Of the last four years of fall hunting, I have been pregnant for two of them. I thought I could share some of the fun times (or shall we say caveats) that come along with hunting while pregnant.
1.) You have to pee (a lot)! Do you know what this means? You have to plan your clothing accordingly. No more union suit base layers and bibs are pretty inconvenient. You need two pieces. And make sure your layers aren’t too tight because that will be uncomfortable and difficult to pull off.
2.) Your bibs won’t fit. You have to throw on another layer to help cover your belly so it won’t get cold.
3.) Waders won’t fit. Trying to shimmy into waders while navigating a large belly is a workout! I relied heavily on my husband to help with my balance, help pull up my waders, and help with the straps. You might as well forget about peeing when you have waders on (not like it was easy in the first place). Eventually and sooner than you’d expect, you’ll just have to ditch the waders altogether and you’ll have the best excuse to sit and relax.
I did attempt to pee while duck hunting once. We were on the shore, which was lucky, but it took me forever to get all my layers off. It’s pretty hard to squat with neoprene waders on, let alone while pregnant, so we can all guess how that went.
4.) Your usual layers are now going to be too warm since you’re always hot while pregnant.
5.) You have to be really careful when climbing into tree stands. Eventually, you won’t be able to climb into them either. Balancing on the platform is a risky business. I would say this is the ideal time to wear a harness if you don’t usually do so. You might also want to consider setting up a ground blind which is a much safer option.
6.) The amount of hunting stand options significantly diminishes while you are pregnant.
One, it can’t be too far from your car because you’ll be extremely winded, exhausted, sweaty, and thirsty by the time you get there. Remember, you can’t drink that much water or you will have to pee. Two, you’ll want to pick more comfortable stands. Not only are you heavier, but your posture changes. It is pretty tiring having to sit in a less natural position for hours. Add a baby kicking you and you probably won’t last too long if you aren’t comfortable.
7.) Snacks. Need I say more?
8.) Naps. You’ll be more tired than usual so plan accordingly.
9.) Have someone help you field dress your deer. I’ve never heard of a pregnant woman whose senses haven’t been sensitive during pregnancy. If you can do this on your own, more power to you. However, the smell of the deer and the sight of the guts really got to me. I powered through it but not without many gagging episodes. I had a similar issue when cleaning ducks. Sadly, if I handled the meat, it made it more difficult for me to eat it — oh, the joys of pregnancy.
10.) Have someone help you while dragging your deer out of the woods or retrieving waterfowl.
11.) Don’t forget to appreciate the ride!
Hope these caveats help you next time you are out hunting… and pregnant!
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