“Sneeeek….Sneeeeeeeek….” “Shhhhhh…”

It’s hunting season here. Well, bow hunting season to start it off. So I’ve lost husband for the evenings from now until, well, I don’t know,  I must blank out when we talk about these things…I think until at least Christmas. But I could be wrong.

If you haven’t figured this out yet, I will tell you something about husband…he is a patient, patient man. So naturally, he is good with the whole bow hunting sport, which requires a lot of quiet, and sneaking, and waiting and analyzing animal patterns in the unpredictable fall weather. He is particularly enthused about the sport this season because:

  1. we are living in the deer’s backyard  and
  2. he saw some of those deer on a cow chasing ride the other day…and they had grown some really….big….horns….(or antlers, I think I am supposed to say antlers)

So this week husband has come home after a hard day’s work and…

….hello wife…goodbye wife…goodnight wife…

And the cycle continues.

Husband loves hunting season. And I love husband. So sometimes I go along.

Truth is I actually hunt too. With a gun. But it’s the kind of hunting that involves one of the men in my life helping quite a bit…help getting my license, lending me a gun, loading the gun, picking out my camouflage shirt and placing the blaze orange Elmer Fudd hat on my head (which, by the way is not my color) and shoving my once warm and cozy ass out of our backdoor and into the innocent, unsuspecting wilderness.

And for the record, I’m a damn good shot, no matter the outfit.

Proof with one of my bucks (and dad). I removed the blaze orange hat for photographic purposes.

But I love hunting. I do. I love traipsing around in the crisp air, treading lightly on the earth and blending in with my surroundings. Because in those moments (you know, when you resemble a tree) if you do it right, you really see it. When you are forced to be unbelievably still  (either by free will, or because husband continues to calmly “shush” you) and when your state is unobstructed by cell phones dinging, The Bachelor on television, or that damn laundry, you give yourself a gift really.

While you focus on the quiet part, you notice how the hawks circle, you spot a porcupine perched in a tree, you can hear the bumble bees swarming in a nearby patch of fall flowers, just hanging on tight to life before the winter sets in.  When you are paying attention to silence, you are also, thankfully, paying attention enough to not sit on that cactus, really hear the wind in the trees, and… oh look at those beautiful red fall leaves, and the geese, and the way the sun is setting, giving way to the moon…oh, I need my camera…

…beep, beep, click…

Shhhhh…..

Oh, yeah. We’re hunting deer here…

When you remain completely still and don’t use your typical “sneaking” sound effects, e.g.: “…sneeeeeek, sneeeeeeekeeekkeeeee, sneeeek….” you notice how the deer graze in the open spots and move and bed down and spook at the slightest crack or pop of a twig or, you know…sound effect.

Ooops. Oh deer…

In my defense, I wasn’t a total distraction on my inaugural bow hunt this year (I didn’t wear my “swishy” pants this time). I mean, I kept it together enough to get close to some really beautiful creatures, but I had my fair share of coffee that afternoon, didn’t remember the lunch thing, and forgot that “crisp fall weather” means wear some long underwear. So unfortunately, my growling stomach and shivering cut our hunt short of the necessary “witching hour.”

I was wearing the exact same thing. Just hanging back, blending in...

And I felt a little bad, because I’m usually a trooper. Really, I was raised following behind the footprints of my father, in snow up to my armpits, chasing after the majestic beasts that he had been scoping out all season. I have been in on some really intense, really successful, really invigorating hunts. And I’m sure I will be again, that is, if I’m ever invited back.

So on our way home, when I was staring at the ground (instead of the horizon) and thinking about how I could get Chinese food delivered to the middle of nowhere, I apologized to patient husband for my apathetic, non-sportsmanlike, non-intense behavior. I apologized for the giggling, the sneeze, the sneaking sound and the un-authorized camera click.

And after all of my rambling, I was reminded of the spirit of the sport when husband turned to me and said:

“I’m just glad you came with me. I am glad to have you here”

Awwwww….the words of true sportsman. Or a man looking to secure many, many more hunting trips, to which I say, “wishes granted.”

So, I might not be a bow hunter yet, but I am working on it…

And in my defense, it is a little difficult to focus on the hunt when I am surrounded by such beauty…don’t you think?

Happy hunting.

10 thoughts on ““Sneeeek….Sneeeeeeeek….” “Shhhhhh…”

  1. LOL, I have never hunted w// my hubby because it is His thing and I’d probably freeze. I am a widow for two weeks so know the drill there. He usually hunts on his mom’s land which sometimes make it easier. With two kiddos, I usually dread it but I know if he gets one, we will have breakfast sausage and summer sausage throughout the winter. Love your blog. Take care. Nicole

  2. Thank you for sharing, Jesse. I am currently in Kuwait, where it is sunny every day…sunny every day…and miss my usual TN fall weather, so I appreciate you bringing some beautiful fall to me via your blog!…and i did laugh to myself imagining the walk one would walk making swishy pants not swish 😉

    • You don’t know how happy it makes me to make your day in Kuwait with some of these shots of fall. The colors are really changing now and the weather is actually pretty perfect (despite the snow a few days ago).
      Oh, and the swishy pants, it takes some concentration…
      Thanks for checking in! More pics of fall to come…for you and the others who are baking in the sun this September.

  3. I love the way you explain the experience of hunting. Thank you for sharing. My wife and I are in the process of joining a sporting shooting club here in Australia because we want to learn the art of hunting.

    I am drawn to those quiet moments when you feel in tune with the cycles of nature that you speak of. However, we won’t be hunting deer – the game of choice here are feral pigs, hares and kangaroos (don’t worry – we have plenty of them – too many actually).

    • Herby…Feral pigs and kangaroos! Wow, I think husband and I might have to take a trip to Australia…
      Have fun taking on a new sport with your wife. How cool that you will be doing this together. I know you will find it gratifying…I think the happiest couples take adventures together (you know, in addition to the adventures of marriage in general 🙂 Good luck!

  4. My parents used to go hunting. I’d make a bad hunter – I keep seeing those big brown eyes and I’m a sucker for them. But hunting for great pictures, like yours? That I could do. With or without swishy pants.

  5. You can use horns for deer but it’s definately antlers for elk. But maybe that is a regional thing? Like stands. Out here in the midwest I hear hunters talking about deer stands. Which is strange to me. My dad and his hunting partners would not use stands for deer hunting. Stands were usually used for bear hunting. I grew up in an area with a lot of deer and elk. Out here in the midwest, a lady brought venison jerky to work. I asked her if it was deer or elk. She said it didn’t matter because they tasted the same. Um, no, not really. I don’t think I could hunt myself. But I’ll be more than happy to cook it up.

  6. Pingback: Ten Commandments for the Hunting Widow « Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

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