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Overcoming Adversity

Marshian

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
490
Location
Indeterminate
When I drew a special unit Montana deer tag this past spring , I never imagined that life as I knew it would be turned upside down just a few months later. I’ve been severely nearsighted my whole life, which is a risk for factor for retinal detachment. One day in mid July while tying my shoe I noticed a dark shadow blotting out about a quarter of my peripheral vision in the upper, inner quadrant of my right eye. Three days later I was undergoing surgery to save my vision not knowing if I would be permanently blind in my right eye which is my shooting eye. And added bonus is that that the recovery period involved me laying facedown on a massage table for all waking hours for a week so this special gas bubble would float to the back of my eye and help the retina reattach. And on top of that, the surgery saves my vision but will lead to a cataract within a year or two at most- awesome news for a guy who just turned 40! The icing on the cake which I found out on opening day, is that eye is now quite sensitive to drying out which causes severe haze/ fogging so now I usually hunt in ski goggles if it’s at all cold or windy- which central Montana has plenty of both!

The good news was that I made a complete recovery and dont need cataract surgery for another few months at least so I’m back in the game for this season. I filled my antelope and deer B tag so felt confident in my shooting, and I had this week off to chase a big muley.

Every now and then I deeply enjoy hunting solo, and with my wife and daughter visiting relatives for the week, I had nothing but time to relax and go my own speed. I had heard about a block management that was the place to be, but its reservation only, and despite calling as soon as the lines opened, I never got through. So for the first few days I cruised around and hiked my butt off with limited success- seeing a few deer here and there but nothing impressive.

Looking at the maps further, I noticed some state land immediately adjacent to the block management that I tried to get on. With nothing to lose, I check it out and saw numerous deer on the private land on the drive in. Feeling quite optimistic, I started glassing and saw two bucks worth pursuing. They were both within fifty yards of the private land boundary, but the one seemed good by me. I was able to get a good range, the pine tree right behind my buck was 325, and I had an excellent rest. I shoot a 7mmHT Sako Finnlight and love that gun and have total confidence in it.

KABOOM! When I got back on the scope I saw my deer lurch and looked very ill. I was just about to shoot again when he tipped over. Walking toward him, I still wasnt really sure how good he was. I’ve never shot anything close to a B&C animal, so I’m very familiar with ground shrinkage. This guy was just the opposite!! Not the widest or tallest, but dang if he isn’t thick all the way through.

I screamed for joy and thanked God. Knowing how close I was to being permanently disabled, and then to come back for a great animal was super special for me. After savoring my obligatory victory beer, I headed into town to show my brother and friends before taking him to the taxidermist. I’m not very good at scoring but the guy said 170 at least and very possible B&C. Doesn’t matter tho. He will always be cherished by me and I couldn’t be happier. A86D77FB-BB94-4B32-B6C4-5A90A06EBFF2.jpeg FE617306-E11A-4A6D-B88A-A8E22864D95B.jpeg 77B58118-1FF4-43B6-926A-DA6D5E9DD0A5.jpeg 6A5ED334-3D8B-40BE-AD9F-CA663DD8E95D.jpeg 50DEEFFE-9748-43FB-937E-723A7FDEC7DE.jpeg EAAC7C5B-A644-4344-84D6-C567AC13625D.jpeg
 

Marshian

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
490
Location
Indeterminate
When I drew a special unit Montana deer tag this past spring , I never imagined that life as I knew it would be turned upside down just a few months later. I’ve been severely nearsighted my whole life, which is a risk for factor for retinal detachment. One day in mid July while tying my shoe I noticed a dark shadow blotting out about a quarter of my peripheral vision in the upper, inner quadrant of my right eye. Three days later I was undergoing surgery to save my vision not knowing if I would be permanently blind in my right eye which is my shooting eye. And added bonus is that that the recovery period involved me laying facedown on a massage table for all waking hours for a week so this special gas bubble would float to the back of my eye and help the retina reattach. And on top of that, the surgery saves my vision but will lead to a cataract within a year or two at most- awesome news for a guy who just turned 40! The icing on the cake which I found out on opening day, is that eye is now quite sensitive to drying out which causes severe haze/ fogging so now I usually hunt in ski goggles if it’s at all cold or windy- which central Montana has plenty of both!

The good news was that I made a complete recovery and dont need cataract surgery for another few months at least so I’m back in the game for this season. I filled my antelope and deer B tag so felt confident in my shooting, and I had this week off to chase a big muley.

Every now and then I deeply enjoy hunting solo, and with my wife and daughter visiting relatives for the week, I had nothing but time to relax and go my own speed. I had heard about a block management that was the place to be, but its reservation only, and despite calling as soon as the lines opened, I never got through. So for the first few days I cruised around and hiked my butt off with limited success- seeing a few deer here and there but nothing impressive.

Looking at the maps further, I noticed some state land immediately adjacent to the block management that I tried to get on. With nothing to lose, I check it out and saw numerous deer on the private land on the drive in. Feeling quite optimistic, I started glassing and saw two bucks worth pursuing. They were both within fifty yards of the private land boundary, but the one seemed good by me. I was able to get a good range, the pine tree right behind my buck was 325, and I had an excellent rest. I shoot a 7mmHT Sako Finnlight and love that gun and have total confidence in it.

KABOOM! When I got back on the scope I saw my deer lurch and looked very ill. I was just about to shoot again when he tipped over. Walking toward him, I still wasnt really sure how good he was. I’ve never shot anything close to a B&C animal, so I’m very familiar with ground shrinkage. This guy was just the opposite!! Not the widest or tallest, but dang if he isn’t thick all the way through.

I screamed for joy and thanked God. Knowing how close I was to being permanently disabled, and then to come back for a great animal was super special for me. After savoring my obligatory victory beer, I headed into town to show my brother and friends before taking him to the taxidermist. I’m not very good at scoring but the guy said 170 at least and very possible B&C. Doesn’t matter tho. He will always be cherished by me and I couldn’t be happier. View attachment 162388 View attachment 162389 View attachment 162390 View attachment 162391 View attachment 162392 View attachment 162393
10C55910-6DAF-4C70-9423-3E61E444BF79.jpeg 7B70C37A-6F5E-4F4F-8E42-FC440538AE23.jpeg
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
1,579
I feel your pain ... literally. Three retina detachments in the left eye 2003-04. And multiple laser repairs to it (six) and my shooting right eye (at least four). Left eye is not great but I can see and not filled with silicone oil. I am very surprised your ophthalmologist is considering cataract surgery so soon! For whatever reason no one seems to know, that surgery has an increased probability of triggering another detachment. They waited two years after my last detachment before replacing the lens. And then they waited till I couldn't see well enough to drive before removing the cataract in the other eye. You hopefully are not using the ophthalmologist in Havre? My school pal (1st grade to college roommates) is an optometrist in Lewistown. If you are looking for a second opinion, he can send you to the best. Dr. Richard M at All Family Vision. Tell him the Ontario Pheasant Hunter sent you.

When you do get the lens replaced you may notice some double vision, especially driving in poor light. That is caused by the silicone buckle distorting the shape of eyeball irregularly. Tell your optometrist and he can correct it with a prism lens for your glasses.

I guess you understand that this problem is likely to get more serious as you age and the vitreous fluid thickens and pulls at your retinas. You are in the high risk category being so near sighted. The risk will only get higher as you age. Fortunately for me the onset was middle age and I am not greatly near sighted. It took years but am now "over the hump" with the aging thing and my eyes have stabilized. I can now safely shoot thousands of rounds trap and skeet every year ... but I switched to a heavy automatic and light loads to mitigate recoil (except goose hunting but I don't shoot many rounds even in a good season). If you haven't already, you should talk to your doctor about your shooting.

I suspect the dry eye thing may pass but that eye will probably always be sensitive to light since the detachment was so close to the macula. You are lucky to have saved it!

And what a buck! A real beauty.
 
Last edited:

Western Traveler1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
822
Location
The Front Montana
Great buck Marshion! Glad you were able to put your hunt together. With all the adversity it is a Memory of a lifetime. It’s definitely a fun Unit to hunt!
 
Last edited:

Nameless Range

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
3,844
Location
Western Montana
Dang! That is a heck of a thing to happen and would be quite frightening. It's awesome that you healed up enough to have a great hunting season. That is a great buck! Congrats!
 

CouesKelly

Active member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
114
Wow! Good for you toughing it out. I can imagine that an eye injury like that can be just as taxing mentally as physically. Excellent buck as a reward for your perseverance!
 

Sask hunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
1,403
Congrats! I’ll be stealing your loading idea. Way better then having a heart attack trying to lift a deer into the truck
 

buck23

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
117
Location
NC
Heck of a buck and glad your eyes are back on track that has always been one of my biggest fears. Really good neck on that deer should make a great looking mount. Congrats.
 

rtraverdavis

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
2,466
Location
OREGON
Awesome deer! Love the mass. Glad your retina is healing well and that you were able to make the most of your hunt. I also think that a zoomed-in version of that bloody eye picture of you should your profile pic. That way, no one will ask for your honey holes.
 

Jape

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
1,514
Great buck and even better that your eye is doing so well. Hope the cataract surgery goes well!
 

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