**WARNING** This is going to be a long post and quite a few pictures, so bear with me. So as I posted earlier this year I was drawn for the Open Zone fundraiser tag. This allowed me to hunt any zone during is normal open season, when I saw it on my phone, I didn't believe it and had to look it up on an actual computer to confirm I had drawn it. And I had. A week after the draw was posted I received a call from someone at Fish and Wildlife congratulating me on the draw and giving me the rundown on what I needed to do. First off, it's not a tag you can just go and hunt with. You must contact the chief warden for the area to let them know where and when you will be hunting. Other than that, she said if I had any questions that I could call her and she'd give me any assistance I needed. She wished me good luck and that was that. 2 weeks later I receive the tag in the mail, with a congratulations letter and all the contact information for all the district offices with the number to call highlighted to inform the wardens of my intention to hunt in their district. Then life took a turn. I was in Hong Kong for work in early July and received word from my family that my dad had 2 strokes. We had a conference call a day later with the doctor to go over what all happened and what the prognosis was. It was not good, so I flew home early, spent a couple days getting bags unpacked, repacked, booking tickets for myself and my wife and kids, and flew back to Illinois to see my dad. We ended up having to extend our stay for a second week and unfortunately he passed away on July 29th. Another week to help my mom and sisters to arrange the funeral, tie up some loose ends and support her and we sadly flew back to San Jose. This is where the bulk of my vacation time was spent this year. So my plans to do the hunt on my own pretty much ended before it really got a chance to begin. And that's when and why I started asking about guides. i figured if I could get this done in 3-5 days (using weekends if possible) I'd have a better chance of filling this tag than trying to stumble into areas where I've never been, have no local contacts, or worse not even try. For everyone that offered suggestion I really do appreciate it. I did a lot of research, made a few calls, and finally chose a guide that seemed like the best fit for me. Because he and his outfit are not a sponsor of this forum, I will withhold names per forum rules. So the plan was set into motion, hunt dates of November 10, 11, and 12 were set to hunt the last 3 days of the G39 hunt. With only 2 tags for G39 given out this year it should be pretty quiet out there and seeing a picture of the buck they guided to last year I was stoked to have the chance. Then I go and get into an accident on my motorcycle on my way to work on October 3rd. Guy pulled out in front of me on the freeway when I was going 65 in the carpool lane and he was going maybe 15-20 mph. 4 broken ribs on my left side, boxer's fracture of the 5th metacarpal on my left hand, what was thought to be a sprained right thumb, and a "sprained" left ankle, 4 days in the Hospital, with the first 24 hours of that in the ICU because of the broken ribs and I'm home trying to heal. I had a rifle to dial in as my .30-06 was not cutting it with 6" groups at 200 yards, I acquired a .270 wsm that had never been shot and I had performed the break in just the weekend before the accident. With the idea that I may still be ready to hunt November 10th, step in straightsixes. He helped me get a load dialed in that was killer out to at least 500 yards, and I was finally able to get out and shoot myself on November 4th. I was still limping pretty bad because of the sprained ankle, and had an appointment with a podiatrist to try to figure out what was wrong on November 8th. At that point the podiatrist suspected I may have a stress fracture in my calcaneous (heel bone) but only a MRI would be able to see that. She slapped an aircast boot on me and effectively cancelled my November 10th hunt. I called the guide and told him the situation and he actually told me that it was for the better as he had 2 other guides up in G3 for the full 16 day hunt and at this point they hadn't even seen a buck worth tagging. So Backup plan #1 was the D3 Doyle muzzle loader, and it was set into motion for Thanksgiving weekend, if I was healthy enough to do it. Turns out that my heel was not broken but my Plantar Fascia was torn, pretty badly, got a cortisone shot on 11/15 and told that I had to wear the boot 10 more days then I could wear a Bledsoe brace with normal shoes. Well, I snuck the brace on a day early and hunted Thanksgiving weekend. Fortunately, they had a Polaris Ranger, and I didn't have to do much walking. We saw at least 25 different bucks over the coupple days we were there, but nothing worth hanging my tag on: So after 2 days in the Doyle Muzzle Loader hunt we decided to pass and hunt G3 opening weekend.