The Pros and Cons of Being a Hunter’s Widow

I broke the cardinal rule of being a hunter’s wife this year. Not only did I go out of town for a conference during opening weekend of bow season, I also planned a family trip to Disney World right smack dab in the middle of October. My husband has been a pretty good sport about it though, and I’ve tried really hard to make sure his calendar stays open the rest of hunting season.

I Married a Hunterhunters widow featured

A few short months after we started dating, I found out just how much time my now husband would spend on his favorite obsession hobby. Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to life with a hunter since my dad enjoyed spending his free time fishing and coaching my brother’s baseball team, so this whole thing was pretty new to me. I was fully aware this hobby would continue into our marriage and made the decision at that time to fully support him in this life of camouflage.

A few months before hunting season starts (read: mid-July), he has to get his spot ready for hunting. He bush hogs the land, builds a tree stand, plants a food plot, and sets up an automatic feeder and a camera to snap time-stamped pictures of deer. Have I mentioned that hunting is not cheap? But I digress, that’s another post for another day.

For the most part, I truly do not mind the amount of time he spends hunting, but as with anything, being a hunter’s widow, has its pros and cons. I polled some of my friends whose husbands are hunters, and they shared some of their own pros and cons of being a hunter’s widow.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Hunter’s Widow

PRO :: Did someone say shopping?! While the hubby is sitting in a tree waiting for a deer to walk out of the brush, you can hit up the mall. He won’t be there when you get home to give you a hard time about how many shoes you bought at one time or how long you took browsing Home Goods for the perfect piece of accent furniture for your living room.

CON :: In about twenty five days, that credit card bill will show up in his inbox and you’ll have some explaining to do!.

PRO :: He starts shopping in June for all the latest and greatest hunting gear. It’s no big deal, really, because he says “consider this my Christmas gift this year.” Perfect since you are usually grasping at straws on what to get him.

CON :: Your kids don’t see any gifts under the tree for Daddy, yet they see multiple gifts for Mommy. He assures you it really is okay since he did, in fact, tell you to consider his prior hunting purchases his gift. However, even though you’ve both explained it multiple times, it doesn’t stop the kids from asking and thinking Mommy didn’t get Daddy anything for Christmas.

PRO :: He’s rarely home in time for dinner since he likes to end the day with an evening hunt. And when he is home, he is most likely going to fall asleep super early since he was out the door before sunrise, so you don’t really need to worry about preparing nice, fancy meals. Just make sure there’s always a DiGiorno in the freezer, and he’ll stay a happy man.

CON :: While it’s not always a bad thing to enjoy a bowl of Cheerios for dinner with the little ones, it can get really old, really fast and you start missing adult conversation at the dinner table.

PRO :: If he gets a deer or two during the season, the freezer is stocked for a while. Sausage, roast, backstrap … for days! Make sure you have a Pinterest board set aside for new recipe ideas for all the venison you’ll be cooking this winter.

CON :: It may take some time to get past the fact that this was Bambi’s mother. And trust me on this one, pay to have it processed by someone else …

Advice to a New Hunter’s Widow

Ok, to sum it up, don’t plan anything between October 1st and January 31st for your family if you want your husband to be involved. And always keep your babysitter on speed dial so you can still enjoy moms night out every once in a while.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Being a “widow” means he’s never coming home. It’s the pain of crying yourself to sleep every night for God knows how many YEARS to come. There will be no family vacations anytime of the year for a WIDOW. There will never be any explanations over a credit card bill. There is nothing but an empty hole that is left in your heart and memories in your mind. There will never be an end to the weekend. Being a widow means your husband is DEAD not hunting. I pray that you never know the real heartbreak that the word “WIDOW ” carries!! That you never have to turn your head to hide the tears when someone asks about him. That you never have to reach over in the middle of the night to an empty space you know he will never fell again. That you dont have to beg God to let you dream of him just to see him again for a min. I’m sorry to say all of this but to hear the word widow used in the way you have just breaks my heart. I really do pray you never know this feeling and that everytime he leaves you to hunt he returns safely. But please in honor and respect to those that have had to bury their husbands do not use the term widow anymore.

  2. Ms. Wood,
    While I completely understand your statement, and sentiment I have to say one thing. You are fighting an entire culture that is beyond your scope of knowledge. I was at the archery range yesterday with my significant other when a gentleman older than myself (keep in mind I’m 48), utilized the phrase “Hunter’s widow”. Military wives become “Single Parents” when their husbands are deployed. It does not imply that they are in fact not married. Unfortunately in certain walks of life certain terms are utilized to describe a situation that does not quite fit. As a Social Worker I encounter this quite regularly. Similarly there are people who do not hold a degree in Social Work but call them selves Social Workers when in fact they are Case Managers, because Social Work is a LICENSED profession.
    Historically our society has names for certain things that are not “okay”, they become modified to be correct for the situation and then years later that “new” term will be incorrect and out dated. Please don’t be mad but be patient with the culture of hunters and their significant others. It is a challenge of it’s own.
    Respectfully.
    A. DeRusha

  3. It’s an expression. Everyone is so touchy feely about words!!! I ch e dated on my husband because he was always away! It wasnt his fault I take the blame! But good Lord I asked fore strength and didnt get help from anyone! At least people feel bad for you! Get a grip I’m so angry. I ruined my life. I hate hunting!!

  4. If your husband dropped dead leaving you and your children alone you’d be “touchy” about words too. Words carry more weight than you think. Hunting isn’t the reason you cheated on your husband, grow up and take some accountability for yourself- that’s why no one feels bad for you lol come on now…and while you’re at it, a healthy side of compassion might do you some good.

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