This was a sign that I saw at last year’s Southern Christmas Show. The fact that this sign exists and that someone would be willing to pay for it tells me that a lot of people can relate to the interruption known as “Hunting Season.” Approximately 15 weeks that overlap football season, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I mean, who really needs to spend that much time with buckets of candy and family anyways?!?!?! Don’t even try to add anything additional during that time either; weddings, holiday parties. My husband wasn’t a hunter when we got married and I think it bothers him a little that our anniversary now falls in those first weeks of the annual rut. Oh, and this 15 weeks doesn’t take into account the additional time that hunters spend managing any property they own/lease, prepping and packing. Let’s not forget the time involved in just planning where the optimal deer stand spot is, where the deer camera’s should be placed, hours of fretting over stray dogs in the area, arguing with yourself over whether or not to still carry your bow when gun season starts because you just want that that one kill with your bow this year, and the remorse when you saw that 8-pointer but he was just out of bow range, but had you had your gun – you’d have taken him down. I mean, hunting season is a full time job, on top of the actual job you do to earn a paycheck and raising a family. How much can one man endure???? Oh, and I said paycheck too – which is crazy – because the money spent on corn and minerals and blocks of salt/sugar (I’m really not sure which…maybe both), camo, face paint, doe urine, unscented deodorant, special laundry detergent, bullets, arrows, time at the range to practice, the freezer you buy to put the meat in (that sits in your kitchen), the processing fees, licensing, tags, and there’s the cost of your time……I mean – this whole hunting thing really is a black hole for time and resources, in my opinion, but I digress……
Today, one of my best girlfriends on the planet reminds me that this whole hunting season thing really does impact my entire life. As my four besties and I begin planning for our annual trip to this year’s Southern Christmas Show, we have a grid that captures when the 5 of us can’t go – that helps us narrow the dates we all can get together sans kids and husbands and just be girls that laugh, shop, drink…. Below is what that grid looks like. Do you see the comment for “Friend 4.” Does it really include a note about “first day of gun season???” Yes, it does, I read it twice.
I’m telling you, it’s like a real life game of “Would You Rather.” Would you rather, wake up at 4am and go sit in a cold deer stand and have to stay quiet for endless hours just hoping that a deer walks by OR would you rather get off work a little early, meet up with your girlfriends, shop and end the evening with some streusel in the wine tent….oh oh oh….and you have no husband or kids needing you for 3-4 blissful hours….can’t forget that!? I have to also be mindful and objective in stating that people hit deer daily with their vehicles, deer roam interstates/roads/backyards every day. There is even a news story about deer inviting themselves to a wedding (link). These deer really do convene in the most conspicuous places for hunters to take such extreme measures to be inconspicuous. I’d put money on hitting a deer on my way to the Southern Christmas Show before I’d put it on my husband killing his trophy buck…you know – if I were a gambler…and yet I’ve never heard of a hunter sitting in his back yard drinking a cup of coffee before the sun comes up just waiting to get the deer that’s eating his carrots/cabbage/squash – and they do eat those things – I have a deer camera and no veggies in my back yard to prove it! Deer didn’t stop by this morning, oh well, walk inside, take a shower and get on with the day and head back out after dinner to try again.
As a woman/wife/mother, I understand that one part of deer hunting is just some peace and quiet in the woods without me asking for one more thing or kids running all over you. I get it. For my friend, deer hunting is a way to spend some time with her husband and do something together. I totally get it. My husband doesn’t ask me to go hunting because I’m pretty sure that he’d be more concerned about me with a gun than anything else. I do appreciate some good deer sausage and venison steaks and I know that good eatin’ comes at the price of needing a hunter to bring it home, but does it have to interrupt EVERYTHING??? Let’s hope that Cole arrives later than his due date or I may have to plan my son’s birthday party around hunting season….gasp!