Quirky? No... I'm just a hunter.
Heck, the more I think about it, the more I realize how many quirky and weird things I do that most folks might find quite odd. It's all part of being a hunter today.
These strange things may puzzle others, but deer hunters will likely be nodding their heads in agreement at everything on this list. Because let's face it, when you think about it, clashing two whitetail antlers together in hopes of attracting one, it's a really strange thing to do the first time you hear about it.
Here are seven very odd things hunters do in their pursuit of wild animals.
1. Smelling terrible and loving it
What's that weird smell? Eeewwww, you stink and smell awful! Well, I do have to admit that I get that a lot. Yes, I spray scent killer (neutralizer) and deer urine on myself and my camo before I head into the woods. Yes, that is a tarsal gland soaked in buck urine that I'm dragging to my deer stand. Why? Is that an unusual thing to do?
Hunters are the only people who wander into the sporting goods section of Walmart and get excited to see they've put fresh bottles of doe estrus and buck-in-rut lures for the upcoming seasons. Most people who end up there accidentally look at these products and say: "Wait...what IS THIS?!?"
2. Literally becoming a predator (and loving it)
Try crawling into a hunter's mind, and you will find all kinds of thoughts, emotions and ideas, not least of which is the predatorial mindset of getting into the deer's head. Hunters become predators chasing game throughout the wilderness to provide a bounty for their tables.
Now, some folks might find this strange or weird, but really, its not even close to being odd at all. Most of all, hunters seek out fresh organic meat that they can butcher and handle from field to table while experiencing the beauty of nature, getting exercise and enjoying time with loved ones, friends and family around a warm fire.
It isn't just deer hunting or other forms of big game where you have to get in the animal's head either. It's a necessity for duck hunting, turkey hunting and even small game hunting.
3. Having a house full of stuff that makes people say, "I didn't even know they made that!"
Hunters are gear junkies, and we love and enjoy new gear and gadgets. We are always scheming and looking into ways we can have an advantage next deer season. Whether that's a new trail camera or the latest in GPS unit technology. We are the mechanics, chefs and builders of our lives, and we get hold of all the resources we need, think we need, and don't really need but really want.
Hunters are always trying to make or do something better and find a better recipe for success. We even take vitamin supplements to help our energy levels.
4. The Hunting Beard
Honestly, men don't have the time or luxury to shave during hunting season. Plus, the scruffy facial hair does help protect us from the elements. I don't recall seeing many female hunters shaving their legs either. Don't worry, bow hunters may be scruffy from now until January, but we'll clean up after the season. We promise!
5. Living to hunt
Yes, hunting is usually on our minds, and if it isn't, it's pretty close. Don't bother us during hunting season; this is serious business. After all, we need to put meat in the freezer, whether it's a big mule deer or a fat and healthy black bear.
A serious hunter is always thinking about the next time he or she can be in the outdoors and what they could be doing there. Hunting season truly never ends in a hunters mind. It's like a drug. Recently, I took a good friend of mine on his first deer hunt, which he enjoyed despite not bagging any venison. Our experience was so good that he is looking forward to the next time he can go.
I told him, if you want to quit after you finally kill a deer, then that's fine, but I can almost guarantee that you will be hooked.
6. Getting up early and staying up late, neither for work nor partying
We are awake well before sunrise to go hunt and long past sunset to prepare for the next day. Yes, we will complain that we are tired, but we wouldn't change it. We'll get our wake up call when that big bull elk makes his first bugle over the next ridge!
7. Being MIA, a lot
Often times we miss events, holidays, birthdays and other such occasions due to the fact hunting time is limited. (Might I point out that we usually make up for these times of absence after season's end?) That is, at least until the deer start losing their velvet and the wild turkeys start strutting again!