We'd had some bad weather and bad luck on the first Saturday of the PA deer season. Only one tag got filled, and we all looked like a buncha drowned rats. The ol' Weaver scope on my Remington 760 was fogged up to beat the band, and I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to hunt with it the followin' Monday.
Rewind back a few years. A friend of ours from up around camp had a break-up, and mentioned on Facebook about sellin' some of his junk he'd left layin' around. Long story short, I would up a happy owner (briefly) of a gently used Tika T3 Light .30-06. Talk about a glass-smooth action and some damned good accuracy with factory loads.
Well, Matt was there when the transaction was made, and he was just beside himself with that gun. He was such a hot mess about it that I finally told him that if he wanted the damn thing that bad, he could just give me the money later and take it. I've regretted that decision ever since.
Several years later, with a scope on the fritz and no real chance of killin' a deer with it, I was fortunate enough to discover that Matt had left the Tika up at camp, and he was willin' to let me use it for Monday's hunt.
Monday dawned much purtier than Saturday had, and I found myself on a nearby field, keepin' an eye on an escape route that they reliably use when pressured.
Sure enough, an hour or so in, I saw a column of deer bust out of the creekbed on the low edge of the field and start out across the field about 200 yards away. That ol' Tika still shot like a dream, and I plugged a big ol' doe on a full-out run.
As I was field dressin' the deer, I looked across the valley to another field. It's a little hard to see, but there's four deer havin' a bite to eat, just a few scant yards in front on a ground blind. The ol' boys that hunt that property picked a bad day to stay home.
I put the ol' girl on the scale when I got back to camp, and was shocked to see that she dressed out at just under 160 pounds, which is just massive... likely heavier than any buck I've ever shot. Last year's muzzleloader doe was definitely bigger than this one, and now I'm kickin' myself for not buyin' a scale to see how big she really was.
That essentially ended my huntin' for the year, so I was damn glad to have her to fill the freezer with. Bein' able to take the first deer with that Tika kinda eased some of the pain of havin' sold it, so that was a good thing too.