These are the things that employers of hunters simply must deal with.
We hunters are a quirky bunch for any employer to deal with. Nothing we do falls in line with the rest of the people in the company. Our vacations fall in un-traditional times. We are unresponsive to emails and phone calls at certain times of the year. Overall, it is simply obvious that we do not do things like everyone else in the factory or office.
Maybe your co-workers are all hunters too and your employer knows what to expect. Or maybe you are the lone hunter in an office full of city slickers.
Whatever your work situation may be, there are certain things your employer is just going to have to deal with when it comes to your hunting obsession.
Our vacations are irregular.
Almost everyone else likely has their breaks scheduled out for spring break or summer vacation in a pretty predictable fashion. Maybe there is that one person in the office every year who goes to a theme park with the family every year. Or the other co-worker who takes all their trips abroad. Many of your coworkers may balk when they find out you aren't going anywhere once your vacation starts. If you are the lone hunter on the factory floor or office, you are the one weirdo blocking out all their vacation time in October and November during the peak of the rut. The good news is, if you are the only hunter at your workplace, your vacation time is usually unopposed, so it is usually approved quickly. This is the one time it stinks to be in a workplace with lots of other hunters. Odds are, they are using their vacation at the same time as you. The other bad news is, you have a longer, more grinding wait than everyone else for some serious recharge time in the stand each year.
Our office décor is weirder than most.
If you are an office worker, some people may do a double take upon entering your office and seeing your outdoor-themed décor. Your office's artwork consisting of bucks and ducks stands in sharp contrast to your coworker's huge assortment of Disney memorabilia. That huge shed antler on the desk or the fish on the wall causes passers-by to stop and look again just to confirm what they are seeing. Yes, my office chair has a camo print pattern, what of it? We have even heard of some ambitious hunters bringing in a deer mount to hang in the office if their workplace permits it. One thing is for sure, it makes for an excellent conversation starter, especially if another hunter happens to wander in! Let's just hope you don't have an anti-hunter in the office. That could make for some awkward conversations with HR.
You will be reserved and distant during the season.
As hunters, we tend to have our focus narrowed significantly during hunting season. During the rare times we are at work during the season, we may seem a little distant because our minds are not on the latest reports or getting this priority parts order out. Nope, we are piecing together everything we know about that big buck in our minds, looking for a pattern. Our manners during office small talk also take a noticeable dive. "What's that? No, sorry, Susan, we haven't watched whatever new hit TV show you're talking about. Our TV hasn't been on in over a month." Unless you have hunting co-workers to share trail camera photos and stories with, you probably seem quite reserved and distant during the seasons to everyone else at work. Eventually some co-workers can learn to deal with it, but it can take some adjusting. The one piece of small talk that does still work is the weather. After all, you have been out in the field dealing with it every single evening for the last two months. You know exactly what's going on out there right now! The biggest annoyance for any hunter in a workplace of non-hunters is that inevitable small talk question after you return from vacation: "Did you catch one?" Ugh, we went over why this term was inaccurate LAST year Randy!
You bring wild game meat as a snack or to an office potluck.
Maybe your workplace has a potluck lunch or dinner every so often. While everyone else is bringing something store-bought, you always bring in some organic wild game meat. Depending on who you work with, they may be horrified or intrigued. However, we have found that in many workplaces, fresh venison and other wild game dishes are often quite the hit. It's good if you have foodies as co-workers. Bring in a batch of venison snack sticks or jerky and watch them disappear in minutes as word gets around the workplace. In some instances, this may lead to your coworkers continually begging you to bring more. In some workplaces, your co-workers may be rooting for your success even more than you are, simply so they can enjoy those awesome venison meatballs again at the office Christmas party.
You are slow or completely unresponsive to emails and calls during the season.
During hunting season, some work responsibilities may get neglected just a hair, and this can take some getting used to for some employers. Your previously lightning quick responsiveness to emails and phone calls suddenly drops off like a stone. It may even lead to some co-workers asking if you are feeling okay. It's cool, it's just a little seasonal fever... buck fever that is! They really have nothing to worry about. Everything is fine and your productivity will return to what it was in late winter after the majority of the seasons are over. But during the rut, those emails might go a few days before getting a response. Once they get to know you, they may even adjust to your habits in a good work environment. Really good co-workers know better than to try calling you on the deer stand. Those calls you will likely never hear because your phone is muted. That is, if you have it with you at all while out pursuing game. Even if you do see them, they're likely getting ignored. Sorry, it's only temporary. At least until the peak of the rut is over.
For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels.
NEXT: THE AXIS DEER AND HOW THEY'RE IMPACTING PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES
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