Hunting Trip Stress

Vegans and hippies won’t enjoy this post.

On safari in Phinda

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Friday, I went to a cabin in the woods for a weekend hunting trip with my dad, my brother, and a few other people.

My wife didn’t think it’s a good idea.   In fact, she was terrified that I’d  walk into the woods and come out in a body bag.

Statistically, it’s safe.  Out of 12.5 million hunters, there are only around 100 fatal hunting accidents every year.   I think I went hunting for the first time when I was 12, and continued to do so until I was 17, then life started interfering.

That doesn’t matter.  By definition phobias aren’t rational.  She’s worried and stressing hard.

If she’s had such a hard time with it, why did I go?

First, I asked her six months ago if she’d be all right with the trip.  I knew she had some phobias, and have–in fact–tried to make the trip before.   Six months ago, she said yes.  It was a bit late to back out after I’ve committed to a share of the cabin, bought the bright orange gear, and agreed to drive my brother.

The second reason was more important.

This is one of the few things my dad and I both enjoy.    I’m a geek, he’s not.    I dig horror and sci-fi, he’s into westerns.

But we both enjoy hunting.  The first time he treated me like an adult was the first year we went hunting together, 15 years ago.

My dad taught me to be the man I am.   Without him, I have no idea who I’d be or what I’d be doing.   My integrity, my work ethic, and my moral code can all be traced to the things he taught me.

This is my chance to spend time with him and have a good time with no TV or whiny kids interfering.

Trading this for a few days of stress at home is something I’m willing to do.

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  • 7 comments

    Comments

    1. Wow. We both went deer hunting and we both ended up thinking about out dads. I didn’t go up north this year hunting with dad or my nephew and the other guys because I took my 3 boys out on their first deer hunt around here. I wanted to keep them on our land and let them feel a little more comfortable in familiar surroundings instead of the big north woods up in Chippewa National Forest. The first morning, my youngest son got a shot off at a deer and we spent hours looking to see if he hit it or not (his first case of “buck fever”).

      I couldn’t help think all weekend that this is the reason my dad likes to go hunting with me. It was an awesome experience teaching kids and passing on the tradition. The bonding that goes on is incredible. Teaching them about buck scraps, deer tracks, deer beds, controlling your scent, etc, etc AND watching them soak it all up was a lot of fun.

      • We don’t have any place to hunt around here, so we were in Chippewa National Forest. 🙂

        I lived, so my wife’s in a better mood. Next year, it will be easier. The year after, son will be able to go with me.

    2. I think you did the right thing by going. One of the ways to get over a phobia is via sensitivity training. So the more you go and the more times you come back safe. The easier your wife will feel about you hunting. My wife has a fear of dogs. To get over this we got a toy dog and she is slowly but surely getting over her fear. She used to freeze or run in fear at the sight of a dog now she just ignores them. Also, spending time with your father is a must. Not many people share great relationships with their parents. I believe you’re obligated to cherish yours.

    3. Don’t forget to lump us city boys in with the hippies and vegans lol. For me it’s the same as country and NASCAR, growing up in NYC, we weren’t exposed to any of that stuff.

      You guys sound like me & my dad. He’s into westerns and other older stuff, and I’m more into comic book movies and the like. But, they way you guys bond over hunting, we bond over football and baseball (he can’t follow a puck so he doesn’t watch hockey like I do)

    4. You did the right thing. With my dad, the bonding activity is golfing – which sounds safer, but with my swing it’s fairly dangerous.

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