Yah Jim. Your writing skills are over the top. This surpasses magazine journalism and is knocking on the door of full-blown book-type writing. This thread is more like a book than a short story; extremely colorful and easy to read. Your conversational style will appeal to so many hunters across the board, from rookies, to whitetail hunters, to those that hunt the west. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed reading about the characters and the world series more than the hunting. It takes crazy-like patience to hang out with those characters, and worldly experience to appreciate them.
Your reaction to the friend that stiffed you is a worldly lesson for us all. It's easier to forgive then to hold a grudge. Of course, that type of friend only gets two strikes. You can only hope that he learned a life lesson and makes it right in the future.
Saludos to you Amigo. Congrats on a bomber buck, and an exciting trip.