By Chris Fritz
-- It was a cool, brisk late fall morning in eastern Kentucky and the start of the 2006 muzzleloader season. My best friend, Travis, and I had been hunting buddies for a very long time, and we were going to the same area that Saturday but just on different sides of the hill.
The morning fog was so thick that our visibility was at a minimum as we set up for the hunt. Once daylight broke, there was a crackling noise echoing through the woods about 60 yards southeast of my location. My nerves had started to get to me as the source of the noise got closer.
It was about 8:15 a.m. when a nice 8-point buck and two does walked out of the woods just south of me at 45 yards away. I pulled up the muzzleloader, put the sights on the buck's vital zone and tried to focus through the fog. Eventually, the buck walked west and presented a clean shot. BANG!!!!!! I pulled the trigger.
No more than 10 seconds passed when I heard a shot ring out. There was no way I missed that deer. As I walked over to where Travis was hunting, he stood looking for a trail. I asked if he hit the buck. "I missed but you sure put a good shot on that buck," he said.
We found the buck as we looked around the area from where my friend took a shot. My buddy gathered his stuff, and we walked up the hill to get a look at my trophy.
This is a hunt that I will never forget. On July 7, 2007, Travis and I were in a terrible automobile accident. I lost my best friend and my hunting buddy.
There will never be a time when I am hunting that he will not be missed. This story was one of the most memorable experiences I had with Travis, and it is a pleasure to share it with all the readers who enjoy hunting as much as we do. In loving memory of Travis Alan Hall, 1983-2007.