For many hunters the time allotted for hunting is just too short. With busy work schedules and domestic duties at the home front, we find ourselves severely short-changed in pursuit of our favorite hobby, Hunting!
For each of us, the dreadful circumstances are as different and unique as the individuals involved. A common denominator however does occur, one that we can all associate with. In our youth many of us were irresponsible. “Footloose and fancy free” may be better adjectives to describe our carefree lifestyle, however. I can remember one year hunting for 30 continuous days and never having to answer to anyone! These “Testosterone-Based Marathons” hold fond memories of sleeping in the truck and eating cold sandwiches for days on end. These character building years make for great stories around the campfire. These stories become yardsticks by which we judge other hunters.
Then hormones changed. My pursuits and stalking abilities were focused on another kind of dear. As in most relationships everything is hunky-dorey for the first few years, then Reality sets in. Jobs, mortgages, 401 K’s, summer houses, and one, possibly two tax deductions arrive on the scene. Let’s face it, our lives have changed. In most cases a 7-10 year cycle takes place before we begin to reflect on our loss of freedom. Some may refer to this as a second childhood, most however, prefer to describe it as making the most of the years we have left. I firmly believe we are only given so many hunting seasons and should make every effort to maximize time in the field.
For those of us that married “wisely”, this lusting for our misspent youth is tolerated by our better half. They often shake their head in what we take for a nod of approval and off we go into the wild blue yonder. Many wives possess the uncanny ability to sense our outdoor calling and grant us the necessary time to decompress before we self destruct in our fast paced society.
How many of us have a friend or acquaintance who is not so fortunate? He is put on a short leash and has more restrictions imposed on him than a UN peace treaty. We secretly pity these poor souls wherever they may reside, and offer our condolences for their lot in life. True Friends, however, never leave friends twisting in the wind. A True Friend comes to the aid of his fellow hunter wherever he may be, for deep down, we all fear the Karmic recourse of failing to aid and assist our comrade in arms.
What better way to spring a friend from the chains that bind him than a Perfect Hunting Excuse!
We’ve all used them, in fact, they came in pretty handy at different times in our lives. Remember in the fourth grade when the dog ate our homework? Or the 7th grade, when our report card got left in our pants pocket and failed to survive the wash? Usually the older and more mature we become, the more sophisticated and elaborate the excuses. It’s now time to activate our “Creative Juices” and gain a few extra days in the field. Let’s pull out the stops as we explore the Machiavellian world of “10 Perfect Excuses for More Hunting Time.”
In most cases just a few “extra days” in the field are all that is necessary to bring home success. Much like the gambler who has an addiction, just a few more dollars are all that is needed to take home the “Big One”. Unlike the gambler, we know for a fact the above to be true. With the advent of the cell phone we can call from remote hunting areas (and not waste time driving into town to make the same call) as well as, use the “you’re breaking up, I can barely hear you” routine, when things get sticky. Hunters worldwide owe a debt of gratitude to the inventor of the cell phone.
Excuse # 1 Road Washed Out!
This excuse works well in virtually every part of the country, more so in rugged or mountainous terrain. The conversation sounds something like this: “Hey honey, it’s me. Can you hear me? You are not going to believe what I just witnessed. I was driving out of this steep canyon when the road ahead of me slid down to the creek. If I had been 100 yards further ahead I may have been killed, my heart is still racing from the experience! I talked to the Forest Ranger and he assures me the road crew will have the road fixed in two to three days? The back way out? Yes, I asked about that, the Ranger said it was 90 miles over extremely rough 4 wheel drive roads. I doubt if our 2 wheel drive truck would make it!” Assure her you’ll be fine spending the night in the truck. This excuse will easily grant you 2-3 additional days of hunting, as well as laying the groundwork for a new 4×4 truck come next hunting season.
Excuse # 2 Broken Down Vehicle.
This excuse requires a little malice aforethought. While traveling to your hunting destination call home and complain about the truck not running quite right. Assure the little woman that it is probably the fuel and not to worry. In order to gain the maximum amount of days from this excuse, plan on being home on Saturday. Call late Friday night and explain that a fellow hunter has towed you into town and the mechanic claims the “electronic spark advance modulator” has failed. It will be Monday before he can order a new one and by all likelihood you’ll be home by the end of the week. The good news, the mechanic remembers receiving a recall flyer for this particular problem and the parts are supplied free from the factory. There is a modest installation charge however. She’ll be relieved you are safe and the electronic spark advance modulator won’t overdraw the checking account. Good for 4-5 days of additional hunting.
Excuse # 3 Missing Hunter.
Every year hunters get lost in the woods. This year is no exception! Once you’ve found the bedding grounds for the “Old Mossy Horned Buck” you’ll need an extra few days to plot his demise. Here’s how to gain those badly needed couple of days.
Call home and explain to her that a young hunter has been reported missing and you’ve been asked by Search & Rescue to stay a few extra days to help in the search for the missing boy. The terrain is very rough and they need all the able bodied men they can find. This will appeal to her maternal instincts and cement her vision of you as a hero. Warning! Do not use this excuse if you are out of shape and cannot see your feet when you are standing. She won’t buy the able bodied man routine!
Excuse #4 Sick Hunting Partner.
Again a little forethought is in order. Call home on the second day of the hunt and describe the wonderful hunting partner you’ve met at the service station while getting gas. He’s invited you to hunt with him on some private ground his uncle owns. Assure her he’s not a serial killer out on parole (no, his name is not Corona or Berkowitz) and you’ll be fine in his company. Towards the end of your “allotted time” call home and tell her your hunting partner has fallen extremely ill (possible food poisoning, or better yet, Giardia) and you’ll need a few extra days to make sure he is well and fit enough to travel home. This is an easy 2 day excuse.
Excuse # 5 TSA Road Block.
The Travel Security Administration is an easy excuse. Those burly, bullet head shaped authoritarians can ruin anyone’s return trip. Tell the “Misses” you’ve been detained at a road block and because you have firearms and ammunition in your possession, you are being detained for further questioning. Sound agitated (who wouldn’t be) at your dilemma and fake the cell phone being taken away by a TSA ogre. “Hey, Hey… Give me back my phone you brute!”, then hang up. You’ve gotta love modern technology!!!! Add 1-2 days to your hunt.
Excuse # 6 Injured Yourself.
This is an excuse many of you have had lots of practice with. Remember when you called the boss and in a hoarse, anemic voice, whispered how sick you were and you’d be in as soon as the fever subsided? Only to revive as soon as the phone hung up? Grabbing the golf bag and heading out to the green did indeed make you feel better . . .
Same routine here. Call home and in a voice reminiscent of a death bed confession, tell her of your harrowing escape from death, when the trail you were walking on gave way and you plummeted several hundred feet down the hillside. Keep it simple, tell her you need to take more Tylenol and you’ll be home as soon as the swelling subsides. Throw in a few groans for good measure. Good for at least 2 additional hunt days.
Excuse # 7 Kidnapped by Environmentalists.
Use this excuse if she reads the Enquirer, or has an infatuation with Area 51 and Alien Abductions.
Sound hurried on the phone and describe how you’ve been kidnapped by environmental extremists and you are certain you can escape in 2-3 days. Warn her against calling the police as this may agitate your captors and decrease your chances of escape. Tell her you love her and hang up…
Excuse # 8 Freak Snow Storm.
We’ve all experienced freak storms in our lifetime. Hunters are no exception, and with Global Warming on the rise who knows what to expect? Drop a few hints prior to leaving the homestead, that bad weather has been predicted in your hunt area. At the appropriate time call and comment on the “whiteout” conditions you are experiencing and how the road crews are unable to plow the roads for several days. Never fail to tell her how cold you are and that the new sleeping bag you purchased from Cabela’s is a lifesaver. Create sound effects by using short blowing and whistling sounds to imitate a severe storm in progress. Use the old standby: “You’re breaking up I can barely hear you” between the wind and storm sound effects.
Excuse # 9 Wounded the Big One.
Everyone likes a success story. In an excited voice call home and describe the monster bull elk you’ve shot and wounded. As an ethical hunter you’ll need to take up the trial in the morning and find the animal before the wolves do. She’ll easily grant you the additional time necessary to chase down your quarry and bring home the bacon. Don’t forget to describe the terrible tracking conditions and rough terrain you are encountering (over windfall and brush so thick you are actually crawling on your hands and knees). You are certain that you’ll find him, he is hit pretty hard, but it may take a few days to pack him out once he’s found. Tell her you need to go as it’s getting dark and you need to make camp for the night. If you succeed in harvesting an animal with the “extra leave” you have been granted, don’t forget to shoot it twice. A crafty hunter must pay attention to details!
Excuse # 10 Blocked Road.
If you are from the big city, you’ll appreciate this one. “Hey hon, you won’t believe what has happened. This California hunter with a horse trailer has it jackknifed in the road, the trailer is hanging over the cliff and the horses are freaking out! There is no way you can get around him, he has the whole road blocked. He is walking out to the highway and plans on hitchhiking into town. Hopefully he can find a tow truck to come out and pull him back on the road. He has asked me to stay with the horses and try to keep them calm.” This excuse will pull on her equestrian heart strings and she’ll sympathize with the terrible conditions you are forced to witness. Guaranteed to garner you at least 1-2 days.
Well, there you have it, 10 excuses to grant you more time in the field. Don’t abuse them and don’t use the same excuse twice in a row or she’ll get wise to you and your hunting days will be over. Most importantly, burn this article after reading it, if it falls into the wrong hands you’ll need to take up a new hobby.
Until next time . . . Loop-Hole Louie