“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.