We found nothing; headed back to Wood Tick's house in the dark. I was nauseous; my nerves on edge. I'm alright with killing, in reverence, for a freezer full of meat, but slow death and possible waste ran counter to every grain of my being. We entered the house, I retreated to the bedroom and burst into tears. Then I questioned Wood Tick's judgement as we both flipped out. He said it wasn't the best angle of a shot, that may be he shouldn't have taken it. "Bad things happen out there in the woods," he said. We vowed to return first thing in the morning and look for her. I tossed and turned under the rising moon, quintessential madwoman.
The drizzle continued off and on the next morning as we loaded the dogs into the truck to aid the search. The drive was slick with mud and deep puddles of water. Wood Tick was full of remorse. He talked of hanging up the bow for good. "I should have practiced more," he ruminated. We departed the truck and followed a game trail on the opposite side of the stream from where he had taken his shot. Within five minutes Teak's nose went into the air. "She's got a scent," I said. Wood Tick spotted the doe off trail about twenty feet, in long grass by small pine. She had run a short ways, crossed the stream and fallen. His shot had been a perfectly placed, quick kill. His relief was palpable. He'd gone from a zero to a hero.
I understand and admire the necessity to eat wild meat and place myself within the food chain (grizzly attacks in Montana are not uncommon in the process of field dressing); but I admit that when Wood Tick stepped out of the truck for his shot, I had opened my window, lowered my arm and waved, hoping the doe would dart away, out of reach.