunity to return the favour soon...perhaps on a Musky trip to Lake Of The Woods.