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2020 is Over and it Wasn't that Bad

At the end of every year, I like to take time and reflect on my hunting season. As I sit in my recliner and look out the window, my mind fills with extraordinary events. There are so many events that took place that I would like to share with everyone. I guess the best place to start would be at the beginning of the year before Covid-19 hit the United States.

January of 2020 started great! My good friend, Brian Milo, and I won an indoor archery shoot. Brian and I traveled to New York, and each shot pretty well. I was struggling with some target panic issues, but I ended up shooting 4 points up. Brian shot amazingly and had the best score overall. The tournament was a random draw shoot, and by some miracle, we ended up on the same team. It is always great to shoot well, but it is even better to win some cash! Lastly, I was blessed to be the featured speaker the the United Federated Church Game Dinner.

In February, I had the sincere honor and privilege of scoring a beautiful whitetail deer for Thomas Terrill. Thomas had been hunting his entire life and finally killed the buck of his dreams at age 86. Thomas killed his 179 3/8 inch 17 point out of his wife's ground blind. Besides the deer being a freak, I learned Thomas use to be the pilot for Air Force 1. Being a history teacher, I found this to be very interesting.

We will skip over March! The only thing I recall about March is that it had a Friday the 13th. That day sticks out in my mind because the state of Pennsylvania shut everything down on that day. We couldn't play soccer, toilet paper vanished, and my family would miss our England trip.

Life began to get better in April as the weather turned warmer. I was teaching from home each day, which meant I could get outside and scout for turkey. There were many mornings I got out of bed before the sun came up so I could listen for roosted toms. There is something special about fired up gobblers that makes my heart race.

In May, Abby harvested a beautiful gobbler. I was able to video her killing the bird as it tried to attack the decoys. Later that month, I filled my PA turkey tag. I killed a heavy longbeard at my buddy's house. My son, Samuel, hunted almost every morning, but he was unable to fill his turkey tag after passing up a few jakes.

June arrived and, along with it, a great deal of work. My wife helped me put a 110-gallon water tank on our 12-acre property. Together we were able to get the job done in under 3 hours. Later in the month, my buddy Paul Calon and I went on a hog hunt. We had a blast and ended up killing a ram and a hog. At least my family would have plenty of pork for the rest of the year.

Probably the worst month for me was July. No, it wasn't because I forgot my anniversary. It was because I tore my left hamstring. At first, I did not think much about the possibility of having surgery. But after seeing a doctor, he demanded I get my hamstring fixed. I hoped and prayed that the surgery would not keep me out of the deer woods. The only bright spot was that my new book, Non-Verbal Deer Communication, was published.

August started with my hamstring surgery. The rest of the month was filled with soccer and rehab. The school year was supposed to begin in late August, but everything was pushed into September. At least my Spypoint trail cameras we sending me pictures of mature bucks.

Both September and October were filled with school days and soccer games. I loved being back in the classroom with my students. It was also a relief to be the Fort LeBoeuf Bison Boys Soccer team's new head soccer coach. I coached on crutches for 90% of the season as I was still recovering from hamstring surgery. The soccer season went well, and I was very proud of the effort my team gave. On October 31st, I harvested my first Halloween buck.

November brought warm weather, and the deer movement pretty much stopped. Sam and Abby were trying to fill their buck tags in archery. They both hunted very hard, but the archery season came to an end without either of them filling a tag. Samuel finally killed a buck on the first Sunday hunt in PA. He harvested a buck named the Funky 10! November ended on a high note.

When December arrived, it showed up angry. In the first week alone, we got over 16 inches of snow, and we could not hunt. When the snow finally stopped, Abby and I headed out for an evening hunt. Even with all the snow, the deer were moving. Abby killed her largest buck that evening when she shot her 7 point.

As you can see, even with 2019 being the year of Covid, my family had a pretty successful year in the outdoors. No matter how bad we believe something is, God always provides and blesses us. Wrapping this up, I can't help but pray for everyone and hope that 2021 will be better.


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