It's that time of year. I have joined the ranks of millions of other women across the country - I am a Deer Hunting Widow.
Things start gearing up about August when my Husband, the Great DH (which in this case stands for Deer Hunter, or Dear Husband, or D*MN Husband, depending on the day) starts planning out his hunting season. He takes the orange marker and writes all the "opening days" on the calendar, lest I dare try to schedule anything on a Saturday between October and January. He stocks up on corn and "deer cocaine" to leave out in the forest and lure those innocent deer right to his stand.
In September bow and arrow season comes in. Meanwhile DH is insisting we have manwich, "ham"burgers, "ham"burger helper, meatloaf and spaghetti every night for dinner, so that we can finish using up the 80 pounds of ground venison we still have in the freezer from last year.
October brings muzzle loader season. DH sits down with the hunting digests and carefully plans out where each season comes in for each county, where he can take the dogs to run deer, and how to get the most hunting down across this great state.
November is the big deal though - opening day of rifle season. Let the shooting begin! DH insists he only hunts on Saturdays. But let's examine things a bit more closely. Wednesday is laundry night. All so he can have clean clothes to pack on Thursday night. Also on Thursday come out the guns, cleaned and carefully prepared. Friday involves leaving work early (overtime? possibility to earn some extra money? What's that?). He hunts Friday evening and stays the night. Saturday he is up at the crack of dawn to hunt all day. If he kills a deer, then I have to listen to a zillion phone calls describing every gory detail and then see the pictures too. If he doesn't kill a deer, then I hear the whining. Saturday night after he comes home. More laundry and then to bed by 9 because he's been up since before dawn and is exhausted. On Sunday every gun that was remotely touched must be wiped clean and carefully put away. Also time for the stories, beginning with "I woke up and put on my boots" and ending with "I came home and took off my boots." The middle has something about the actions of every forest animal imaginable -- except for a deer.
Church on Sundays is horrible as the men that killed deer the week before gloat and the others hide their faces. By the end of November, the hunting widows whose husbands have not killed anything are ready to go rope a deer, tie it up, attach a huge red target and point our husbands in the right direction. We would do anything just so our spouses would get the "big 10 pointer."
See, once the big deer is shot, the excitement wanes. It's done and over. And our husband start returning to us. Yes, we have to listen to the play-by-play a million times, but they are there. Woe to the woman whose husband misses a deer one season. They have to hear about it all year long, and watch as efforts are doubled and time away from home increases.
Some of you are preparing for Thanksgiving. I think that holiday has something to do with turkey and stuffing? For hunting widows, it's about hunting. Because most people have off Thursday and Friday. That means THREE full days of hunting. Meanwhile, the women slave over the meal, timing it perfectly around the morning and evening hunts. Woe to the family whose husband kills a deer Thursday morning - that will delay the Tgiv meal for hours while the deer is skint (which is the country way of saying "Skinned") and prepared.
So my salute to hunting widows everywhere. Only 6 weeks left. (let's not talk about the fact that turkey season comes in after that).