By Bob Williams
My story begins in the hunting season of 2005. I am an avid bow hunter and love the sport. My very good friend Delano and I were like two kids at Christmas every year waiting for the bow season to start.
Soon after the 2005 season began, I spotted one of the biggest bucks I’d ever seen in the area — a 16-pointer with a very nice drop tine.
I bowhunted this deer at every opportunity. I almost had him in bow range twice, but he was always one step ahead of me.
I told Delano about the amazing deer, and it was all I thought about that season.
The first day of the Illinois gun season, Delano was going to hunt with me. I wanted to put him in a good spot, so he set his climber in a tree along a creek. I had harvested several deer there during the bow season. I set my stand at the end of a tree line about 250 yards away, but I didn’t think I would see anything there.
About 3:20 p.m, my wife called on my cell phone, and I didn’t have it on silent. “A Country Boy Can Survive” rang throughout the timber.
Soon after I answered, I heard something coming and told my wife I had to go. A doe bolted out of a cane patch about 20 yards away. She had her tail up and was acting very skittish.
I waited a little bit, and in came The Big Boy.
I raised my H&R Handi-Rifle slug gun and made a perfect 25-yard shot through the heart.
The horse of a buck took of running straight towards Delano. The deer made it across a cut corn field, and then I heard a shot.
I got down from the tree and began following the blood trail. When I reached the other side of the field, I found that Delano had spine shot the deer and dropped him in his tracks.
We both stood over the buck looking at each other. We were both happy and sad at the same time, because we now had a problem: Who got the deer?
We stared at the buck for a long time, admiring his rack and body size. The minutes seemed like hours.
Delano knew I had been hunting the deer all season; I knew he had the final shot that dropped the buck. As two best friends wondered what to do, it ran through my mind that things like this have wrecked friendships before, and it was last thing I wanted to happen. I love Delano like a brother, so what to do?
Then Delano said, let’s flip a coin. At first, I thought it wasn’t a good idea, but then I thought it would put it in God’s hands. Let Him decide.
We agreed that since I shot the deer first, I would call and Delano would flip the coin. I called heads, and sure enough, the coin landed on heads.
I mounted the deer myself. Although some of the drop tine had broken off, probably because of fighting during the rut, he is still quit amazing. The deer hangs proudly on my wall with rest of my trophies. And every time I look at it, I think of the story I just told. And most importantly, I think of my best friend Delano. It’s great that two friends can settle an issue like this and still remain good friends.