After the Honeymoon: Hunters' Wives

News & Tips: After the Honeymoon: Hunters' Wives

No matter whether you hunt, fish, float the rivers or backpack there's one common ill that afflicts all of us Sportsmen: Our wives don't seem to understand how blissful life could be if they'd just go with us.

AfterTheHoneymoon blog
The author's wife, Katy, with a grouse.

If we didn't like our wives we wouldn't have married them. I love being with Katie. After 29 years of marriage she still excites me. I love the twinkle in her eye. I'd rather she goes hunting/fishing with me than any of my buddies

When we were dating she'd set in a tree bowhunting for hours with me. BUT after you say I DO everything changes. They've filled their tag; the hunt is over. It's like an alien comes and steals the sweet young girl you were head over heels about and replaces her once rational mind with an irrational one. No longer does she think it is a necessity to buy a gun every paycheck.

A few years ago I was bear hunting with Roy Snethen. That night we were setting around the campfire telling stories and having a good time and Roy wistfully looked over and said, "You know the girls just don't know what they're missing." He was 82 years old at the time. If he doesn't have it solved by now, what chance do us young guys have?

But to solve our problem we have to be brutally honest. New husbands are pretty...well let's just say mentally challenged. Think back to the early days. You thought that your girlfriend/soon-to-be-wife actually loved to hunt and fish. All she wanted to do was to be with you.

With your misplaced perception you treated her like one of the guys. You didn't take time to make it fun for her. Four months after we got married I got moved to B-shift. I'd get home around 1:30 a.m. and wake her up at 5:30 a.m. to go fishing.

To be honest, what if you got to bed at 2 a.m. and your lovely little mall stalker woke you up at 5 a.m. to go shopping? It may not be the most pleasurable day of your life. What if she didn't let you wear your comfortable jeans? You had to wear a suit and tie. That's how miserable she is in cammies and remember she can't wear hair spray — deer will smell it.

Then she loads you up in the rig to hit the mall by 5:30 a.m. You beat the pavement for 13 hours and don't even buy a thing (don't have a hit for 13 hours steelhead fishing). Not only is this a miserable deal but she spends $153.75 dollars when you only have $155.00 in checking (that's how she sees all the gear we waste money on).

OK so you admit you've been cruel and insensitive. Well sucker, it's TOO LATE. It does no good to apologize and ask for another chance. It's like my father-in-law says, "When you're out of points, you're out of points!" They have a vivid memory of how hard you pushed them 18 years, 3 months, 2 days, 4 hours, 27 minutes and 17 seconds ago on her first grouse hunt.

So we have to admit, we messed up in the beginning. We weren't considerate of them. I'll give you a perfect real life example. The other day I was crappie fishing and my buddy's kid and his girlfriend were with us. The kid and his buddy took off up a hill and left his girlfriend behind in the dust. My buddy cautions him that maybe he should wait on his girlfriend. He then looks around and comments, my son has a lot to learn about women.

Listen to me here Junior, this will save you years of heartache. WAIT on her. That's how we're born boys. We're slow upstairs.

My wife would go more if I had a camper. Unfortunately I don't, but we can do whatever is within our power and budget to make it as comfortable as possible for them. Remember if they go, make it fun for them. Don't rag on them.

Take food that they like. They may rather have cream cheese and a bagel for breakfast than pickled pig feet. The goal is to be with your wife and have a fun day. You can go hard-core with your buddies.

Cut out pictures of girls hunting and glue to the mirror. It may subliminally wear off on her. Make yourself focus on her while you're out.

Most girls don't particularly like to get cold and wet, much less doing something they don't like! Get her some good clothes. Who knows, one day you may be driving through the mountains and say, isn't that Tom's tent. What's he doing with those women garments hanging on a clothesline outside his tent?

And your buddy will look over and woefully say he's just one lucky sucker. His wife called in sick and came up elk hunting with him. It doesn't hurt to daydream.