Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Deer Hunting Time

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).


Austin said...

That is too funny.
The way this is written is so perfect. I do believe I understand the mourning process better :-)

Lynn said...

I hear you, Enola. My ex-husband is a hunter. He used to drive me crazy with it. You know what he did once? He used MY CAR to haul a carcass! He didn't clean out the trunk (not that the pig ever cleaned ANYTHING) or even TELL ME what he had done. The next weekend I went shopping and opened the trunk in the parking lot... and threw up in there. The smell. Ew.

lawyerchik said...

Oy - the hunters' whine....

My dad used to go hunting - for all I know, he went this year, too - but thanks to the comments from those with whom he hunted last (a few years ago, now), we know what to say when he complains about not getting a deer: "That's because your idea of hunting is sitting in the woods reading or talking." :)

Adding insult to injury, my oldest niece (my dad's oldest granddaughter) got a doe this year - she's 11 years old. :)

This is why my grandmother used to take my mom and go to Wisconsin to visit her relatives during hunting season.

jumpinginpuddles said...

so once captured do you guys eat them? and who cuts them up and stuff?

Enola said...

JIP - yes we eat them. A butcher shop grounds it up and mixes in about 10-20% ground beef/turkey and packages it in 1 lb packages. Once packaged you really can't tell the difference between it and ground beef. THey need to mix in turkey/beef because venison has virtually no fat at all. So the venison doesn't stick together and will burn without the other. We use it in manwich, hamburgers, spahgetti, hamburger helper, tacos, meatloaf - anywhere you'd normally have ground beef. It's much healthier and more tender. (and cheaper since we just pay the butcher a small amount)

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I’m so glad you can see the amusing side of hunting. I’ve never hunted; matter of fact, I have always pulled for the deer. My ex-brother-in-law hunted with every weapon allowed, including bow and arrows. He was most aware about my stance on hunting and would do all he could to taunt me, like sending me via my then wife a 10 lb frozen venison labeled “Bambi Burgers.”

I’m glad I no longer have to deal with him during hunting seasons. Unfortunately, I now have to deal with another hunter: Alex the mouse killer. My cat is almost as bad as my ex-brother-in-law in desiring to share with me the results of his hunts.

Rising Rainbow said...

I had no clue hunting season could go on so long. I definitely feel for you.