When my husband and I first started dating, I already knew he was an avid hunter. During hunting season (which was pretty much all the time for him), he would spend his mornings and evenings hunting. I realized how serious he was about hunting when he told me of his tradition to go hunting the morning of Thanksgiving. This may sound cool to some, but to me, it sounded like we were stuck in the area for Thanksgiving every year. That is when I realized the dedication he had for hunting and the time he would be away from me.
Essentially having to share my husband with something else wasn’t the most fun idea, especially when I wasn’t really invited. I will say that he always “invited” me to come along but the idea of sitting silently on a freezing morning wasn’t really the type of activity I was interested in. I was always invited to deer camp as well but again, being around a bunch of (sometimes) drunk, somewhat smelly dudes didn’t really appeal to me. Disclaimer – all of the above now appeals to me and I am definitely a somewhat smelly lady during deer camp.
Since I wasn’t interested in joining him in the woods, I decided to learn about hunting and its appeal from the comfort of my home. I began asking him in-depth questions about hunting as well as doing my own research. Once I had the foundational understanding of hunting and why he hunted, I was able to watch the hunting channel with him and look at new gear without being completely bored. I kind of compared my husband’s hunting hobby to my home decor shopping. If he tagged along with me to shop, he was clearly bored and didn’t offer much input which in turn, made me annoyed he was even there. I imagine it was similar for him when trying to engage in hunting topics and me being completely uninterested.
Spending time learning about something he loved allowed me to connect with him on another level. It is truly so much fun being able to have a conversation with him regarding something he is so excited and passionate about. Because I decided to care about his hunting experiences, his excitement became contagious and I really did like hearing about his adventures.
That is about as far as I can go with my own personal experience because I somehow got sucked to the other side and am now an avid and passionate hunter myself!
Supporting Your Spouse’s Hunting Hobby
I asked a few non-hunting friends some questions about supporting their husband’s hunting hobby. Of course, we had to start off with a positive question:
What is your favorite thing about your partner hunting?
Katie said, “I think my favorite thing is that his hunting is something he looks forward to all year. It also allows him to spend “special” time with his dad, brother, and friends. I think he looks forward more to deer camp and the social aspect than actually sitting in the woods. I like seeing him so excited about it.”
Toni had a different view on it and said, “While he is enjoying his hobby of hunting, I can have my needed alone time to enjoy my hobbies of reading, cooking, and visiting coffee shops.” Who can deny alone time isn’t good for the soul?!
Next, I had to ask about their least favorite thing about their partner hunting. Both women had similar answers and agreed that the lack of time spent together during hunting season is a bummer. Plus it can get a bit expensive at times.
That leads us to the next question: How and why be supportive in the first place?
Both women had similar answers which included questioning how they could inhibit their husband’s beloved hobby. Katie mentioned that her husband only hunts deer so she is well aware of the season dates and can easily and happily see the end is near.
If you struggle to support your partner’s hunting hobbies, here are some words of wisdom spoken by the spouses of avid hunters:
- Toni suggests giving it a try and going along with your partner on a few hunts to show support and spend quality time together. Does the fake-it-til-you-make-it rule apply here?! You may even surprise yourself and actually enjoy it as Toni does!
- Katie reminds us to remember how much joy hunting brings your husband. She also suggests starting your own traditions during hunting season. For example, Katie and her mom always spend opening weekend together.
- My piece of advice is to find parts of hunting that you can become interested and invested in. Maybe that is checking out reviews on the newest clothing line or maybe it is diving into the role that hunters play in conservation efforts. Hunting is multifaceted and I’m confident there is a little piece for everyone.
The moral of the story here is that it is important to support one another and to remember that relationships involve compromise. As cliche as it sounds, the Golden Rule is a good motto to remember.
What about you? How do you support your spouse during hunting season? Your advice might be exactly what someone needs to read during this hunting season.
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