It’s a Guy Thing

by Stefani on 4-September-2008

Alright, so I know that there are lot's of women who enjoy hunting, but, um, I'm not one of them. 

I'd rather roam around the woods looking for interesting things than stand in one spot and be real quiet. Call me crazy. 

I will tell you that the vast majority of my time actually WAS spent trying to be real quiet, but not because I give a flying flip about not scaring birds. I was just trying to be cool and not rain on the boy fest, with all of my mama worry and admonitions and "I just don't know about this…" fretting. 

 I was trying REALLY hard to hang with the dudes. 

So, I'm going to just show you the photos, and leave it to you to fill in the 312 things that I'd like to have said but didn't. 

Dove Hunt


Ready, Aim, ...

He Didn't Drink It

Mexican Dove

Trigger Face

See there, now aren't you proud of me?
Grandmother September 4, 2008 at 5:55 am

Yes, definitely!

Amy September 4, 2008 at 5:55 am

Wow. Those are some pretty intense photos. I am impressed at your ability to keep it zipped. I have much to say as well, but maybe it would be rude to discuss my distaste with the whole thing here? I know. I know, I’m a Yankee and I don’t get it. It’s a sport a way of life. Yeah, yeah yeah. I still don’t get it. I’ll give ’em this: it seems like a pretty serious bonding experience between generations of men and boys.

Gretchen September 4, 2008 at 5:56 am

Love the last shot, how he’s wincing before he pulls the trigger.

Stefani September 4, 2008 at 6:03 am

Amy – Oh I know. I’m not a huge fan, but you’re right, there was definitely bonding going on, and learning about the habits and differentiations of wild things. They will also be saving their birds until the end of season and then hosting a barbecue, so they have this sense of pride and accomplishment over having fed their loved ones. I guess I understand that some… I take pride in canning and baking and sewing clothing and blankets… this is their version of that. They’ve been reading lots of fronteir and pioneer books and it really meant something to them to “live it out”… to experience what it would be like to have to really work for your dinner. So, even though I don’t much care for it, or like it, I get it. So I stood by, congratulated them, took photos and tried to at least relish THEIR excitement.

In about a month, it’ll be back to fishing, and that, I can handle 🙂

erika September 4, 2008 at 6:27 am

I love your photos!

Gonzomama September 4, 2008 at 6:34 am

oh my. i’d wincing through the whole thing.
but good for you, i bet the boys enjoyed it and that’s what matters!

emily September 4, 2008 at 6:49 am

so proud of you. you are a far, far better woman than i!

Linn September 4, 2008 at 6:52 am

Reminds me of my childhood…learning how to shoot with Papa at his ranch. Thanks for the memory!

Cassandra September 4, 2008 at 7:11 am

I married into a family of hunters. I come from a family of animal lovers. So it’s been rather interesting to try and find a happy medium. Since we have two girls, I know at least one of them is going to end up hunting with daddy. When we were up at my folks’ house, we were driving by a wooded area and Ember said, “Look at those deer trees!” to which Rory replied, “My thoughts exactly, honey!” and she continued, “We only shoot the boy deers, not the mamas and babies.” A girl after her daddy’s heart that one. Kudos to going along with your boys for the ride!

Lynn September 4, 2008 at 7:24 am

You did a great job of documenting the event.

Sarah September 4, 2008 at 7:42 am

I’m not a gun girl myself either, but that is the cutest picture with the Miller can and the proud sharp-shooter holding it in the background!

molly September 4, 2008 at 8:44 am

um yeah. i will be thinking about you this weekend while out in the woods with ammo, trying to keep my mouth shut. it seems i’m biting my tongue a lot these days. school, guns, what’s next?

Gretchen Skovron September 4, 2008 at 8:48 am

oh you are better than I would have been. Can’t say I’d be able to go along with it.

Baba September 4, 2008 at 8:51 am

Very proud, see it wasn’t so bad!

Jennifer September 4, 2008 at 9:18 am

Hmmm, it is hard sometimes to be the mama of a boy. I completely understand the unspoken words of those pictures.

Sometimes open-mindedness stretches itself to the point that you respect without approving.

elissa September 4, 2008 at 10:10 am

love the photos (i think the beer can is my fave….and the first one), love the experience for those little guys but am still impressed by your ability not to fret (aloud)! what would life be without these experiences that shape our boys into men?

Veronica September 4, 2008 at 10:25 am

Bummer. I liked reading your blog. But like they say if you don’t like it don’t read it. I’m off to read somewhere else.

Stefani September 4, 2008 at 11:20 am

Well yes, Veronica, I suppose if you are unable to both enjoy and share in the parts of our life that you agree with and also take part in a friendly discussion about the parts that you do not, you’d best be served by finding another blog to read.

It would seem to me though that the world would be a lot better place if people were able to exchange viewpoints and perhaps experience life through other eyes, rather than simply walking away when their ideas are challenged.

Happy trails.

Allison September 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm

I don’t think I could have kept my mouth shut, so I just wouldn’t have gone along! =) Of course, I’m sure your boys had a great time, and that is the most important thing of all.

Diane September 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Oh, interesting.

Well… it’s not my thing but my guys are in to it, too, and I try to keep my mouth shut as well. I think you hit it right on the nose when you said that you bake and sew and do what you do for your family and that hunting is their way of providing something in that same way. I did not grow up hunting nor did I even know anyone who did — nor, frankly, did I have any clue where ANY of my food came from. Although I find it kind of yucky and I’m sure I couldn’t be the one pulling the trigger — I also like to eat. Our meat birds are almost ready to be sent to the freezer and I won’t be around the day that the butcher comes but I will certainly be the one making lemon roasted chicken and enjoying it mightily in the cold winter months. I’m afraid I could go on and on about food and how we all choose to eat and so on and so forth! I think it’s a great dialogue to open up… and I think you’re right: the world could be such a much finer place if people could try to kindly discuss the hard parts and the parts where we might not see eye to eye.

Anyway, back to making dinner… : )

YayaOrchid September 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Stefani, you just keep on posting away! It’s your life, your family, and whoever likes to read about it stays, and whoever doesn’t can leave. I for one LOVE your writing, your stories, the way you obviously care SO much for your family. And yes, you inspire me. Moms the world over have felt angst when their little boys have to partake in the ‘male’ dance of their forefathers. In your case it’s hunting, someone else, maybe learning to use power tools, or helping in the family business which may be dangerous….. boys have to learn and what better way than their Father to teach them the rules of playing. I can think of worse things than teaching your child to hunt. Not that I like hunting either. My DH loves it, and I cringe when I think of those poor animals….sigh…Point is families stay connected doing things TOGETHER. A Father is very important! That he spends time with them to teach them things far outweighs cultural distaste for hunting.

Dalyn (The Queen of Quite Alot) September 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm

ha ha ha! A friend sent me the link to your blog- said you were my “mental twin”. NOW I know why. I feel the same way about hunting…and my husband and boys are hunters too. As a matter of fact, the house is littered with gear right now while football is blaring on TV. All of us girls are finding other things to do *U*
Loved your blog- great pictures!

Mary Smith September 4, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I actually admire the fact that you are a bit more liberal about your boys and guns. Even Dr. Dobson in his book, bringing up boys talks about the huge fascination boys (and perhaps men as well) have with guns. Here they are being used in a sporting kind of way. I think that’s okay. I, myself am not a fan of hunting, but there’s so much history to it, and like you say it can be used as a huge teaching opportunity. How different is it than raising animals for food?

Relyn September 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Not my thing either. But, my six year old girl? She has a 22 of her own. It’s pink and yes, it is real. The first time we took her to shoot it, she made sure that her outfit coordinated. Not kidding. Pink shorts, pink camo t-shirt, pink socks, pink swoosh on her tennis shoes. That’s my girl.

Well, we always planned to raise my daughter that girls can do and be anything they want. Guess we succeeded.

Anne September 4, 2008 at 10:04 pm

I don’t think I would enjoy hunting-never tried it, but I can understand how men and boys bond with this sort of thing.

I agree with you the world would be a much better place if we would discuss things rather than walk away. It’s your life and you are sharing parts of it, not for us to criticise.

leslie September 5, 2008 at 3:29 am

okay. yayaOrchid truly couldn’t have said it ANY better. truly!
with two boys in my family and a husband that loves to hunt, i have been down this path.
love your blog. your writing. and the way you are bringing up your boys!!

Our Green Nest September 5, 2008 at 7:01 am

Stefani, I love your blog and getting glimpses into your life. I would love to know if all the people above who have issues w/ hunting are vegetarians or vegans? Otherwise, they don’t have any right to say a single thing – they eat slaughtered animals raised on disgusting factory farms(and killed in a MUCH less humane way) every day! Anyway, it’s always so confusing to me how people can have a problem w/ hunting and then turn around and eat a slaughtered chicken or cow for dinner that was intentionally raised and killed for them to enjoy. At least if you eat the things you hunt (which I hope you do), you’re at least not getting all the disgusting hormones and antibiotics that everyone else is. Obviously, we’re vegan around here 🙂

Beautiful photos as always – thanks for sharing your life w/ us!

amanda September 5, 2008 at 7:36 am

Sorry for the hostility that seems to be directed at you, my friend. 🙁 We all make choices so differently and personally based on so many factors – it’s sad when that’s forgotten and we can’t just respect that we each know what’s best for our amazing little ones.

But, more importantly, can I just say…that Miller beer can photo and the cheeky smile behind it? Oh. My. God. Please, please, please tell me you’ve got that enlarged and framed already. PLEASE.

Marina (from Denmark) September 5, 2008 at 8:09 am

I love your blog and I think you should keep posting anything you fell like. Hugs from Denmark.

Abbigale September 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

Wow, I love the pictures. You really nailed being able to tell a story with them, opening up discussion in the heads of those that view them. I’m not a hunter but my brother in law and uncle and cousins are. People need to be careful what they say about hunting as there are still some families who truly depend on it to be able to put food on their table. Good for you for allowing the male bonding and being able to keep your comments to yourself. I have to stay home when I’m required to keep my comments to myself, because I cannot do it! 🙂

Crystal September 5, 2008 at 8:36 am

I come from a long line of hunters. My Gramma was the one who taught me how to shoot a rifle. It is amazing to me that my Gramma who very much enjoyed knitting, sewing, and baking loved hunting just as much.

I can remember vividly being at camp with my uncles and Gramma during hunting season. It was cold and well…cold. It was Colorado. Other than being frozen it was a good time with my family. We laughed and joked, played cards, ate from food off a campfire. I secretly prayed no one would get a deer or elk, but they did, and I certainly enjoyed the meat throughout the next year. I choose not to hunt now. I am a sap and my heart can’t take it but I say good for you and your family. It’s your blog honey and you should post whatever you want. I’ll be here, still reading. 🙂

sarah September 5, 2008 at 9:43 am

In Vermont hunting season is a way of life. I’d rather have kids growing up knowing how to hunt than to be let loose later with no long-term learning and mentoring.

Bridget September 5, 2008 at 11:56 am

Love the proud boys! I’m from TX too and grew up in OH with a grandma next door that survived the depression by trapping and selling furs with her husband. Needless to say, my sister and I got a great fishing, gardening, outdoorsy education from her and… she taught me to crochet. Yay for the similarities and differences that make humanity so interesting.

Casey September 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Oh, man, the look on the little one’s faces! I hope their shoulders aren’t too sore today.

Carrie September 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and have been enjoying it without commenting. You’re last few entries though prompted me to give you a shout out. As the wife of a hunter, mother of 2 boys and, personally, a woman who has never shot a gun, I applaude you for your approach! Thank you!

erin September 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

you are a good mama, stefani. thanks for sharing this story – sorry a bit of controversy ensued. that’s no fun.

those photos, though! so so great!

Jessica September 5, 2008 at 6:22 pm

While I myself have a hard time thinking about killing my meal, I do think hunting is an important skill to have. What are we all going to do in the face of a big emergency when so many of us don’t own guns, don’t know how to hunt or skin/gut our food, or prepare or preserve it?

I don’t like hunting purely for sport, but I do think knowing how and occasionally keeping the skill alive and of course eating and not wasting what you bring back is important. I appreciate understanding the connection between the food on my plate and what happened to get it there.


OMSH September 6, 2008 at 8:02 am

My son and daughters LOVE sharp shooting with Daddy. I grew up with it too and though I don’t enjoy hunting, I do like shooting.

Veronica, I’m not sure how you would have made it in Pioneer Days. These pictures show a good time, but I wouldn’t define this as sport…they were shooting something to provide food for the family. Food that they know where it comes from. Food that they can be proud of.

leslie September 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

yikes! hot topic! i think living in texas or any rural area makes a difference. here in southern california there isnt any place to hunt really. glad i dont have to deal with it since i would be pretty freaked out myself. growing up my brother had a pellet gun and wounded a bird once, it was horrifying for him because of the pain he inflicted on it but didnt actually kill it (which would have been more humane). he was a wreck over it for a long time and gave the gun away. (he is a nurse now, fancy that!)

stef, i think you are a great mom and parent for working with your husband on this sticky subject, it is so hard to compromise sometimes. your boys will benefit so much from parents who can work together even when they disagree, i think that is the real “story” here.


leslie September 6, 2008 at 8:27 am

oh i forgot to mention i am a vegetarian too (more than 20 years now), that most likely is the cause for some strong reactions from your readers.

francie September 6, 2008 at 4:13 pm

I love the pictures. I grew up in a duck hunting family. Sitting in a wet cold duck blind before the sun even rises and then shooting something and having to clean out it’s guts later just never appealed to me. But that’s why God invented sewing machines…. kept me busy. I love the wincing eyes picture so much. Keep on doin’ your thing sister.

caroline September 6, 2008 at 6:08 pm

I was just reading your comments on this post. WOW!

All I can say is YOU ROCK, GIRL!!!

hanna September 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

oh my, I wouldn’t have been able to look! I’m nervous about my husband wanting to teach my son to surf when he get’s older (I’m a bit scared of the sea), but I think I need to toughen up! The one with your son holding the can is the scariest! He looks so pleased :o)

kristin September 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm

i have grown towards this myself…my husband grew up hunting and for many reasons you have expressed, longs to pass it on.

i think it’s inspiring for you to stand alongside.

way to go.

Stephanie September 9, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Neither my dad nor my brothers were into hunting, but my brother’s wife’s family are all into it, and they took my brother’s boys with them, who loved it. My brother still doesn’t go, but he appreciates the opportunity the boys had to spend with their uncle and grandfather before they died.

Besides, it was my brother’s father-in-law who introduced me to the wonders of deer meat, so who am I to shudder at hunting?

Maybe it’s like the old “Yes, Dear” episode when Greg needs to get rid of a squirrel that keeps bringing peanuts into the yard because his little boy is deathly allergic to peanuts. Neither he, nor his BIL Jimmy, a self-professed hunter, can shoot the critter. When questioned, Jimmy says, “I never shot anything–I just liked to drink beer and paint my face.”

Reiterates the point that it is a male bonding kind of thing, right?
So the boys have had an activity with their dad that may or may not turn into a lifelong interest. The point here is that they will always be able to say, “Remember when dad taught us how to shoot? And Mom went along, too? Man, that was a great time!”

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