Well, here it is, 2019. It feels like 2018 just flew by! I guess it’s true, “the older you get, the faster time goes”. I sure wish it would slow down. But, there’s really nothing I can do about that. So, instead of worrying about things I can’t fix, I want to take a minute to reflect on this past year.
It definitely wasn’t my greatest year for deer hunting; but, hey, it wasn’t my worst either. It was a really rough season. I had very few good bucks on camera, and the ones that I did have were very minimal, in the fact that they just didn’t show up much. Though, my favorite hunting area was littered with scrapes, rubs, and tracks, my eyes and my trail cameras just weren’t seeing anything. I saw a few does during early season, but none of them offered me a real shot. So, here I am on January 1, 2019 with only a buck under my belt for 2018. Luckily, I still have a month left in my season here in Ohio! So, who knows, maybe I can still get it done.
Okay, back to the buck. Yes, I shot a buck. No, it wasn’t with my bow, and no, it wasn’t a monster. Am I disappointed? In all honesty, no. I realize now that I was putting too much pressure on myself in the past couple of years. I had to get a buck that was a certain size. It needed to be compound bow only. But, this year things changed. Why did they change so much? Two words….SOCIAL MEDIA!!!! I saw more deer shaming than ever this year, mainly on Facebook, though it exists in all aspects of social media. I was so sick of hunters telling other hunters that their buck wasn’t big enough, harassing, shaming, name calling. It honestly made me embarrassed to be a hunter. And, it didn’t stop with just antlers, I saw people complaining about the size of does, and of course, the ever popular weapon shaming. I’ve seen the controversy for years over the compound bow verses using a crossbow. This year, however, was the first time I ever saw so much hatred toward gun hunters. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again…to all of you that say hunters are one big happy family, it simply is not true! It’s another one of those things that I wish I could fix, but unfortunately, cannot.
Anyway, back to my buck. I did not get the buck I was after, or was hoping for. But, let me tell you, I am very happy with the buck I got. It felt good to take that buck! I had hunted the same property for the most part all season, switching to another property a couple of times. For some reason, on the last day of our weekend long gun season, I decided to go with my husband to the property he hunts. It was my first time ever hunting there. I had no expectations, no idea of what I might see, or if I would see anything at all. But, I figured the way my season had been going, I had nothing to lose. I sat for a couple of hours and saw nothing at all. At that point, I decided it was going to be pretty much like all the other hunts I had gone on in 2018….dead. Yet, to my surprise, I turned to the left, and there he was. He had come in from behind me, walking past the house and the barn that sit on the property; the one direction I wasn’t expecting him to come from. I studied him for a quick second, debating on whether or not to shoot. My immediate thought was “what would people think…” Then I decided, who cares! He was big enough for me, and that’s all that mattered. So, I got my gun up in position and fired the shot. You know what? I had the same adrenalin rush that I would have got from a bigger buck, the same feeling of accomplishment, and a sense of elation! I will never let anyone else’s opinions take that away from me again! From here on out my philosophy will always be “Shoot What You Like”. Of course I still want that big, monster buck. But, solely for my own satisfaction and not for anyone else.
Whew! I hadn’t planned on going on that long about my buck, but anyway, time to move on. The highlight of my hunting season was actually the tom I shot. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into great detail on my turkey season here. I’ll just tell you that I had an insane obsession with one tom in particular this past year, and he tormented me every chance he got. He became my mission, my passion, and my greatest challenge. Getting that tom was one of my personal greatest accomplishments! I hung in til the end, and it paid off. I never gave up. He made me work for it, and that is why taking him was so satisfying. You can read more about my 2018 tom here. And, I have to throw in that I also took a jake in 2018, too. So, my turkey season was definitely more successful than my deer season. I was able to fill both of my tags, and that’s always a great feeling!
Now, let’s get to Doe & Arrow Hunting! If you’ve followed me over the past few years, then you already know this is my real passion. Not only do I love to hunt, but I love to write about hunting! I want to educate, share experiences, support other huntresses, and continue growing. Doe & Arrow Hunting has been my baby, my pride and joy. And, in 2018, I did something I never imagined I would ever do! I brought in 2 other ladies. For me, this is a major deal! I have entrusted them to something that is very special to me, and the craziest part is that I have never met either of them in person. Scary, right?
So, how did all of this come about? I’m sure you’re all wondering. Well, I was fortunate enough to get to know Brandy Goddard-Davis and Jessica Portenier through another hunting-related venture we were all involved in. The 3 of us were leaders in this venture, and we found that we meshed very well. We had very similar opinions, ideas, hopes, and goals. We were all 3 very passionate, hardworking, and dedicated, even when the dedication was not deserved. We all three ended up leaving the other venture; it was hard to do. None of us consider ourselves to be quitters, but sometimes, you just have to walk away. It was at this point, that I realize the 3 of us could really do something big if we had the chance. Doe & Arrow Hunting was already established, and I decided I wanted to share it with these 2 ladies. It was a big step, but one I am very happy that I made. Jessica and Brandy have made a huge impact since joining me. Not only do they make contributions to the social media pages, they have somehow revived me. I was at a point where I was starting to think Doe & Arrow Hunting may never be anything more than a place for me to write my thoughts. And, I know people still aren’t reading the blog as much as I had hoped for, but that’s okay. Maybe someday, we will get it there! I have hope again!
So, that’s where I’m going to leave things. I’m not going to reflect on my personal life here today, just my hunting life. All in all, I have to say 2018 was a big year for me. It was a year of change. It was a year that ignited many passions, and a year that eliminated many stumbling blocks that were getting in my way. In the end, I have to say 2018 was a year of revitalization and hope! Now, now I move on to 2019 with a new outlook and 2 great new partners and friends. I can’t wait to see what we do!