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Reflections on The Approaching Hunting Season

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There’s one born every minute.

And no, I am not referring to a spike in the deer population.
I reference, of course, that famous quote by P.T. Barnum, that great American showman, businessman and scam artist, he of the Ringling Brothers, and Barnum and Bailey Circus Fame. Barnum is the often quoted source of the famous phrase: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
“Adding a Big Bison to my show this year.”
But since you’re reading this post about hunting season, I am going to take a wild guess and speculate that I might not be the only sucker in these here parts. There might be a few more of you out there who, just as I did,  bought into The Big Lie.
To what Big Lie could she refer, you ask?
This sucker, er, innocent,  bought into the idea her husband cleverly used to sell her on hunting.
Not that he would PURPOSEFULLY try to manipulate me…but….
Here’s how it went down.
One day, I was in the kitchen, minding my own business, cooking something that was doubtless both delicious and economical for dinner, because, after all, I’m a pretty good cook, but even more importantly, I know that we aren’t made out of money. So part of my job as chief cook and bottle washer is to watch for sales at the grocery store, and keep our food costs down. 
And meat is so expensive. 
In fact, we hardly ever ate red meat, due to the expense, and my own frugality and desire to live within our hard earned means (she said, as she polished up her halo, and batted her eyelashes virtuously).
So, one day, my sweet husband cozies up to me in the kitchen.
Him: “Mmmm. That smells good. Whatcha makin’?”
Me: “Oh…just a roast chicken.”
Him: “Mmm. That’ll be great….Hey, hon….you know…I’ve been thinking.”
Me: “Mmm hmm” absently, sprinkling spices on the delicious (and cheap!) chicken I’m preparing.
Him: “You know, Steve mentioned the other day that he’d be happy to take me hunting with him. And it occurred to me that hunting might be a really good hobby for me to take up. Because, after all, there’s FREE MEAT.”
Me: “…hmm….” 
So, I’m standing there, thinking to myself: “Free meat? Free meat sounds good. And our friend Steve IS an expert hunter. He could really teach my man how to be a successful hunter. And then we’d have all that FREE MEAT, and think of the SAVINGS on our food bills through the year. 
Me: “Well…..OK….I guess….that might be good”.
That’s about how it went down, and let me tell you, if there really IS one born every minute, that was my minute.
Because here’s how all that FREE MEAT went down that year:
Hunting license – $135.00 
Gun – $175.00 
Ammo – $50.00  
Camo – $50.00
Boots – $ 80.00
(and I think these are VERY conservative estimates)
and lest we forget
Where were we going to STORE all that “FREE MEAT”???
That year, we had to purchase a freezer. $500.00
(Which I honestly am grateful for…but STILL!!!)
And then, there were the “processing fees” once the FREE MEAT had been procured: $75.00
That first year alone, my husband shot a thousand dollar deer. And I thought I was the trophy wife. Harumph.
And then, each year after that there are guns, gadgets and gewgaws that must be added to supplement the arsenal.
Bow – $400 – $800
Arrows – $55
Other Guns – $350
Rain Gear – $65
Blind – $400
Special Shower Soap  – $5.50
Special Laundry Soap – $6.75
Calls – $40 – $50
Decoys of various species – $Who even knows?
In the interests of being charitable, I am not even going to mention that little trip across the continent to hunt elk in Colorado.
Now you might think I’m ungrateful for all the wonderful, delicious game we eat each year. And if you think that, you’d be wrong. I have learned how to cook it, and cook it deliciously. I’m grateful for the health benefits that come from eating meat that is truly free range, and low in fat. I’m grateful for the joy it brings my husband when he comes home from a day in the woods, enjoying God’s beautiful creation. I’m grateful for the camaraderie he shares with his hunting buddy, who has become not only a mentor, but a true brother. 
I’m thankful that their friendship has bonded our family closer to the hunting buddy’s wife, and to their wonderful children, and grandchildren. Blessing after blessing has come into our life, because I encouraged my dear husband that day to follow his bliss, to pursue a hobby that would bring him joy, and satisfaction.
If I were asked the question all over again, I’d respond the same way. 
It has been totally worth it.
Not so much.
So what about YOU? Ever bought into a hobby that turned out to cost a whole lot more than you ever dreamed?
(What’s that you say? Blogging? Hush! My husband might hear you!!!)