(Originally published in the Merritt News)
© By Othmar Vohringer
I am fortunate in that my wife supports my hunting lifestyle. Going by what I hear from fellow hunters many are not so lucky. “My wife doesn’t like when I go hunting” to “My marriage is in trouble because she thinks I spend too much time away from her” are some of the complaints I hear more often than I care to count.
I wonder why so many hunters seem to have relationship problems. Is it because they put hunting before marriage and family? I know of a few hunters where this definitely is the case. Is it because the hunter fails to see it from the perspective of the spouse? In my view and perhaps as advice to others we need to get away from thinking of hunting as a “manly” (macho) activity in which women have no place or are only a secondary thought.
A marriage, or any relationship for that matter, is about sharing and trying to see the viewpoint from the partner’s perspective. For example: Heidi is not keen on going hunting but she enjoys fishing and shooting at the range. She also understands that I like hunting but not to the point that I put that activity above our marriage or spend all my vacation time and money to do that endeavour. In other words, unlike some I know, marriage and family comes always first and hunting second. When I come back from a hunting trip I share my experiences with my wife. To me this is important because many women perceive hunting as a uniquely competitive male activity. (This way of thinking is in direct contrast to the scores of modern women who hunt for the sake of hunting and also competition.) By letting your wife know that hunting is not necessarily a competitive or strictly masculine activity but is also a team sport and an overall experience you may very well be able to get her interested too.
This happened to a friend of mine. His wife was vehemently against him going out hunting and it caused much grief between them. One day my friend sat down and talked to his wife about what hunting meant to him and why he hunts. During that conversation he let it be known that he would love to have her along so they could share together the experience of living out in the wilderness for a week or two. After this conversation my friend’s wife tagged along on a day scouting trip and a year later she voiced an interest in going along on a day hunt for grouse. That was four years ago. Today my friend’s wife is a full-fledged hunter and loves to go on hunting trips with her husband. He in turn cannot think of a better hunting partner on his side than his own wife.
Even if your wife does not want to go hunting, by showing a little consideration and honestly trying to understand why your spouse doesn’t like hunting, you will go a long way in gaining her support and that is a lot better then complaining to your hunting buddies “I wish my wife would understand.”