In honor of my dear husband and opening season on Thursday, I have decided to write a little post on hunting. I fully expect not to see him much for the next four months, or at least until he snags a buck. I used to hate him being gone all the time and bother him about it endlessly, but I’ve realized lately it’s just better to let him do his thing. Now please don’t make the mistake of thinking that I actually know a lot about hunting and want to share it with you. This post will strictly be about my husband and his love for hunting with maybe a few things I’ve learned from him thrown in.
Now the fact that I even know that Missouri’s opening season for deer hunting starts on Thursday is a big deal for this girl! I was raised in a home that did not hunt anything, period. In fact, I don’t think there was a single gun in our house, except for my brother’s bb guns. Even those were mostly just for shooting cans, and when he did shoot animals he usually got in trouble. It’s not that my family was completely against hunting, but my dad has an immense love for animals and I think he just can’t bear the thought of ever shooting one himself. Ergo, he didn’t want us to shoot them either. Instead of a hobby of hunting, we all had the hobby of saving and taking in stray animals. I can not count the number of dogs, cats, birds, and turtles that we took in and tried to find homes for, or just nursed back to health until they could be set free in the wild again.
Obviously growing up in a home like this, I used to think hunting was cruel and only done for sport. Thankfully my husband, and many podcasts and hunting shows have helped to show me otherwise. When Pate chooses a hobby, he really goes all in. Sure growing up in the country, he hunted some when he was young. But since we have moved back to Golden, the extreme that he has taken it to, well lets just say I never could have imagined it would come to this! Hunting season never ends for him (or me)! There is bowfishing season, turkey season, dove season, deer season, pheasant season and my education ends here. Along with all this are the never-ending podcasts, TV shows, and Internet searching. I will say that most of these I begrudgingly listen to and watch, but in trying to not complain and be respectful to my husband, I have learned a few things. I have learned that while hunting is done for sport most of the time, it can be good for the ecosystem and that some hunt for this reason as well. When one species is picked off some, another species can thrive because of this. I also know that when hunters are really consumed with a kill, they will learn everything there is to know about their intended kill. They actually seem to acquire a love for the species, which amazes me. The knowledge that my husband has for every animal he goes after is just extraordinary. He spends hours upon hours learning about animals and hunting; he loves information and learning new things.
Maybe not all hunters are this way, but because my husband has shown me his love for hunting in a new light, I have come to accept it and even become somewhat interested in it. Hunting has provided food for our family; we haven’t bought ground beef in almost a year. Hunting has also become a fun outing for our family. Many times during the week, we will all go out driving to look for deer. Our son loves this little outing and we love that we are teaching him about animals and spending quality time with him. One day, our son will get to go on his first hunt, and that will be a wonderful experience between father and son. I can’t wait for Pate and Silas to have that experience; for daddy to be able to teach Silas something and to be able to be so proud of what he can accomplish.
I know hunting is not for everyone, but if I can begin to see it differently and understand it, than maybe others could too. Of course I don’t love it yet, but I am beginning to respect how much my husband loves it. Because of my love for him, I want to do the things he loves with him, so yes I do want him to take me hunting one day soon. I hope and pray it doesn’t scar me for life the first time I take an animal’s life (other than running one over with my car), but I think knowing the reasons behind why that animal should be killed will help me be okay with it.
Happy hunting season to all the devoted hunters out there! We love you even though you get a little obsessive at times.