You know, Cupid is a bowhunter.
Sometimes we get caught up in our own adventures so much, we forget the ones we leave tending everyday affairs. For instance, while I’m out playing with the birds, deer, bear, fish, and whatever else I happen to be chasing, someone has to watch the kids, the dogs, the cat, the guinea pigs, the ferret…our whole zoo! It can get rough at times, and there needs to be some balance of responsibility. Fortunately for me, my wife Susan amazingly understands. While she doesn’t hunt, she shows that hint of excitement on my return, wanting to know the details of the hunt, see the pictures, and of course, sees if I was successful in bringing back any game. She spends countless hours researching recipes over the internet trying to find a way to cook what I bring back so that all of the family will look forward to the meal (we are a family that is one half very picky eaters). It gives me a sense of accomplishment and that primal hunter/gatherer feeling. Although she doesn’t hunt, we will plan days where we scout, set up stand locations and trail cameras. She’ll be the first to want to see what the cameras picked up. And one of the most exciting ‘small’ trips we have had was when I took the family where there is a high concentration of bear, and she was able to see her first, real live bear (only at about 15 yards away standing upright I might add).
There are couples who spend time together in the woods. Scott Smith re-introduced his girlfriend Melissa Webb to hunting this year. Back in October, Scott and Melissa headed off to a box stand overlooking a bean field, surrounded by cotton. After settling in, Scott made a series of grunt calls when they saw a doe about 200 yards out. The doe was anxious, looking over her shoulder steadily. The doe disappeared into the beans after about 10 minutes. Scott began to grunt again, this time warning Melissa not to laugh at him, and after a few minutes, Melissa spotted another deer. The head was down, but the deer was only 85 yards out. Scott pulled the rifle up, and through the scope noticed horns. Melissa’s excitement was hard to contain, and Scott managed to take a deep breath, ask Melissa to cover her ears, and squeeze the trigger. Scott downed an 11 pointer, with Melissa sharing the experience firsthand.
Notice I had stated Scott re-introduced Melissa to hunting. When Melissa was younger, she had spent some time with her dad deer hunting. Bobby K. Webb passed away 12 years ago, and Melissa figured she’d give it another try in his memory. On November 17, she talked with her dad, asking for his help. After getting herself situated in the stand, to her amazement, a large 8 pointer barreled down the path straight to her stand. The massive buck stopped 100 yards out. Melissa readied her rifle, and once again asked her dad for help in making a true shot. Melissa placed it well, and now had her deer of a lifetime. I could see Scott’s excitement for Melissa as he told me about his season this year.
The point is couples can enjoy the outdoors together, even if the interest varies. Remember your loved one on this coming Valentine’s (hint: get a gift now if you haven’t already!) and thank them for all they do, whether with you or when you are away.After all, Cupid IS a bowhunter…
Bill Howard is a Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education Instructor , a Wildlife Representative and BCRS Program Chairman for the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, and an avid outdoorsman. Please forward any pictures or stories you would like shared to firstname.lastname@example.org.