Ten Commandments for the Hunting Widow

Ok ladies. Happy Monday. And if you’re reading this I would like to congratulate you. Because it seems you have, if only by the hair of your chinny, chin, survived the opening weekend of deer hunting season.

Now if you’re here and have in no way been affected by this phenomenal holiday that turns perfectly decent, shirts tucked in, clean shaven, soaped up Midwestern boys into growly, whiskey drinking, scratchy bearded, poker playing, primitive manly men, then revel in the fact that for the next two weeks you do not have to negotiate outings into civilization with your man based on whether or not he has indeed “filled his tag.”

And I am well aware that some of you womanly women get right in there and play like the boys do, taking no prisoners, leaving it all behind for the love of the sport. To you I tip my blaze orange Elmer Fudd hat and say, “Long live the sportswoman.” We’ll have to get together soon over wine and venison and hash out the hunt.

But for those lovely females who have uttered the words “hunting widow” in the last few days, or ever in your married or dating lives for that matter, I would like to offer you something here.

I would like to get up on my pedestal (or kitchen chair, or the railing of my deck, or my tiny desk) and tell you that “widow” does not have to be a word in your vocabulary. No, not yet. You too can enjoy the pure, animalistic, back to nature experience of the hunt with your man in all his glory. And you can love it. Or at least tolerate it. All you have to do is put on your sports bra and your wedgie free undies and gear up for a purely carnal experience and get back to the basics of man. If anything the experience may help you gain some clarity on the weird male behavior your love will be exhibiting for the next couple weeks.

So for the benefit of females everywhere who have a hankering to see what it’s all about, I have consulted with the manly men around me and have taken some hard learned lessons from my years of experience walking silently behind the most serious sportsmen in the county to come up with the following:

The Ten Commandments of Deer Hunting with your Man

Yup, that's me, that's my deer, that's my man, that's my denim jacket and that's my neckerchief.


1. Thou shalt not wear swishy pants

2. Thou shalt not call any animal “cute” or “adorable.” You are now the predator, the fluffy critters with the big, beautiful eyes, are the prey. You heard me. Predator. Prey.

3. Thou shalt not complain about having to pee, but will squat behind a proper bush if absolutely necessary (and be quiet about it). And while you’re at it, thou shalt wear enough warm clothes so you are not cold, and eat enough food so you are not hungry and do everything in your power to remain comfortable enough so you have nothing to complain about, because really, thou shalt not complain.

4. Thou shalt not be the first to comment on husband/boyfriends’ shortcomings with any weapon and will instead provide only positive reinforcement. I.G.: “Great shot hunny.” “Way to take your time! You’re so methodical, so patient!” “You butt looks great when you lean in like that.” And my favorite, a whispered, almost silent “wooo hooo…woo hooo” and high five accompanied by your greatest smile when he makes the kill.

5. Thou shalt not whine about how blaze orange and greenish/brownish camo are not your colors and wear the seven sizes too big clothing like Pamela Anderson would. Because if a sexy woman like you can’t pull off this color combo, no one can.

6. Thou shalt kick it in gear, power-walk style and show husband/boyfriend what it means to really get somewhere while increasing your heart rate, burning calories, and spending quality time with your man–because women invented multi-tasking for cyring out loud.

7. Thou shalt understand that while on the hunt it is perfectly acceptable to walk or sit for several hours in complete silence. And, sweet lover of the outdoorsman, this is not a time for discussion about what color to paint the kitchen walls or where you should send your unborn child to preschool or how much your dearly beloved spent on that gun slung across his back.

8.Thou shalt bring your own snacks and pay careful attention that the wrappers do not make crinkling noises and the food itself does not pack a crunch. If you must have a granola bar, bring it unwrapped for the love of venison. When man is on the trail of the big one, all he wants to eat is the big one. He is not thinking about and does not appreciate that Snickers bar or tortilla chip you are so loudly devouring.

9. Thou shalt accept the fact that while hunting there is no work on Monday, there is no house, there are no kids, there is no basement renovation or fence to build. Nothing. There is nothing but the following: Man. Woman. Beast. Hunt.

10. Thou shalt understand that if you cannot abide by the above nine commandments, thou will never again be invited along. Ever. Ever.

Which may or may not be a bad thing, you know, depending on how it all turns out.

And one more thing, before you grab that camo cap and pack the jerky, I invite you to read a previous piece of mine to get a clear description of what might happen even if you do everything wrong. Because he is your man after all, and you are his and he loves you and your over-active bladder, candy wrappers, poor circulation and everything in between–“Sneeek…Sneeeeeeek….” “Shhhhh…”

Now take off those swishy pants and go get ‘em girl. The view alone is worth it.

28 thoughts on “Ten Commandments for the Hunting Widow

  1. I remember deer hunting season as well. In Watford, there was no school, and we single women had new out-of-towners to dance with on a single Saturday night. Then, there’s the story of that urban cowboy who got frustrated and shot someone’s prize angus bull–a very expensive mistake. Hello, optometrist.

  2. LOL, my hubby snickered a few times while I read this to him. Can I send you my chillins then or do you know where I can hang up my boys while hunting w/ my hunny? Not sure if my hubby would wait ’til I decided I was awake enough to go on the hunt. Happy Hunitng. 🙂

  3. There’s those darned old swishy pants again! I’m thinking my place would be to keep the home fires burning because always always those deer would have those big brown eyes and would be “cute”. Unless, of course, they’re out there eating my flowers that I worked so hard to get growing. Then they’re no longer cute and fair game!
    Love your photos – especially the last one.

  4. OMG. Seriously…I used to go hunting with my Dad and I think I broke every single commandment. No wonder he only took me out twice! Great post!

  5. Oh my…story of my life! Thank you Jessie! I think I can make it through the rest of the season/seasons after reading this! 🙂

  6. Nothing like a jug of strong coffee, bag of white bread sandwiches, a grab bag of day old donuts from Baker Boy, and glassing the hills….Thanks for the memories. Rich

  7. Thou shall not take a bunch of pictures and make other photographers feel bad about their own performance….geesh girl your shots are just getting better and better.

  8. Pingback: Happy Hunting « Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

  9. So, I get up early this morning -not my choice, I want to sleep in – because my husband is up and getting ready to go out hunting again this morning. I put the first load of dirty, muddy hunting clothes in the washer (from the past day’s hunt), make coffee and sit down to read the paper. In front of me, my husband has placed the the paper opened to your column. Made me smile! I had to forward the link to your ten commandments to some hunting widows I know and to some hunting women I know. Thanks for putting your pen to paper on this one!

  10. Hi Jessie,
    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2 years now and I’ve never dated anyone who hunts or feels so passionate about it! I find myself complaining about not having enough time with him and he says to me your going through ‘Hunter’s Widow’! I searched the term and the 1st thing that caught my eye was your 10 commandments! They are hilarious and I needed a good laugh! Thank you so much for putting things in perspective! I know I’m not alone now and there are other women that go through this every year and survive! Great site I’m an instant fan now!!!!!!

    Marta from Philly

  11. Hi,
    I guess I’m a hunting widow, something I termed myself and didn’t know there really was such a “thing” till I typed the term into google and came upon your site. I’m in a relationship with a man that went deer hunting this weekend. He also hunts birds with his dog. So it’s one type of hunting or the other. In any case, we’ve only been together for about 4 months now and I feel lonely much of the time, but after reading your ten commandments and replies from other “widows”; A picture is forming in my mind and things are beginning to make sense. I’m realizing the lonely feelings are pretty normal and are the result of his hobby/pastime or whatever you call it. In any case, I guess I picked a bad time to begin a relationship with somebody. But I’m hoping that after the season is over, things will look a lot different for us and hoping to get to spend more time with him.

  12. Pingback: Ten Commandments for the Hunting Widow | Wisconsin Cabins and Vacation Rentals

  13. Pingback: A North Dakota Holiday… | Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

  14. Ok, he’s got his deer. Whoop Whoop! Now he slings it over the ENTIRE kitchen island (which has carpet on the family room side.) Blood oozes down. You bite your tongue and say you will be gone for awhile. Five hours later when you walk in and say, “Are you STILL at it?” He growls over the top and says, “Are you home ALREADY?” Dead-tired, he has the meat cut up. Silence. We go to bed. (He’s a former cowboy living in the city).

    The next morning he gathers up the hide, takes it to be tanned and offers to have gloves made for me. No thanks-all I can imagine is lumpy big hairy mittens. Two weeks later he walks in with six pairs of beautiful gloves (none fit me) and a lined, beautiful vest, covered buttons, waist tabs, the whole ball of wax. Man, does he look manly. I should have askead for Hot Pants.


  15. Your blog is very interesting. We will be tourring Canada with a tv documentary about hunting. The production team would very much like to meet up with you to get your perspective on this topic. Are you located in Canada?

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