Use hunting to escape chaos of 2020

2020 has been about as chaotic a year as one could imagine. It’s been hard to not think everything that’s going on, but being out in the woods hunting has been one of the few places I’ve been able to escape it all.

I’ve spent several weekends bowhunting already this fall and have a few more planned, plus some time during rifle season.

During my hunts so far, it’s like the coronavirus doesn’t exist anymore.

Sports games and seasons aren’t in jeopardy. Our daily lives haven’t been severely altered. The only masks you need to worry about are the ones that keep you hidden from deer and warm as the temperature drops.

It probably helps to not be near anybody else and to not have cell reception, where conversations and social media constantly remind of us what we’re all going through.

My mind is instead locked in to the hunt, staying ready for a deer to appear in the field or clearing at any moment. With the flip to November, my thoughts changed to expecting a big buck to step out at any second or be hot on the trail of a doe.

Sometimes thinking about deer appearing here or there can also have a negative impact on you, when every branch or patch of weeds turns into the outline of a deer or every twig snap is the world record buck coming your way. When that happens, I try and take in everything around me.

Earlier in the fall, it was looking at fall colors on the trees nearby and listening to various birds and other critters communicate. Now, its hearing the trees pop and watching the grass return to its normal color as the frost from the previous night burns off.

By taking these little steps, hunting trips turned into mini vacations and had me in a much better mood by the time they were over.

There were actually multiple occasions where it took a glance to TV or social media to snap me back to reality, but those few hours away from all the craziness were just what I needed to maintain my sanity.

As you head to your best hunting spot this hunting season, try and soak in all the sights and sounds that nature provides you. If your cell phone gets signal, avoid social media and try to escape completely.

It might only be an escape for a couple hours, but you’ll come back from the hunt feeling refreshed and wanting more.

Morgan Rode is the sports editor for NEW Media. Readers can contact him at