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What a Blessed Season

Deborah Kosor and her (first deer) 8-point, 20-inch, 180 pounds field-dressed Bullwinkle.
By Rev. Ronald D. Kosor

-- I must first say this was one of the most wonderful years in my life as far as hunting goes. I am a full-time pastor of Alpha Lions Den Ministries in Derry, Pa., and my wife works for Kohl's department store full time. Needless to say, we are really busy.

As a pastor, I understand the importance of husbands and wives spending quality time together, and what better place is there to spend it than in God's beautiful creation, the wonderful outdoors? So over the last few years, I encouraged my wife to hunt with me. She loved it, and I loved sharing the time with her. She has come to love bowhunting as much as me.

Deborah's first year hunting in the mountains of Pennsylvania was in 2006. In her first season, we realized we needed to work on patience. It took her a few weeks to learn a buck was not going to come out every day and pose in front of her. This is one of the greatest lessons - you learn to love the hunt. The getting part usually takes only a few minutes, but the hunt can take days, months or sometimes years.

Sampson, our large white cat, often followed Deborah into the woods. We have photos of him climbing into the treestand with Deborah. Yes, that's right. Sampson would climb 22 feet up into the stand with her and wait patiently while she hunted.

The first year, Deborah hunted the whole archery season without harvesting a buck. She did see several smaller ones that she chose not to shoot. We have learned the importance of passing on the smaller bucks in order to let them grow. This takes discipline and determination, both of which my wife has.

Besides Sampson following her to her treestand, she also had a button buck that would follow her. She would talk to it. We have it on video as proof. She would be in her stand talking to a large, but young, button buck.

When rifle season began in Pennsylvania, Deborah insisted on taking her crossbow out instead of a gun. She had worked from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, which meant she woke up at 4 a.m. and did not return home until 3:30 because she has an hour-drive to work.

The day was cold and rainy, and with only an hour left to hunt, I told her she didn't have to go out. Deborah insisted God was going to bless her with the Bullwinkle we had both seen during archery season. She was in her stand by 4 p.m., and by 4:40, she had several smaller bucks and a few does under her stand. When she heard a noise behind her, she slowly turned her head and saw a magnificent buck making his way toward her stand. She said her heart immediately began to beat out of her chest.

Bullwinkle walked right under her stand maybe 10 yards away, and then began to quarter away from her. My wife made a perfect double-lung shot, and immediately called me. "I got him," she said. "I got Bullwinkle!" I was so proud of her. I told her to sit still and that I would be right there to help her track the buck.

By the time I arrived, it was pitch dark, but Deborah knew exactly where she hit him, and we found a pretty good trail. After what was a short period of tracking that seemed like an eternity, my wife saw the big white belly, and yelled, "There he is! I got him! I got Bullwinkle!"

Only seconds before my wife made this perfect shot, I was speaking with my assistant pastor Jeff Johns who said he would give Deborah his buck this year. I had been sitting there asking the Lord to give her that buck, not because she was my wife, but because she deserved it. She was in the woods early and late, rain or shine. As I was praying, she had asked the Lord to give her one more chance, and that was when Bullwinkle presented himself to her.

As far as my season, I took an 8-point buck. I was happy but not as happy as I was for my wife.

Ronald D. and Deborah Kosor
Ligonier, Pennsylvania

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