Couples Who Hunt Together…

Aaron and Tonya Priest, a couple who hunts together.
Aaron and Tonya Priest, a couple who hunts together.
By: Jennifer Bickel
By: Jennifer Bickel

There was at least one kid in everyone’s gym class, the one who always took whatever sport you were playing that day way too seriously. I was that kid. You would have sworn I was trying to get a sports scholarship in elementary school gym class. It didn’t stop there. All through school I always played sports and I was always competitive. Even since I was just a little one, I was always putting my heart and soul into everything that I did and have always loved competition. This competitive spirit has followed me into my adulthood. Except now I try to use it for good instead of evil. I’m no longer trying to hit a homer in 2nd grade t-ball. Instead, I’m competing with myself to be a better me, a better hunter, a better person and a better mother. I don’t let my competitiveness make me a sore loser. I don’t get mad if I lose, I just use it as a learning experience and strive to be better. Although, I found that when hunting with a spouse, my competitive side does have a tendency to come out. Especially when my spouse has a bit of a competitive nature as well. That’s where the question comes up. Is hunting with a spouse a great bonding experience or can it cause tension in a relationship?

Dennis and Julie Pridgen hunt together.
Dennis and Julie Pridgen hunt together.

A very good friend of mine and I were talking about this today and after he posted the same question on Facebook, there was very mixed responses. Here are just a few;

-I personally love going hunting with my husband! I don’t get to enough because we have 3 young children but once I get the chance again I’ll be right by his side! And hopefully shooting some myself! We may be a little competitive but it’s all in good fun. I enjoy seeing him get so excited about his recent kill whether it be in the woods, field or the water his happiness is mine! & to me I believe some women value that time with their husbands enjoying the same sport he does!

-Me personally, I think it creates a bond and competition both. Even though there is a competitiveness between the 2, if the other kills a bigger deer you’re going to be happy for them regardless. As far as driving a wedge between the 2, I think it all depends on the people. A little competition never hurt anybody

Aaron and Shyda May, yep, they hunt together.
Aaron and Shyda May, yep, they hunt together.

-Depends on the couple…many guys want to be the one “in charge” when it comes to hunting, which is perfectly awesome for most girls. For me it created a huge wedge as I like to call the shots. I believe hunting does create a bond between couples, as sometimes you need to be with someone who understands that passion or it will be a problem. But honestly every ones situation is different and different things work for different couples. It’s hard to clump everyone together.

-I think it creates a bond. Why have it be a competition? You should be happy for your loved one if they get a bigger trophy. But I don’t hunt for trophy. I hunt because it’s what I love. And to provide meals for the family. Being out in the woods is peaceful. And if I just so happen to shoot a nice one then that’s just a prize.

-We hunt together. She kills more n bigger animals than I…but I can say. She has a GOOD guide. (Me)….

-Keep it fun and the bond will grow

Cole and Amanda Carr also hunt together.
Cole and Amanda Carr also hunt together.

-I will caution you though…. Most of you are younger… there will come a day when your eyes won’t be as sharp, your strength will fade and you will be limited in what you can achieve….. When that time comes, it won’t be about the biggest or the most…. be sure you place your appreciation of all God’s wonders at the top of your list at all times!

-I’m all for women who hunt! But I want a woman who’s not scared to get out of truck and say ‘see ya’ at dark, and go her own way and have her own personal experience in the outdoors! Then meet back at truck after dark and share the hunt

Ryan and Sheila Hunt, hunt together.
Ryan and Sheila Hunt, hunt together.

In recent years, more and more women are getting into hunting. I think this is great! It is so refreshing to see more women stepping up and taking charge. I don’t think there is any one right answer. I think each relationship is different and you have to find what works for you. I’m competitive, independent and hard headed but I also know when to let go and sit back and learn. I wouldn’t know a lot of what I know today about hunting if I hadn’t sucked up my pride and just listened. We as hunters learn a lot through trial and error or at least I know I have. But some of our greatest lessons can be learned from observing and being a team player. Nobody likes a ball hog! Even some of the bad memories I have are memories made and what may not have been so funny back then, is hilarious now. Sometimes we need to just sit back and take it all in.

Tom and Brenda Cuiskshank hunted Africa together.
Tom and Brenda Cuiskshank hunted Africa together.

My personal opinion is hunting can really strengthen the bond in a relationship but you may need to set some boundaries. I have found that hunting together, but also hunting solo, at times can be really beneficial for a couple. Find what works for you and your relationship, no two relationships are the same. I have some memories and have experienced some things that I may never experience again while hunting with a spouse.

Jon and Stacy Sissney took home the birds together.
Jon and Stacy Sissney took home the birds together.

There were times when I just wanted to strangle the person I was hunting with or at least duct tape their mouth shut. Or maybe tie them to a tree and duct tape a call in their mouth so all they can do when they try to talk is call you in a big bull. Life is what you make it. Hunting is a positive experience, don’t let it be turned into a negative one. Just remember that the patience you practice while hunting with other people will make your patience better when you’re waiting on that big mule deer buck to take another couple of steps into your shooting lane.

2 Responses to "Couples Who Hunt Together…"

  1. Shaina Hatfield   2014/03/07 at 5:52 am

    My husband and I bowhunt together, always. We also film, and most of the time he’d rather film me and than him hunt. But I feel the same way. He gets more excited when I sling an arrow than I do! But I’m the same way with him! We both love the hunt and love hunting together. If one of us is sick and can’t go, neither of us go because it’s not the same not being able to share it with your best friend. You can only relive the story so much, but sharing those moments together makes memories you’ll both never forget. I wouldn’t change a thing because I believe hunting had brought us closer together than we could’ve ever been without it. :)

  2. David   2014/03/10 at 8:39 pm

    I personally think that it brings us closer together as a couple. We trash talk each other and have a great time doing it. And if one of us is successful we both cheer. And like has been said, if one can’t go we both don’t go. Just because it won’t be as special as if they were. Plain and simple.