Tag Archives: hunting

A Woman’s Interpretation

To me a “sport” is something a person does for recreation to help them stay active and in shape. I beg to differ that hunting was NOT a sport, until this past weekend.

My family is comprised of hunters.  Not the, “yeah, let’s go out in the woods during hunting season and shoot an a cocky male deer whose been bossing everyone around, and talk about it the rest of the year.”  No friends, we are talking about a cult of men who are determined that they can read the minds of all the deer and fancy-free friends in the woods.

Months and even years of preparation have gone into the placement of each deer stand, ranking the correct clothing to wear, and how to shower properly.  Inevitably the direction of the winds is always the determining factor making or breaking a good hunt.

  Oh yes, and hunting is a year long sport.  You see bow hunting starts around late September or something, and then there is always gun hunting, promptly followed by muzzleloader season, who is reacquainted with bow hunting again, until I think the end of January.  When they aren’t in the woods, they are scheming how, who, when and where…

In my awkward tween-er years, I would have been out there with them adorned in my beautiful blaze orange, equipped with some hand-me-down gun and piece of paper pinned to my back making me official.  It was my way of trying to hang out with the boys.  But as years progressed, going to the mall became such a better idea, so I abolished the time spent freezing my butt off in the woods.

Looking back now I never realized the insanity of it all.  My brothers have about 600 acres of prime hunting land at their disposal.  They hypothesize the perfect conditions and like a scientific experiment continue this century long process of trial and error trying to create them, of which coincidence do not occur! 

During the spring months they trek through the woods looking for antlers that have fallen off last years bucks (to determine how big they are going to be this year, I would guess?) and scout new locations for “stands” which equate to freakishly looking hunks of metal with a long pipe with pegs supporting a platform that sits against a tree.  During the summer months they construct these 3 ton contractions and haul them out into the woods to set them up, and reposition them 40 times in 7 different locations on opposite ends of the property before they are official stands.  Each of these stands is given a name, and I’m not sure of their criteria, but they aren’t so helpful to me.  For example- we have “low-rider” and “Golden chair” of which I’m sure is key to their survival, but to me…not ta!

I bet if I tracked the hours spent educating each other on their tactics and propaganda it would be years, even decades thus far.  And that’s just the planning piece. When it comes time to the actual hunt the poor guys can’t even sleep.  My oldest brother paces the room like a meth addict on a binge.  My older and younger brother have a sudden appreciation for time.  My now husband, even adopts new showering practices to remove the human scent.  No matter the weather they sit in frigid temperatures in hopes that a big deer with horns on it’s head will walk out in front of them so they can shoot it.  Now if that isn’t on the list of symptoms for psychiatric help, I don’t know what is!

Well in the past few years, I’ve decided I really don’t get out frolicking in the woods so much, so I’d see if they need help.  Every year on Thanksgiving day they do a drive through the woods, and as much as I wished it was, it isn’t the kind on the 4-wheeler.  No this is a few people who walk a VERY SPECIFIC predetermined route in the woods towards other guys who are sitting in tree stands.  The goal is the people walking will scare the deer towards the guys sitting in the deer stand.  And hope they don’t shoot anyone in the process. 

So this is my new Thanksgiving tradition.  I get all gussied up in my cold weather camo/blaze orange gear, equipped with a plethora of hand and foot warmth technology.  Layered in clothing of sweat adsorbent dual purpose as a protection from frost bite.  I meet up with the boys after they oversleep and conjugate plans in their own heads about how things should be done. Together they devise a plan fluent in a  foreign language with each other, complete with maps and drawings in the ground with sticks and rocks.  The time spent is  equivalent to 40-hour work week for any government agency… and we are on our way (only 2 hours behind schedule, and 3 hand warmers later).

I’m dropped off in the woods with very specific instructions from the commander-in-chief himself and head on my merry way….

…keeping the sun just over my left shoulder, wandering through thickets of thorn bushes slapping me in the face, tripping over logs covered in tall grass, and protruding the snow covered ice only to retrieve my sewer smelling wet leg and keep walking for a few hours. 

Hmm, Is this seriously what I signed up for?  I asked to partake in this…By the end of the first drive we had dead deer cemetery laying all around that there just wasn’t enough time left to do the next drive so we regrouped an walked back out into the woods to find all the dead dear, just as we were approaching dinner time.

My brother calculated that I probably walked over 6 miles in the roughest terrain on the property and “did exactly what I was supposed to do!”  I guess that explains my knees that are killing me, the waterfall potruding from my forhead and the stiff shoulder that I am currently experiencing.  Oh yes, add in a cup of wheezing and pinch of a sore throat and we call that a good time. 

Did I mention that I was asleep like a champ at 9:00 PM and decided to get up and brave the outlet mall the next morning instead!  I guess if you walk through the conditions I did to stir up a few deer hunting might be worthy to be called a sport…but the guys sitting in a tree getting a hard-on over the deer that bounce up in front of them clearly need to find a new way to get excited! 

Actually, I did have so much fun watching the boys in action that I volunteered to do it all over again on Saturday.  It doesn’t mean I understand, but I figure if they apprecaite me wandering in the woods, perhaps I’ll get a higher allowance for shopping  😉

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I do! I do not?

Did you ever see Shrek 1, where the princess sends the donkey into the woods to find a blue flower with red thorns.  The donkey feverishly looks around “blue flower, red thorns, blu flower red thorns…man this would be so much easier if I wasn’t color blind.” That’s how I feel lately.

I’m engaged, but taking a break from wedding planning.  I keep hearing these horror stories of what men become when they get married…and I’m beginning to think, what am I setting myself up for. 

 Brent is an amazing guy, which in my experiences with men…he’s right up there next to god, minus all those magical powers.  But in all seriousness (which i will take my best attempt to be serious for the rest of this paragraph), he’s a pretty patient guy…and I am one of the MOST stubborn woman in the United States.  I’m also very indedpendent, and he doesn’t need to be with me all the time, which is nice cause I can breathe on my own, (except when I’m having an asthma attack).   He’s even open to travelling with me, extra credit for that! And for many other reasons that I’m not going to get into here he really is the man I should want to marry and spend the rest of my life with.

However, this time of year, something happens to every man in my immediate family and those in close contact.  They all go pretty much NUTS.  See it’s deer hunting, and my family likes to hunt, and that’s cool I can handle that.  However, it’s a little over the top.  My brothers and Brent have spent the last nine months preparing for this weekend, and now, they can’t even think about the aspects of daily living.  I’m pretty sure all personal hygiene hits the wayside this weekend.  They must breath in too much of that buck scent or something cause they are one card short of a full deck.  They have spent all this time planning for this weekend, yet they forget a few of the major details…like eating! I asked what they were doing for food, and I don’t know I think they are planning to eat grass.  When I offered to make a pot of chili, they were so excited…makes me wonder what they would have done if I didn’t make food. 

But here’s the part that worries me most.  Brent is talking about hunting the other night and says (no lie)

well I figure, since I’m marrying you I better buy a gun.”

and continues on with his hunting talk.  WOAH, back the hunting train up.  Should I ask why he needs a gun because he’s marrying me? At this point I’m feeling a little bit scared to be riding alone with him in the car, in the dark.  Is he planning to kill me?  Is he buying a gun for my protection? I’m not seeing the correlation to hunting. 

So I mention this odd comment to my brother, who responds with…

“Yeah he should.  Heidi that gun that he was looking at is such a good deal, and it’s a good gun.”

Does anybody else think tis is strange?  These men are crazy.  I’m getting slighlty concerned that there just might be shotguns going off at our wedding, you know since Brent is married to me I guess he needs a gun.  So can you see my fear in getting married now.  It’s not just the run of the mill wedding.  Brent wants to buy a gun, because we are getting married. 

Therefore, I do want to get married, but I do NOT want to get shot!

Note: since this conversation I did determine that Brent figured since we were getting married he would be hunting around here more.  He needs a special gun to hunt here and he doesn’t have one, therefore he needs to buy one.  He missed that middle step when explaining this concept the first time….details!

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