By Dr. Michael Tveraas
-- It was early October 2006 when my unbelievable dream season began. My 81-year-old friend Walter Senn had helped me build a blind near my clubhouse camp in the remote high peaks of the Adirondack State Forest of New York a week earlier. I needed his help because a year earlier, I’d contracted a disease that left me very weak and only allowed me to walk short distances and hunt for an hour or two a day.
I arrived at my blind at 4 p.m. on the first day of the hunt and set up in 78-degree heat to just relax and listen to the sounds of the true Adirondack wilderness. About 1 ½ hours later, lo and behold a 200-plus-pound buck walked down a trail to within 4 yards of me before I could even make him out in the thick undergrowth. A branch was obscuring my view and I knew I had only a moment to shoot before the opportunity would be gone forever.
Using all of my strength to pull back my bow, I took careful aim and let the arrow fly. The buck turned, went 30 yards and dropped. Since I was too weak to take him out, I went back to camp and got a friend who lived near by to help get the big 8-pointer back to camp.
Two weeks later during the opening of New York’s firearm season, I returned to the same camp and spot where I shot the first buck. I wanted to look around for my arrow, which was lost in the understory.
I got out of bed at 8:30 am with a pouring rain falling. I decided to put on some raingear and walk over to see if I could find my arrow. I began stalking though the forest toward my spot.
Just before I reached it, I saw a buck pawing the ground just yards from where I’d arrowed the first buck. I immediately dropped to my knees and flipped open my scope mounts.
The buck and I spotted each other at the same time. I was surprised and puzzled to see a buck making a scrape in the pouring rain. But then all of a sudden the deer lowered his head, gave out a snort like a bull and charged me, antlers first.
Realizing I had only a second to react before I was gored by his sharp tines, I flipped off the safety of my 7 mm-08 Browning Micro Medallion and dropped him at 7 yards directly in front of me! With my heart pounding and head reeling, I stood over this 200-pound buck in total amazement of what had just transpired.
A week later, I found myself visiting my friends Larry and Walter Martin in Dryden, Ontario. They planned on showing me a good area to hunt on opening day and leave me so they could go and hunt as a group with the rest of their party. Being too weak to walk far, I did not want to be a burden to them. The next day we got up, and Larry left me in my four-wheel-drive vehicle near a clear- early in the morning.
I was not feeling well, so I went to sleep in the car till 2 p.m. I awoke and started to stalk the downwind side of the clear-cut just inside the woods. Within 10 minutes, I spotted a beautiful 12-point buck and snuck within bow range. I hesitated to shoot because I promised my buddies I would not take the first deer I saw, but this one was too good to pass. I dropped it with a single shot from my A-Bolt rifle in .243 Winchester.
I called my friends on the walkie-talkie they’d given me, and they came to retrieve the deer and bring it back to camp.
A few weeks later, I was visiting some good friends in Iowa on the opening of deer season. I knew I could not walk far since my Fibromyalgia condition was getting worse. So I decided to stalk no more than a mile during the day and sit and rest most of the time while sneaking through the timber on the far end of the property.
I reluctantly let four bucks walk by me. I knew from the sign I found in the previous spring that a huge buck was in the area.
While walking slowly through the timber on my way back to my vehicle, I spotted the buck browsing with four does beside him. I knelt down and took him with a perfect double-lung shot. Later, my good friends came out and retrieved and processed my buck, which ended my dream season.
I’d taken several other bucks during the bow season back home in New England. I thank the great Eternal for blessing me with such a bounty and such wonderful friends in my time of need while suffering from poor health.
--Dr. Michael Tveraas