Hunting season is in full swing, and now is when the battle starts of trying to fill all of the fatherly and husband duties as normal, while still being able to hunt as much as you want, and feel content with your effort. Here are some things we try to do.
Of course while you are at work, you are already looking at wind direction and temps for the weekend cold front. But do not assume you have the green light to just go. Before season started I sat down with my wife and we planned out every weekend with what she had planned, luckily my wife is great at planning and made this possible. Some days I can only hunt the morning or afternoon, at least I already know this weeks in advance. I feel as you have to let her do her thing almost as much as she lets you do yours. Save those cold front emergencies for when you expect to kill instead of just wanting to hunt. Having this simple conversation can save a small tiff as season rolls on.
With working 8, 9, 10, hours a day sometimes we do not have the luxury to hunt during the week. We work a construction trade so we are around numerous fumes during the day, and our commute to and from work can be up to an hour one way, we can not shower and hit the woods as we please. When the time change hits there is 0 chance of hunting after work. So during the week we are mostly all in on husband and father duties. Getting that time in during the week, relieves some of the guilt of a 2.5 day hiatus on the weekend. As you can imagine we save our vacation for the rut, this year we are taking November 9th – November 24th.
The wife to-do list is a list that is never short, but always a priority. We try to bargain and be realistic on what we can get done before season starts, try to have this conversation in June to give your self plenty of time. We don’t want to be cleaning gutters while an October cold front hits. These past few years I have hung Christmas lights in September but kept them turned off, just so I didn’t have to worry about it during season. Sometimes this means your own to-do’s will take a backseat, but I always find time to get done what I want to get done and not sacrifice any hunting time. More importantly having an understanding wife that knows you are a die hard hunter makes this process a lot easier. Hunting season can be the smallest, longest window ever. 3 months out of 12 for the majority of us, can go by slow for a hunting widow.
Being a Dad
One of the most enjoyable things in our lives that we do is fill the role of Dad. Kids have put a different wrinkle in our departures to hit the woods. Instead of like years past with no kids, kiss the wife tell her “see ya at dark”, now leaving home with kids can be a 20 minute ordeal. Our oldest boys know what hunting is and that we do it a lot, and now they are asking questions, where are you going? are you going to shoot a deer? how long are you going to be gone? hugs, kisses, often doing those 6 times over and over, or the worst, Daddy I don’t want you to go. This is why during most of the week we are all in on dad time. Have your kid pick and activity he/she wants to do and make them the priority in the evening time.
How important is hunting to you? Is it something that you just pop up in September, grab the bow knock the dust off, sling a few down range and call it good, climb a tree in the rut and that’s it? Or are you a hunter who takes it serious 365. Showing that passion all year round can make you seem crazy to a person who doesn’t view it the same. I used to have many other hobbies that I did in the off season and then I would really turn hunting oriented activities up around that September time frame. The last few years I have really made hunting a year round deal, shed season, 3d, moving stands, running cams, food plots, soybean field glassing, backyard shooting to name a few. I feel when its 98 degrees in July and you tell the wife you are putting a plot in or moving a stand, that when October comes around and you want to reap the benefits of your offseason work that it is easier for her to understand and work with you.
All in all we have very understanding wives who know hunting is a big part of our lives and it is what we do. We go to great lengths to make season as smooth as possible. Communication and planning are key, try not to have any surprises, and just have simple conversations. Try to stay ahead of the curve and get things done with short term goals. What works for you?