SPOKANE, Wash. — A blind Washington teenager shot her first deer while hunting on Wednesday, with the help of her dad and a guide from Williams Guide Service.
Megan Weiler, 17, lives in Yakima. She was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that develops in the retina, at 9 months old. Cancer treatments and surgeries caused scar tissue to build up on Megan's eyes, causing her to lose her sight completely.
But Megan's lack of eyesight hasn't held her back. She's been hunting with her dad multiple times, and thoroughly enjoys the experience.
"I enjoy hearing the birds, the wind, all that," Megan said. "I really love the smell of the pine trees, the fire smoke, the plants."
However, it was difficult for Megan to get kills of her own because the deer were always moving, but her and her dad were determined not to let that stop her.
"Her family and I have never let her blindness be used as a crutch," Weiler said.
Megan's dad, Mat Weiler, arranged for them to go deer hunting with Dale Williams from Williams Guide Service in the hopes of getting Megan her first ever white tail deer.
Williams invited Ben Holton, a hunter and filmmaker, to come along and make a video about the experience.
After about three hours, Megan was successful in securing her first kill. The group is even getting the buck mounted so she can hang it up on her wall.
In addition to getting her first deer, Megan is set to graduate at the end of this school year and go to Central Washington University.
"It's amazing what she went through and where she's at right now, getting ready to graduate and been accepted at central, it's a new chapter in her life," Weiler said. "She's probably not gonna get to hunt as much with dad, but it will just make those moments more treasurable."