“When we got married, I thought she said, ‘I do,’ but she must have said, ‘I hunt.’”
This past December, my husband and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary, and I was surprised that he was just as excited as I was to mark the occasion with an impromptu photo shoot. We pulled on some coats and hats, grabbed our guns, and headed out to the woods with my favorite photographer. Being in the woods was nothing less than exhilarating as we breathed in the cool, crisp air and soaked in the majesty of the tall pines and towering oaks. A short time later, the shoot wrapped up, and we laughed and talked about the blind date that brought us together so many years ago, and the fact that my Northern roots and his Deep South upbringing had undeniably sparked the attraction that has lasted through the years.
A Huntress and Her Hunter
Most people assume that Trippett takes me hunting, but actually, the reverse is true—I am the primary hunter. I typically plan my own hunts and go solo or with a girlfriend who also loves to hunt. He will join me for a turkey hunt or two, although it’s his least favorite thing to do. An occasional sit in a deer stand is okay for him, but he is ready to get out and call it a day when I am just getting warmed up. I will often make a day of it, prepared with everything I need for an eight-hour hunt. However, every December, we plan a fantastic anniversary whitetail hunt at one of our favorite hunting destinations. We call it our “huntingmoon.”
Trippett has enjoyed hunting since he was a boy and is a very experienced and passionate wingshooter. He particularly loves quail and duck hunting. He hunted big game in South Africa as a teenager on three safaris with his parents. Trippett understands why I am drawn to hunting and supports me in every way. However, he has been dropping hints that we should shift our focus to wingshooting, since it is much easier and less demanding compared to my other hunts.
I am not ready to limit my hunting to birds, but I must say that there is nothing quite like Opening Day of dove season. I still find quail and duck hunting challenging, but I have a passion for doing my best with every hunt. There truly is no offseason for me. I hunt year-round, targeting predators between the seasons for white-tailed deer, ducks, doves, small game, and turkeys. Hunting predators such as hogs, crows, bobcats, and coyotes adds so much excitement during those off months.
Once a Tomboy, Always a Tomboy
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I was always quite the tomboy when I was a girl. Not much has changed! My tomboyishness has carried over to my adult life, and I have learned to embrace it. Luckily my sweet husband loves my adventurous side, and he finds my love of guns and hunting something that makes me different and special.
I would much rather buy a custom knife or a new gun than a designer handbag. A hunting trip is much more exciting than a shopping trip. I wear boots nearly year-round instead of sandals or heels, and I own more camo clothes than street clothes. Jeans over sundresses, without question! I prefer a long walk in the woods to a stroll on the beach, and a beautiful fall sunrise over summer sunset. You will see me wearing a ball cap but never a visor. Give me a rifle or a shotgun, not so much a fishing pole. The smell of gunpowder triggers my senses more than any perfume could, and the sound of gunfire thrills me much more than fireworks. My off-road Jeep is way more fun than any Mercedes I have ever owned. I prefer colder weather over hot summers—probably because that’s when hunting season starts. My deer stand is my second home, though I would prefer a cabin in the woods.
“Questionable” Items You Might Find in my Jeep
If you didn’t know me, a look inside my Jeep might raise an eyebrow! There you would find some interesting items: rope, zip ties, contractor-size black trash bags, knives, headlamps, gloves, a machete, and snake boots. And I always carry a full set of extra clothes, flashlights, a fire starter, cleaning supplies, and more. When I am hunting, I load up my “dead sled,” a rigid plastic sheet I used to haul downed game out of the woods. Ask anybody—I am prepared for anything. If there was a Let’s Make a Deal-type contest for trucks rather than pocketbooks, where you win a prize for having a random item, there is no doubt I would win.
Happiness as a Hunting Couple
Whether Trippett and I are hunting together or not, supporting each other is the key to a successful and happy marriage. Our adventures have evolved over the years, and the joy that hunting has brought us as a couple is undeniable. Trippett may prefer playing golf over hunting turkeys, but doing what makes us happy is what we strive for as a couple. We celebrate the experiences and memories when, together, we prepare gourmet meals from our wild game harvests and share them with friends and family. Yes, I could not be happier that we met so many years ago on that unlikely blind date, and that my hubby was not looking for the typical girl next door.