I often hear women joke about just how expensive their deer meat really is. While the tags are relatively cheap (for the possible amount of meat able to be harvested), some gear can be outrageously expensive. And some men tend to want the next best thing for hunting season as soon as it hits the shelf. Its almost like some girls and their makeup lines or purse obsessions. As soon as that sexy new pack of broad-heads from (insert brand here) hits the stores, you best believe you and your hubby are going to magically have a date night and just so happen to find the closest Sportsmen's Warehouse or Cabelas.
Now I'm pretty lucky and fortunate because Jay is not like most men in that aspect. He doesn't need the new best this or that and half the time he feels guilty buying arrows when he may only have one or two left. He regularly asks for hunting items as gifts for Christmas and birthdays so that it doesn't come out of our pocket. I will say though, he does have a slight obsession with hunting clothing. In the six years that I've known him, he has went from Mossy Oak, to Sitka, to Kuiu, to First Light. It amazes me the amount of money that can be spent on merino wool that will rip after the first run or two through jaggers. And, regardless of if he looks like a snake in his new camo or not, if he's happy with it, then so am I.
So as you can guess, our deer meat really doesn't cost more than a dollar to a dollar and a half a pound, if he fills all his tags (and trust me I've done the math). And honestly, to me, that's a killer deal. Not only do I know when the animal was harvested but I also know how and where. I know what the animal ate and what general lifestyle it had. And I also know that not a single part of that deer will go to waste. But most importantly, I know that the bond between my husband, God, his dad, and the outdoors has only grown stronger with each hunt or harvest.
But tonight, as I sit here at no later than 10:30, when we were supposed to be having a movie night and drinking some wine, I can't help but think. If I accounted for all the hours that my hubby spent in the woods. If I accounted for all the early bedtimes and mornings without my husband by my side, I would say that deer meat costs a lot. If I accounted for all the times when plans have changed due to hunting or nights that I've laid awake wishing my husband was there beside me, I would have a different story.
You see it wasn't until now that I understood what all those women before me meant when they said that deer meat costs a lot. They meant that you will give up countless hours of your life to be the man and the woman of the house. You will give up sleep talking yourself out of the worst case cinerios saying that he got back to camp okay and just didn't get service to call. You will loose date nights. You will give up your own sanity at some points just to see your husband smile. You will surrender a large part of the lifestyle you hoped to have as a newly married wife to a passion that is hard to find. Then you will spend countless more hours wondering if that passion for the outdoors outweighs the passion he has for you. But you will put up with it and even try to embrace it, all because that is the man that you fell in love with. You fell hard for the zealous, strong-willed, sporting man who could seamlessly climb mountains at the drop of a hat in the hopes of finding a deer.
So in conclusion, deer meat for me costs less than most chicken at the grocery store in monetary value, but it costs so much more that any prime rib in emotional ware. So if you are like me and are struggling to keep your head above the water. If you are sitting on the couch reading this so you don't think too much, you are not alone. I've been there. Heck, I'm there right now as I'm writing this. And don't get me wrong, hunting is amazing for our relationship in so many ways, but tonight, for me, it just wasn't one of them. And you know what, that's okay. Because tomorrow is a new day with a new hunting adventure ahead. Jay will be in Maryland and I will be home working on stuff of the business. But when he comes home, you best believe I will wrap my arms around the man I love with my whole heart and welcome him back home. Because wherever he is, is where my home will be.
Jay's buck taken yesterday November 24, 2020 in WV. This buck was well deserved and sought after due to a long season of unsuccessful prior hunts and I couldn't be happier for him!