From Diapers to Deer Stands

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Have You Ever Hunted with Your Significant Other?

(Ed Anderson illustration)

My wife and I are cut from separate molds. We have very few things in common. But what we do share, it’s pretty significant stuff.

A big thing we share is our faith in God. We also have a love for pets — specifically dogs. We even love Chinese food.

But I’m proud to say that we both have enjoyed the outdoors — albeit in our own ways. But I get ahead of myself.

My wife and I go back all the way to the beginning. I met her in the sandbox. And yes, we were wearing diapers when we shook hands for the first time.

I like to tell people she won me over with her gracious gifts of cat turds from the depths of the sand pits we played in. Okay, maybe that didn’t happen. But if it did, she’d kill me if said anything about it.

We both grew up, occasionally seeing each other from time to time. We had a thing for each other, as some folks often say. So, it came as no surprise to anyone when we started dating as 16-year-olds. And that was that. We’ve been together pretty much ever since.

As mentioned, we were/are different in most every way. She likes a hot room to sleep in. I like a cool room. She’s extremely outgoing. I’m more reserved. I’m type A. She’s type B. See what I’m saying?

She also didn’t hunt before I came along. And while she still doesn’t do it regularly, she’s done her fair share of outdoors activities.

As said, though, prior to that she was one of those who said she’d never hunt. And I never pushed her to or put her down for her decision to forego the adventures the outdoors promises each and every hunter. No, if she was ever to hunt, it would be in her time. Not mine.

The author's wife, Kathryn Honeycutt, poses with her first white-tailed deer. (Josh Honeycutt photo)

That’s why it surprised me when she finally came to me one day and asked to go deer hunting. Of course, I was excited. We did everything to prepare her. She took her hunter’s safety course, learned to shoot a gun, hunted other animals to prepare for bigger game, and began researching so she could learn about deer hunting.

Kathryn put in her time, spending a great number of hours on stand, before finally tagging her first deer on the opening day of the 2016 Kentucky rifle season. Her first deer was a dandy. A well-placed Winchester Deer Season round to the lungs put the deer down fast. And her reaction to the hunt was everything I’d hoped it’d be.

From diapers to deer stands, and a whole lot more. That’s our story. And it’s a pretty good one. The outdoors is a great place for couples to spend time afield together. If you have a spouse who doesn’t hunt, but is willing to try it, get them out there.

See, most spouses don’t hunt together. And if every hunter in America introduced their spouse to deer hunting, we’d greatly increase license sales. While it’s about sharing quality time with your spouse, it’s also about keeping our hunting heritage alive. Do your part and help make that happen.

Deer hunting has a rich heritage. Those same hunting traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation are woven into the very fabric of who we are as outdoorsmen and women. And we must always remember to turn around and pass it on down. And in honor of that responsibility, here are seven tips to remember when introducing someone new to deer hunting.

  • Ease them into it.
  • Make sure the weapon fits the hunter.
  • Know who you’re mentoring.
  • Have realistic goals and expectations.
  • Wait on the right conditions before heading afield.
  • Make the experience as fun as possible.
  • Bring home the backstrap.

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