2020 in the rear view mirror
As we put the final touches on storing equipment, removing trailers and horses and winterizing camps, we are already planning our next few hunting seasons. It felt like this has been the longest year ever. As we take a look back at all the events of 2020 it’s easy to say, “Thank God it’s over with!” Let’s take a look through the rear view mirror at the past 12 months.
2020 started like any other year with lots of planning, booking hunts, travel to sport shows and all the meetings required to operate SNS Outfitter & Guides. In January, stories involving a mysterious illness become a daily news item. Come March, the reality was rapidly sinking in and the decision to shut down our country was made. It was eerie and down right scary to see virtually no traffic in our cities and empty shelves at the grocery store. The uncertainty of 2020 was just beginning. As we progressed into April, it became painfully obvious we were entering into uncharted waters. Would our spring black bear hunts and summer trail rides even take place? The decision was made early in April to call the bear hunters and reschedule them. The cooperation received from our clients was awesome and everyone was able to reschedule to the fall or the 2021 spring season. The summer trail ride camp of Jackson Hole Outfitters was cancelled as it didn’t seem feasible to expect any sort of summer tourism season.
In April the phone rang steady with clients concerned and canceling their hunts but hot on their heels were even more calls from hunters looking to book a 2020 hunt. It was crazy! The Wyoming deer and antelope license application deadline hit with our camps fully booked. We looked with guarded optimism towards what we hoped would be a normal fall season. Realizing the potential of having an open summer, SNS crews switched gears putting extra time and effort into camp maintenance. August 1st was the date crews put up the wall tent camp in the Greys River and began prepping for bear baiting, cutting out hunting horse trails and scouting began. To say the least, it felt rewarding to be back in the groove.
Finally, it was time for our fall hunts. August felt nearly normal. The virus was tamped down and America was getting back to work. It was a pleasure and a relief to open each SNS camps, welcoming new hunters and several familiar faces back to begin hunting. Our archery antelope hunts went off without a hitch and they had great success. We jumped into our fall bear hunts, high country deer hunts and a big September antelope season. All of these hunts were picture perfect with splendid fall weather and the hunting was fantastic. That is always a great way to keep spirits high and guides hunting hard. The October season netted some of the best elk hunts we have had in years.
As we entered into the November, Covid-19 seemed to be making a comeback. The Montana mule deer and Wyoming whitetail hunts are motel based and made us feel as if we could navigate these hunts in a safe manner. The cow elk hunts are camp based. Precautions were taken so those late season hunts could continue as scheduled.
Wyoming and Montana both had excellent November weather with cool temperatures and very little snow or mud. SNS Outfitter and Guides clients took some amazing trophies especially Montana mule deer. Unfortunately, a couple of the guides and some clients did become ill with the Corona Virus after arriving back home. All have recovered and we are extremely grateful for that! Our cow elk hunts ended with mixed results. We experienced some incredibly windy days that made hunting virtually impossible and elk movement caused some empty tags. However, no staff members or clients from cow camp reported any sickness.
We finished the 2020 hunting season with a huge sigh of relief. Looking back it really was a fantastic season! Any time we can share in the field with passionate sportsmen and women, is time well spent. We are delighted to be a part of the memories that were created during this years hunting season and to see so many amazing trophies and such quality meat being taken home. The relief we feel having had a successful hunting season has us saying, “Thank Heavens 2020 is almost outta here.”