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Monday, February 13, 2017
By Sarah Honadel
Well, times have changed and more couples are hunting together now than ever! Members of the Huntress View team explain how hunting with their partner has had a positive effect on their relationship and provides them with the opportunity to spend quality time together, share lots laughs while enjoying the outdoors, and make memories and fill the freezer.
When I picture the man that I’ll marry, there are a few things that that I look for: He must love God, have a sense of humor, get along with my family, and of course, be a hunter! Hunting is something that will never not be a part of who I am. When I was first getting to know Dalton, we were in college and one of our favorite things to do to escape the stress of school was to shoot our bows or find some coons to hunt. We’ve been together for just over a year, but have made so many memories in that time—most of them with a gun or bow in our hands, chasing whatever game was in season. One of my favorite things about our relationship is getting to share something with each other that we are both so passionate about. He always encourages me when I am having an off day shooting my bow or when I can’t seem to get on a deer. Hunting definitely has its frustrations, but having someone to lift you up or help you figure out a different approach makes even the toughest situations easier and more enjoyable. It’s also nice to always have someone that is as eager to be in the blind or stand as you are! I have learned a lot from him about ducks, geese, deer and more—and I can’t wait to continue sharing our passion from season to season.
I think my husband may have decided I was the one when he watched me skin a deer by myself. It wasn't that he couldn’t do it or didn't want to help; it was, of course, that I had grown exasperated at him and his cousin doing it "the slow way" and had demanded the knife. Not all men will look at their girlfriend elbow deep in blood and see wedding bells, but for us, hunting has always been the hobby that has brought us closer than anything else.
We each have different things about hunting that are important to us—I enjoy bow hunting and am very serious about my camouflage and scent control, while he typically hunts in jeans and a t-shirt because he likes testing his skills on long-range shots with his rifle. Different methods don't matter, because there is nothing better than hunting season for us every year. Waking up and driving to the land, a quick kiss goodbye before we head to our separate spots, quick texts when we see deer heading in the other person's direction, and the joy of a message that says "I got one!" are what fill our fall and winter seasons with quality time as a couple. We fill our freezer together with shared pride, and spend countless weekends in the outdoors learning more about each other with each trip. Although our anniversary is in April, I think we look forward to Opening Day as our most exciting day of the year!
Erin Hall Diegel
We pulled into our new deer camp house on a Friday evening and the temperature was 22 below zero with 25 mph winds. I slept poorly as the wind lashed the house. I was anxious and wondering how I was going to survive being in a rocking tree stand with a wind chill temperature way below zero. Would the deer even move when it is this nasty? We decided against going out Saturday morning and spent time doing something we rarely do. We slept in, drank coffee, talked about our hunt plans and relaxed.
Eric and I have dated for three years. We are both divorced parents with 5 kids between us, so the time we spend together is treasured. Hunting and spending time outdoors has feathered solid attributes to our relationship: teamwork, patience, communication and a deeper appreciation of each other. Another win for hunting!
|Erin Hall Diegel|
Although I have only been with my boyfriend for a few months, we've shared quite a few hunts together already. In fact, one of our first dates was deer hunting. Although we shared more laughs during our hunt than we saw deer, that's what makes it fun and special! Hunting is one thing that really bonds us together and something we both truly love. I think it really makes a difference to have someone in your life that understands, and is on the same level of love and commitment for the sport.
Emily Worthy Edwards
I adore that my husband took the time to introduce me to the world of hunting and feeds my love of fishing. He has to suffer through a lot of wintertime complaining that I’m cold, always makes sure I get something to eat before we head out and we usually share some ridiculous texts throughout the day. Some days, he doesn’t feel up to going, mostly because he has already gone a couple of times during the week, but because I’m a weekend warrior, he goes anyway. I prefer to be in the woods or on the water fishing, and he’s always there to enhance my love of the outdoors and help pass it on to our children.
|Emily Worth Edwards|
Many people do not get the opportunity to say their hunting partner and life partner are one in the same. It is such a wonderful feeling to know I married someone who truly supports my outdoor lifestyle. Though my husband and I lead busy lives, we never have to compromise or sacrifice our free time since we share the same passion for the outdoors. I appreciate even the smallest pieces of advice, like when he reminds me to relax and take a breath before a shot. We truly enjoy hunting together because we share the same excitement with every harvest. Even during tough times, we are there to remind each other that it is never a failure but always a learning experience. My outdoor journey has been much sweeter having married someone who finds joy in my success.
My husband Jared introduced me to hunting when we first started dating 12 years ago. I'll never forget our second hunt together. We were in the stand no longer than 30 minutes when he dropped a nice 10 point buck that he called in. That hunt was the one that got me hooked for life and I'll be forever grateful that he cared enough to let me tag along with him and to introduce me to the hunting lifestyle. From that point on he took the time to teach me what I needed to know to start hunting on my own and has always been more concerned with me getting a deer than he is getting one for himself. When we do hunt together, we always enjoy each others company and definitely don't fit the common stereotype that you often see surrounding couples hunting together.
Before I met John almost 9 years ago, I never dreamed that I’d be hiking mountains in search of an elk, cleaning and butchering a deer or be happy about sitting in the cold waiting for a turkey to gobble. But today, I can’t imagine not doing those things, and I’m so thankful that he introduced me to a whole new way of life. Hunting is such a huge part of our relationship; it’s something we enjoy spending time together doing, whether we’re prepping for season by putting up blinds and stands, practicing our bows in the backyard, hunting our farm, road tripping across the country to hunt, or processing our meat after a harvest. We always celebrate each others successes and encourage each other when hunting isn’t going as planned. We share stories, laugh a lot and make tons of memories when we’re hunting together.
For us, hunting is always something we do together. It means we always have a hunting partner, and being in the backcountry together means we see a whole different side of each other. Seeing Scotty push his boundaries, as well as encouraging me to learn and grow as a both person and a hunter, has been a great experience. There is nothing better than sitting in the most amazing backcountry, looking out to the hills in silence. And there is nothing more romantic than some of the places we have had a 'picnic' (lunch or dinner in the bush!), or sitting in a hut with rain pouring on the roof, or even just our own space, in our own world, in a tent in the middle of nowhere.
I am so glad that I decided to join the hunting world when Tyler and I first started dating. At first, it was a way to spend more time together, because between his farming and school work, it was hard to find any time with him unless it was in the woods hunting. Not only has it helped bring us closer together as a couple, it has also helped us communicate better. I consider him to be my best friend and some of my favorite times together have been spent in a ground blind or tree stand. That doesn’t mean there won’t be times when I want pull my hair out when hunting with him—because I have definitely had my fair share of those days! But I wouldn’t take back the bad days for anything, because it has taught us to communicate and work together as a team. The best times are those when we’re supposed to be quiet but we can’t stop laughing at one of our inside jokes. Those are the memories that I love to look back on, and look forward to making in our future.
Hunting with your partner definitely has plenty of benefits. Share your favorite memory of hunting with your spouse/partner in the comments, and be sure to follow the Huntress View Team Members to see their adventures.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
By Jamie Dailey
Growing up, the thought of sitting in the woods for countless hours and freezing my butt off just waiting for something to walk by while having to sit still and be quiet was not my idea of fun. So, I was happy when my brothers and dad would go hunting and actually leave me behind. All that changed for me one weekend when I accompanied my husband and dad to our hunting camp in south Georgia. I went, not even caring if I sat in the stand to be honest, but I did anyway. I shot my first buck that morning and since then hunting has been a major part of my life. I started out not knowing anything about it or even what it was to be an ethical hunter, but after years of hunting I have found that I have grown and evolved in many ways.
There is more to it
I admit in the beginning filling a tag was what it was all about. I was young and a woman in a male dominated hobby. I wanted to prove myself to everyone and show them I could get the job done. So yeah, I pounded my chest a few times and gloated about the animals I took. But after a while I began to understand that killing an animal was just one part of the whole big picture. I started allowing more deer to cross without so much as lifting my rifle. I got more satisfaction by watching them just go about their everyday lives without them knowing I was there to share that brief moment.
I remember one morning I was sitting in my stand and a doe appeared to my right. I watched her come within fifty yards of me and she stopped and stood there. It would have been the perfect shot if I had chosen to take it. While she was standing there, she kept looking back over her shoulder, which usually means that there is something else coming. I start hearing a rustling and twigs breaking from the area she was looking at. After a few moments, these twins pop out. It was early in the season so they still had a few spots on them. They were obviously feeling good that morning because they were running and jumping around having a great time. For about ten minutes I sat there and watched them never moving, never raising my gun, just enjoying that moment. I can’t remember a time I dreaded getting up and heading into the woods for this very reason. I know now there is so much enjoyment to be had from just observing what goes on around you.
Giving thanks and value to the animal is just one part of becoming an ethical hunter. When I first started, you couldn't catch me with my hands in an animal's gut if my life depended on it. I would gag, whine, or just throw the knife down and say “It ain't happening.” But now I have come to realize it's my responsibility to that animal to finish what I started. It lived its life free, no suffering occurred, and it didn’t die in vain, and now it's on me to make sure that it is used in an ethical manner. Even though I took that animal’s life I still value it. Some people will ask, “How can you do that when you chose to kill it?” It’s not a simple thing to understand, and unless you have done it, it’s something that you will never get. Millions of people can go to the grocery store and purchase a pack of meat, go home and throw it on the stove or grill and never give a second thought of what exactly they are eating and how it got there. It’s a disconnect that modern day living has given us. Back in the day if you wanted to eat, you killed, cleaned, quartered, and cooked it. Sadly, in today's world people are happy to have the convenience of someone else to do the killing for them.
One of the greatest hurdles any woman will face in her life is that people doubting her abilities in doing things. Starting out, I was reluctant to help with things like hanging stands, dragging an animal, or anything that required physical labor really. The reason being, I didn’t want to struggle with the task and it confirm to people that I couldn’t do it because of my gender. I would offer to help, of course, and when they said no I would sit back and let the men take over. After a while I started getting more involved in the physical part of hunting. When someone would say they were going to hang a stand or they needed help dragging something out I would jump at the opportunity to help. Nowadays I try to do as much as I can on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I still need help in certain parts, but I have become comfortable in knowing what my capabilities are and where my limits lie.
These are just a few of the ways in which I have grown and evolved as a hunter. Every hunter will go through their own evolution in time. It doesn’t matter if you are new to hunting or a seasoned professional, you will never have the same thing happen more than once when in the field. Sometimes you will have to think on your feet. Other times you will have to use a strategy you have heard before to get it done.