Well this is the story of the 2015 deer season hunting a true buck of a lifetime. In August of 2015 I started seeing a deer leaving the woods on my farm to eat beans in a neighbors field that I believed to be low to mid 190's class deer. Obviously me and my teenage son were shocked and thrilled to have a chance to hunt a true giant. By the bow opener I felt I had figured out the big thicket the buck was bedding in. Opening evening the wind was perfect and the deer read the script passing by at about 30 yards late afternoon but what I never factored for was a group of 5 does and fawns that were within 10 yards of my stand at the time and one of the does busted me drawing back... taking the buck out of there. After that the pics and sightings completely stopped of the buck. Right around Halloween the buck started showing back up on my cameras at night as well as twice midday. We hunted the deer every chance the wind was right with no luck. Friday morning the day before rifle season I got a call from a cop friend to tell me the night before he had responded to a call where a lady in a car had hit what was supposedly a huge buck on the 2 lane road beside my farm. The vehicle had major front end damage and he said that even though the deer wasn't in sight he didn't believe the deer survived. So I went and walked my entire farm with no results figuring it had to be the deer I was hunting. First afternoon of rifle season my son killed his largest buck ever 153 even net. The 6th day of season with no sightings I killed my largest bow buck that scored 158 6/8 net thinking the big deer was dead. I had gotten a new trail camera for Christmas so late in the afternoon I took it to the farm to replace the only camera I had left out over a brassica plot to make sure it worked. When I got home and checked the card on previous camera the big deer was again back and in horrible looking shape. He had lost a lot of weight and he was carrying his front left leg and it appeared to be rotated outwards at the shoulder. The next night I set in my truck watching the brassica plot and right before dark the big guy came out limping terribly. Not only was he packing his front left leg he appeared to barely be able to walk on his left back leg. It was painful to watch this guy attempt to get around. Me and my son were out of a buck tag but I knew exactly who to call. A very good friend of mine had been battling stage 4 colon and lung cancer for 2 years. It had went into remission for a short period then came back with a fury. He fought and fought trying to make it to one more deer season... he was a die hard hunter and knew 2015 would be his last season. He tried to hunt the rifle season and each day was a major struggle just to get him from his house and into a truck but he fought threw it. His will to try to finish the season was admirable knowing how much pain he was in and how much he struggled to make it through each hunt. I had set a ground blind up that I could drive him right up to but he just couldn't get a shot on one he wanted. By late Muzzleloader season he was too weak and couldn't be off of his O2 so he hung it up thinking his deer hunting was over. So I called him up to tell him the buck was still alive and what horrible shape it was in. Judge me however you choose but I told my buddy I would drive him to a blind at the edge of the plot so no walking needed and hunt the deer with a rifle if need be. He was unable to walk more than a few feet and constant O2 plus not being able to draw his bow anymore didn't leave many options. He wanted to go see the deer if possible so the next afternoon we set in the truck again watching the plot and the big buck came out early limping horrible. At one point he laid down in the plot and just ate what he could reach laying there. I couldn't possibly, accurately explain how much trouble the deer had trying to get back to his feet after laying there for around 10 minutes or so. This deer taught me how much will to live a deer has and just how tough an animal they truly are. When we left I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he couldn't do it. He said he had never violated a single game law his entire life and didn't want to end it like that and risk losing the rifle he wanted to leave for his son. I told him I felt the most hardened, strict game warden would have a hard time fining him or taking his gun under these circumstances (deer's condition and his). He said just as much he felt like him and that deer were in a race to see who went first and modern medicine had given him an additional 1 1/2 years on his life he didn't want to end that deer's life that way. He said it was the biggest deer he had ever laid eyes on and it was obviously an old warrior who deserved the chance to try to survive...so I respected that. I got the last picture I ever got of that deer on Jan 10th, 2016, never found the deer or the sheds. By early February my friend was bed ridden and early March he was gone. I think about my friend often but especially during the holidays. Thinking back I'm not proud of myself for putting my friend in the position that I did. Asking him to compromise his beliefs by not taking the deer the right way. I am DAMN proud that he chose to go out the same way he lived his life...as a stand up guy. Was thinking about all of this today and was just missing my old friend...even in his last days he was a hell of a man who left this world way too early. I would have never thought any less of him if he took me up on the offer but thinking back I think even more of him for declining. Sorry for the long winded story.