For my husband, there are two weeks of the 52 in a year that are held the most sacred of all weeks. The holiest of holy weeks, these two weeks are blocked off in his phone calendar before I can even purchase a wall calendar. They are defined by two words...
For some, it is also referred to as Open Season. In our house it is simply referred to as Huntin' Season.
In Kentucky, we are blessed with a plethora of wild life. With that being said, we have an abundance of deer. Deer hunting season actually starts the beginning of September with Bow. This means you are only able to hunt deer with a bow. Bow season is the longest and runs till the middle of January. But in November, there is a two week period where bow and gun come together... For Bill, this is Christmas!
Being that we dated and married in the years before YouTube, my family, with their high standards of gun safety, introduced and taught Bill the basics of firearm usage and ownership. I personally had no fear of guns. I was taught safety, safety and more safety as well as how to hold, load, and shoot them. I would sit and watch my dad clean them as well as go to gun "shoots" to win turkeys, lol, but I never hunted. Of course there was my brother who when growing up and like most boys, liked to take the opportunity to use his BB gun to shoot a bird now and then. But Bill grew up with no firearms and didn't even have a BB gun growing up. Needless to say, a fascination developed and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
It wasn't until my son was around 9 years old that Bill decided he would like to go deer hunting. My aunt and uncle lived and owned property near Louisville, Kentucky at the time and we had just moved to Kentucky. For Bill and our son to obtain their hunting license, it is/was required to take a Hunter's Education Course. Our son was quite young, and didn't pass the course at the time so I promptly signed him up again and decided to join him so he wouldn't be by himself. He was pretty upset I was making him take it, but I was seeing long term where he was just seeing "the present day". I just felt it was the perfect opportunity to teach gun safety, rules for hunting (because we know how young boys are with guns and birds!), and obtain a certificate that he can use all across the U.S. And I was so incredibly glad I did. I had learned that there were people from Germany there, visiting family, that signed up to take the course. For Kentucky residents, this was a free course! The German visitors had to pay a very small fee. It was nothing in comparison to the cost of the course in Germany! They had said the same course was literally hundreds of dollars in their country. And the certificate here in the States was recognized there! Not long after, Bill took our youngest daughter to the same course so she could get certified and hunt :)
What people don't seem to know, understand, and/or realize, is that we need hunters. And by that, I mean, we need legal hunters. It is and incredibly rewarding way to control a population of animals that would otherwise grow to an unhealthy population. Some people think that hunters are allowed to just go out and kill any deer. This is very untrue. Here, in our region, you have to pay for a license (gun and/or bow) and a tag. That tag permits a hunter to kill one buck and one doe OR two doe. But the hunter is only permitted to take one buck per season-no matter how many tags he/she buys. The electronic system that is set up for tags helps the Fish and Wildlife department assess the population so that the number of deer can be analyzed for future hunting seasons. It also allows them to see where populations of deer have increased and decreased as well as obtaining information on diseased deer. Without controlled legal hunting, deer would over populate, there wouldn't be enough food for all of them, and disease would spread like wildfire. It is a much needed "primitive" control.
And then there's the personal side to deer hunting. There are people in this world that truly want nothing to do with the outdoors. But for those who enjoy nature, deer hunting allows you to watch nature from sunup to sundown. I often joke with Bill that he probably just naps in the tree stand because it's so peaceful. He loves to come home and tell me stories...and stories...and more stories. Sometimes you get lucky and you see other animals you wouldn't normally get to see such as fox, a coyote, a big owl or two... But I'm sure he will tell you, as I know this would be it for me, that being able to hunt with your son or daughter is the BEST experience. (This is our daughter above with her first deer) Watching and allowing them to learn and appreciate nature, listening to the earth, and understanding that you shoot to kill and what you kill becomes your food. But more importantly, teaching and understanding that this sport is much needed to maintain the health of nature for the future.
This year Bill was blessed to be able to take two deer. Because we are not permitted to hunt in our subdivision (yet you can see all the pictures from our phone and/or trail camera above that we have plenty of deer running in our yard!), Bill hunts on a friend's farm just a few miles down the road. And to save money and to insure we get all the meat, Bill also processes (cuts up) the deer. It's a great feeling to know we have fresh, non processed, natural meat in the freezer! Oh and I can't forget the request for jerky we are always getting from the kids!
Some of you may wonder if I hunt. No, but I do have my certification lol. I love Bill enough to let him have his two week vacation away from me!
Remember that boy who was mad at me for making him take the Hunter Ed. Course? Well, that course allowed him to hunt with friends and take this young buck in another state (Nebraska) a few years ago while serving in the Air Force. (mom always knows best...)