Most of what will be said about 2020 won’t be good. We have been challenged in ways that we never dreamed. We can blame a lot on this crazy year so I might as well just come right out and say that my deer season wasn’t great and it’s 2020’s fault.

During the early bow season, with my sights set high, I held out for the biggest buck in the woods. I do that every other year. The rut came and went just like a lot of small bucks, so I decided to lower my standards. The problem with that was I stopped seeing any bucks older than a year and a half.

When the gun season rolled around I was willing to take a younger buck. I really did talk myself into shooting the first buck that came around just to be done. That strategy lasted about an hour.

Just after first light, a four-point buck wandered into view. We had a stare down that ended with him walking away and that was that. As tough as my deer year was turning out, I just couldn’t let go of the fact that one sure fire way to grow big bucks is to let the little ones grow up.

I was a little frustrated with my lack of opportunities but I still had the late archery season to fill a tag. The pressure really started to mount when I looked into my freezer and saw only one stick of summer sausage. Venison summer sausage ranks right up there with morel mushrooms and crappie fillets on my outdoor menu. I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t able to replenish my supply and I wasn’t thrilled about going deerless. I would take a big buck anytime but I was at the point of looking for some freezer meat.

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That brings me to last Friday afternoon and a late season bow hunt. I was sitting in my stand and a big doe caught me off guard. I immediately stopped any movement, turning into a statue, and the doe eventually calmed down. A few minutes later she was standing broadside, 25 yards away. I eased my bow into shooting position and let an arrow go. The deer ran off but didn’t go far and it was over quickly.

2020 may have gotten off to a rough start but at least from a venison standpoint, it’s going to have a better ending for me. In a semi-related matter, if you’re used to receiving venison summer sausage from me at Christmas, it’s gonna be a little late.