He went looking for elk but found something unexpected. Something that would change his life forever.
It was late Fall, and Oscar Welsh was on his yearly elk hunting trip high in the coast range mountains of Oregon. It was an area he was familiar with, as he had taken several elk from these woods over the years. It was his third time out this season, and he hadn't seen more than a few scattered piles of scat. This year was shaping up to be a lean one.
It was late afternoon. Oscar had found a great spot to make camp for the evening. In the morning, he would work his way back to his vehicle. He set up a small tent, then began searching for dry wood to make a fire.
As he was picking up a couple of larger branches, he came across what looked like the tip of an airplane wing under the tree where he stood. He looked up, and even though it was the twilight hour, he could just make out what seemed like a small plane. It was lodged among the branches of the trees about fifty feet above his head.
It was getting too dark to do any further investigating. In the morning, he would find a way to get to the plane and see if there were any remains or identification he could relay to the authorities.
The following morning, Oscar had put hunting on the back burner. He had something more important on his mind. He rigged a rope onto the trees and worked his way up to the first branches. From there, he had to free climb up to the wreckage.
Once he reached the plane, he had to be careful. He wasn't sure how secure it was, and he didn't want to take the chance of dislodging it. The last thing he wanted was to have it and him drop to the ground.
He went slow as he worked his way around to the cockpit and peeked inside. The remains of the pilot were still inside. It looked like he had been there for awhile as it was mostly deteriorated clothing on bare bones. He suspected the plane may have been on a drug smuggling run and ran into some bad weather.
He could see quite a few small packages through the window which pretty much confirmed his suspicion. The fuselage had protected them from the weather. His curiosity had gotten the best of him now and he felt like it was safe enough to climb in and retrieve one.
The passenger door opened enough to squeeze in. Ever so slowly he worked his way back to the packages. He grabbed one that had 100k written on it. He tore open one corner and almost fell out of the plane when he realized it wasn't drugs, but money.
The 100k label showed the package contained one hundred thousand dollars. Oscar spent the rest of the day retrieving all of the packages marked as 100k. He checked a couple of the unmarked bundles. As he had figured, they were filled with cocaine. He wisely left them behind.
By the end of the day, Oscar had stuffed his backpack with something much more valuable than the meat he thought he was going to be packing out.
It was late, so he stayed put for one more night. In the morning, he hiked straight to his vehicle. Once home, he counted what he had. It was exactly two million dollars.
He knew no authorities would be looking for the plane, so he didn't bother to tell them about it. He hoped the owners of the drugs and money wouldn't be looking for it either.
Oscar knew what he needed to do. He hired an attorney who set him up with an offshore bank account and helped him deposit all of the money into it.
Once the money was secure, he quit his job and bought a one-way ticket to the Bahamas. He had no plans to return to Oregon. Oscar had taken an early retirement. He gave up hunting and started traveling the world, enjoying his new year-round sport: snorkeling off the coasts of the world's most beautiful tropical islands.
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