Anyone who follows me knows that last year was especially rough for me. I struggled with my health and my father’s illness and passing. And, both of these things took quite a toll on my hunting season, as well. I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, which is a form of hyperthyroidism last March. I still continue to struggle with my thyroid problems on some level. However, I recently had treatment to have my thyroid killed off; though, I am not sure yet that the treatment worked. I will find out soon. From there I will either start on synthetic thyroid medications, or have my thyroid surgically removed if I find out the treatment did not take. Either way, I am hoping to be feel good again soon. It has been far too long!
What about the hunting part of all of this? Well, my struggle was with using the crossbow instead of my compound. I love using my Mathews bow and having to put it down was really hard for me. Though I truly know that hunting with a crossbow can be as challenging as compound bow hunting, however, in different ways, I also know that a lot of compound bow hunters look down on the crossbow. So, one of my major struggles was being thought of as less of a hunter. I was able to overcome this struggle because my love of hunting triumphed my fear of what others would think. If I was never able to go out with a compound again, I would not even give it a second thought. My love of hunting will always win!
Okay, with all of that said, 2017 is a new year. I do not know yet if I will be able to use my compound, but I am hopeful. I am working on taking my health back! Not only did I not hunt much in 2016, I did not write much either. While thyroid disease may not sound all that serious, I assure that just getting through the day was often a true struggle. And as far as my dad, well, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in May and was only given a few months to live. My time with him was far more precious than anything else in the world at that time. I spent as much time with him as possible, until he passed away in September, exactly 4 months to the day of his diagnosis. It was really hard for me to get out and hunt right after the death of my father. And, there were many times that I sat in my stand and the tears would just start flowing. There’s just something about the beauty of nature that brings out your deepest thoughts.
There were other struggles. Other deaths. In general, 2016 was just a terrible year altogether. I am hopeful for a much better 2017! My goal is to be able to use my compound bow again. I also plan to really get back to writing on a regular basis. Hunting and writing are two of my great passions, and combining the two really brings me great joy! So, if all goes well, you will hear a lot more from me this year. I want to personally thank all of you for your patience, your kind words, and your encouragement during my struggles last year.
Next, let’s talk about some triumphs already for this year! I am excited to announce that I have been named a Prostaff member for Woods & Water Addiction. This is an incredible group that is dedicated not only to educating, but to giving back! Please check us out! And, last but not least, I did my first hunting show this year. I sat up a Deaux Girl booth at the Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo, and while I did not sell as much as I had hoped, I had an incredible time. I met a lot of great people, and the Deaux Girl products created a lot of buzz! I will definitely be doing more shows. I learned a lot and now have a better idea of what to expect and how to go about having a successful show. I honestly can’t wait to do my next one!
Again, I thank all of you for your continued support! For those of you new to Doe & Arrow Hunting, you can read more about my struggles from last year so that you know exactly what I am talking about. And, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas! I welcome tips and advice from anyone. And, if you are interested in doing a guest post, recipe, or would like to share a hunting story, please contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Here’s to a new year, hopefully filled with more triumphs than struggles!