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Another 2020 in pics review
After seeing the great job that Jim has done laying out his seasons, I decided to give it a shot too.
2020 year of the Rona...even with all the craziness going on, I managed a very memorable hunting year. Although a few adjustments were needed along the way, with a couple surprises thrown in.
Along with hunting as much as I can, I always try to involve my son as much as possible, no doubt those days are numbered as he gets closer to being an adult.
Will try to keep the wording light and pictures heavy.
The year started pretty normal with a couple PA late season doe.
My son and I decided to try running a cable restraint trap line to fill in the winter months.
After getting the cables all set the first week or so we didn't have much action.
As a result of a freak accident at a high school wrestling match we ended up in the emergency room with my sons leg looking like this...was definitely going to slow down my trapping partner.
The next day mid morning after being at the hospital most of the night , I did the trap check. To my surprise this guy was waiting for me. After an intense discussion with a not very happy mom, we loaded Cody with his freshly, very badly broken leg in the truck to go collect our first trap line catch.
Due to his condition the hero pics were lacking.
The next day the traps were unhooked and we were off to a specialist for consultation and and operation the day after that. With this being the end result several pieces of hardware.
After we returned home the cables were put back up and we finished the trapping season with a few red fox
The last day of bobcat season we decided to try a before school calling session and it paid off with a 35 pound tom and then turned in to a late arrival to school.
Shortly after that the Covid craziness hit with a vengeance. I was 3 days away from leaving on a polar bear hunt when the lock down started, bags were packed ready to go. Leg rehab and quarantine filled out the rest of winter and early spring up to turkey and fishing seasons.
After alot of hours try I finally managed to get an arrow in a turkey.
Cody was able to get a bird shortly after he was cleared to walk again.
We were supposed to go to Alberta on a spring bear hunt, but of course that didn't happen. Plan b started to form, with some googling and plenty of information from a couple great bowsiters a trip to Florida was set up. It involved fishing, night time bowfishing, iguana hunting, sting ray hunting and pig hunting.
For some reason I completely skipped over our annual 3 generations of family and friends pig hunting trip in Feb, I will back up and add a few pics from that.
Wasn't expecting to see one of these in February
Never know who you might meet on a hunting trip...
Good stuff so far! Keep it coming, Gene!
Awesome you get to do all this with your son. he will never forget. Thanks for the pics. keep em comin
We did a little fish hunting in the summer
Makin Memories! Congrats on a great year Gene.
July 31 I boarded a plane heading for California to hunt Tule elk.
This guy was taking masking up very seriously....
It was definitely a different kind of elk hunt, very dry, temperatures as high as 105, but the elk were in full blown rut.
I was able to shoot this bull at 41 yards.
This tule also completed my "elk slam"
After the bull was dead, I decided to toss my return ticket, buy a cooler big enough for all the meat and rent a car one way back home. With an elk skull and rack in the trunk I pointed the rental car east for the solo 41 hour drive.
Looks like an awesome year!
Good stuff! Keep it coming!
Awesome stuff !!! Thanks for sharing it all. Cool to see folks getting it done and livin in the middle of the mess Cheers, Pete
Now we are talking! Keep it coming brother.
Awesome work! Some great pics and trophies! Thanks for sharing.
Way to make the best of it
You had a great year in 2020. Thanks for sharing!
Always love these pic heavy recaps.
After a few days at home after returning from CA, a buddy and I headed for WY for a diy antelope hunt.
My trusty BW 200 loaded up with a blind and gear to head out shortly after arriving in our unit.
Action from the blind shortly after setting it up.
As the sun was starting to set on day one this guy showed up.
Loaded up for the solo pack out...
Back at camp, we went prepared for success.
A few days later my buddy took this great buck.
Memories Forever right there!
Good luck, Robb
Ravens nest inside the cabin above
During the ride back to PA from the antelope hunt, the conversation involved how unlikely it was for the Canadian border to be open in time for a scheduled moose hunt in September. With the border closed and the fact that we both "needed" barren ground caribou the seed was planted...3 days after we returned home, a transporter was booked, airline tickets were bought, in about 3 weeks we would be on our way to Kotzebue, another plan B.
Before the trip to AK there was one more very important event at home, our daughters wedding. Of all the challenges that 2020 brought this was the most stressful. It had been planned for over 2 years and the decision was made to not postpone, the venue was just across the border in NY, so we were at the mercy of Emporer Coumos often changing and quite random covid restrictions. The day came and went very well. 2 days later with a negative covid test in my possession we were on a plane to AK.
Obviously I will not be sporting a Treeman M.O.D.....
After a slight weather delay we were flown in, seeing 6 grizzlies a wolverine and alot of caribou during the flight. Hotel Hilleberg was set up and we didn't some scouting to pass the no hunting day.
Before noon on the first hunt day I had used my tag. This was also my 5th caribou species with a bow.
Oh man! Eventful year for sure! Can't wait for the rest!
This solo packout required 2 trips. Breaking in the new Beartooth 80, it's an awesome pack.
HECK YA. This is great. Thanks for posting. Glad to see you guys didn't let circumstances stop you. Nice work.
When I packed my bull back there were a few caribou around our tents.
A couple days later Don tagged out on a nice bull.
AWESOME photo recap for sure! The pictures of your son's leg brings back some very vivid memories of a shed hunting "trip" I had with T-roy in 2014. I have very similar looking X-rays and hardware as well. Looks like he is getting along well since the surgery. At 52 I have virtually no problems or pains from mine, hopefully this will be the same for him.
This is great! Nice work Gene!
We returned from AK just in time for PA and NY bow seasons to start. As a big surprise PA allowed high school football to play. While it really limits the amount of hunting time Cody #20 gets to hunt in the first part of the season, it sure was nice to see him back in action after such a scary injury 8 months earlier.
Every year we take one whole deer to a local processor to be made into excellent venison hot dogs that they make. This big girl got the hot dog award for 2020. This ended up being the only tag I would use in PA bow season. I had several close calls that just didn't quite come together.
Same story for me in NY, one doe tag was all I used for the season.
Love the photo heavy thread with great comments. Awesome year of memories for you. Thanks for sharing!
After football ended it didn't take Cody long to get on the board with his first doe of the year.
10 days later the rut activity was really picking up. Heading to his stand for the afternoon, he was able to get between this buck and his doe on the ground. The buck followed the same path as the doe and gave him a shot opportunity. Because of mixed sign, alot of blood on the ground , but very little on the arrow we waited a few hours to track. The buck had only went a short way and was dead shortly after the shot. Because of the shot location and our limited supplies to clean him up when we found him, this pic is more appealing to look at in black and white.
Man, you guys have some big does in your area. Thanks for the recap.
A short distance after the shot the buck went in front of a trail camera.
PA has remained in the dark ages with no hunting on Sunday's until 2020. They allowed hunting on 3 Sundays through the season. The first was in archery season. Cody shot this doe at 6:45am on that Sunday. Quite possibly one of the very first deer shot legally on a Sunday in PA in modern times.
Great stuff, way to get the boy out and in the woods!
Mid November I headed to Montana with a friend to hunt mule deer with general tags. We had access to some private land plus all the different forms of public and walk in areas. We planned on spot and stalk, there was a few inches of really crunchy snow on the ground that made the stalking part next to impossible. We moved on to plan B, bought a treestand to sit over trails and even sat on round bale stacks.
On the morning of day 5 I got an opportunity....red arrow in the snow
He wasn't the biggest buck that we saw, but I was happy with him considering the conditions and doing it during rifle season.
Later that same day my friend made good on an opportunity. We went from wondering if it was going to be possible to get a deer to both tags used in 8 hours.
Smaller buck that I saw from the treestand.
I returned from Montana in time celebrate Thanksgiving and get ready for PA gun season. Since I hadn't been able to use my buck tag during bow season, I would be joining the orange army... I worked out ok and I ended up taking a decent buck for our area with my bow during rifle season.
For Cody's 16th birthday we bought him an adult, forever type rifle. Even though he doesn't gun hunt alot , he's definitely not opposed to it and he kept his last doe tag to be able to break in the new X Bolt.
These 2 pictures were taken in the same field about 20 yards apart and 9 years in time apart. From 7 years old with his first ever deer, taking advantage of PA mentored youth hunting to 16 years old considered an adult by the hunting regulations. In the time between these pictures there have been a pile of critters hit the ground taken with assorted weapons.
That was it for our gun season hunting. I had kept a couple doe tags to use in PA late season, that starts the day after Christmas. I was able to try out my new cold weather gear and Hoffman boots that I found out I needed from a bowsite thread....
I was able to tag another big doe on the first day of the late season.
This deer would be my last critter of 2020.
This Elmer Fudd impersonation rounds out our 2020 year of hunting. Even with 2020 being a huge screw up I was able to spend a whole lot of time hunting and make endless memories with family and friends. Looking forward to 2021.
Thanks for looking.
You definitely made the most of your year, Gene, including getting to share lots of it with your son and friends! Congrats on a great year!
Thanks for telling the story. Grats on your animals.
What a bad ass. I wanna be Gene when I grow up!
Thanks for posting great season!!
2020 done right! Great season Gene!
Great season and thanks for the report!
Definitely Dad of the year! Great job doing all those hunts with your son. Thanks for sharing.
What do you do with all the meat? That was A LOT of does to hit the ground.
Nice, lots of smiles, miles, and meat.
Jene, you and family have been busy last season. Nicely done by all. My best, Paul
Thank for the comments.
Are meat plan is similar from year to year. 1 deer to hot dogs, 1 processed and given to my mom, usually 1 or 2 to friends, family or employees that need/want venison. Pigs usually come home quartered, always have a waiting list for any of the quarters, backstraps that we aren't processing for ourselves. The remaining deer and anything else, elk, antelope, caribou, are usually deboned and go to my brother in law. He is an excellent hobby butcher, we supply the meat, he does the work and we split it 50/50.
Looks like you are squeezing the most out of life. Thanks for sharing.
What's in the lineup for 2021?
Great recap of a great year! Thank you for taking us along. Awesome how your group was able to adapt when plan b was needed.
Great stuff, glad your son is OK!
2021 is still up in the air a bit, because of the Canadian border closure. We just finished our family and friends pig hunt, that went great. Almost certain the polar bear hunt isn't going to happen again this year, supposed to go to Alberta in June for black bear with Cody, don't feel real confident that will happen, looking at plan B options for that now. Have some good stuff lined up for fall that don't rely on a border crossing