By Dallas Fort Worth
Before I begin I just want to let all of the readers know that I love my wife more than deer hunting. Yes that’s right, more than deer hunting. One of the reasons, among many, I asked her to marry me was because she understands that I am passionate about whitetails.
This year the conversation took place June 11th sometime around 7:30 PM, while we were watching the show The Bachelorette. Then it happened. The reason I was even watching this God forbidden show in the first place was to avoid these very questions from even being asked, but here they came none-the-less.
- “How much time are you taking off this year for deer hunting?”
- “Can’t you give up just one weekend?”
- “Just go hunting for a couple hours then come home.”
- “You’re not taking off the same amount of time as you did last year, are you?”
I gave some half-ass answer in hopes that it might change the subject to avoid what would inevitably turn into a fight, but it did not work. So, I put on my nut-cup and jumped into the ring. The fight ended like it always does… me in the fetal passion with a couple broken ribs and a black eye.
Even though things didn’t go well this time, I have learned a few things when it comes to preparing your “fall widow” for hunting season.
Have The Conversation Early:
I had a conversation with my wife the first day we started dating. I mentioned that bow hunting whitetails was a huge part of my life and I explained to her that when it’s deer hunting season I will be deer hunting. So if that was going to be a problem in the future, there is no need for the relationship to even start. This is a conversation that more people need to have before getting in to a serious relationship with a hardcore whitetail hunter.
I have heard stories where relationships have ended because once October and November came around there was a little secret that was revealed. How would you feel if after you were already in a relationship or even married, and your wife or girlfriend said she was going to be busy the next six weekends and gone for two weeks straight? OK, that was a terrible example. What if you found out that her past boyfriends included the entire Green Bay Packers defense… quite a shock right? So it’s best that this discussion takes place at the beginning of the relationship.
Fortunately, in my case, her father is as passionate about fishing as I am about hunting so she “kinda” understands the love I have for the sport. But what she doesn’t understand is that that deer hunting is all about time of year, time of day, weather, and so on… I am doing my best to educate her, but it will take some time. And still, she may never understand, and I don’t expect her to.
I currently have no kids that I know about, this means that other than my wife and a full time job, my responsibility list is fairly short. I don’t spend my nights in a bar, I don’t have any other hobbies, this time of year my life revolves around her. Most of the time we do what she wants, and I’m 100% O.K. with this. All I ask for is to do my thing in October and November. Simple right?
In Iowa, there are about 80 days in the archery season and I will only get the opportunity to hunt about 25 of them, which is about 30% of the season. And that is way more than most people get. Now if you compare that to 365 days in a year, it’s only 6%. Now I know I get more weekends out of the year to do other deer related activities like check trail cameras, shed hunt, and go to a couple trade shows, but still not a lot.
Because I don’t gun hunt and I live in Iowa, there are only really seven weekends out of hunting season that I hunt and two straight weeks the first two weeks of November where I dedicate my life to the woods. Now that seems like a lot of time spent in the woods, but if you look at it over a period of one year it’s a very small time frame.
Ladies / Non-Hunters:
There is a lot that needs to taught by us and learned by you in order for you to fully understand deer hunting or hunting in general. Meaning, we can’t just go in the woods from 1:00PM to 3:00PM the first week of October and expect to kill a mature whitetail deer. There are a lot of variables that go into planning and hunting.
- Deer Movement
- Time of Day
- Time of Year
I could sit here and write a whole other article about the above bulleted list and why they are important, but that’s your man’s job. Just like you and Reality TV, if you ask him about hunting, he will be more than happy to talk your ear off about the ins and outs of what we do and how we do it.
If you’re like me and want to spend October and November in the timber, sacrifices must be made throughout the rest of the year. If you have to sit through a crappy movie or talk about your feelings, DO IT! If she asks you to help clean the house or go to Hobby Lobby, DO IT! If she asks you to rub her feet or go to a wine tasting, DO IT! It may be painful at first but it will be well worth it when you are sitting in the woods waiting for a giant to come through.
The most frustrating part for me is explaining how deer hunting works. Information is power; explain to your wife or girlfriend (non-hunter) in as much detail as possible why we hunt when we do. Why we sit in the cold and rain, why we sit in the morning and night, explain the rut and why you can’t kill a deer if you’re not in the woods. Take time for them and hopefully they will give you the time you require in the fall.
Give something up; I cut down my time in the woods dramatically. I only check my trail cameras in the summer once a month. When I go shed hunting, I make it a day trip so I am home at night to spend a little time with her. Even though I love hunting, there is no need to hunt every morning and every night the first week of October.
In summary don’t be a selfish prick, and if you play your cards right, you will get more than enough time to hunt, fish, and spend time in the woods.
– Dallas Fort Worth