My Dad and brothers hunted for game birds when we were growing up. We would take trips to Iowa to visit family there to go pheasant hunting on the family farms and we would help scare up birds but I never carried a gun or shot one until my adult life. We spent a lot of time camping and fishing as we grew up and our escapades of course carried over into these family outings. It seemed like wherever we went, we left it in total chaos. I have loved being outdoors throughout my entire life.
I married my husband 24 years ago, in the fall of 1982, and I can honestly say he is an avid outdoors man. He spent most of his time hunting, trapping and fishing. I still wonder to this day how we ever really took our vows. You see our anniversary fell on opening day of Duck/Goose season and shortly thereafter, upland game season opens which, by the way, usually falls on or near my birthday. I remember our first anniversary I spent the entire day preparing a “special” dinner for the two of us. Let me just say, he had a great day in the duck blind, and upon his arrival home that night, his anniversary dinner was waiting for him in the garbage can. Our first anniversary together went into the history books as a total disaster! Wait until next year as I had a full year to plot my ultimate revenge. He was clueless of what I had in store for him! When our second anniversary rolled around I had a “surprise” for him. I wish I had a picture of the look he had on his face when I informed him we would all be going hunting with him this year and it was going to be a “family” outing. My son Michael, our son Mathew, who could barely walk, and myself would be joining him in the blind for a day of hunting. I was determined we would spend time together on our anniversary! I also wanted to understand why when he went hunting all day, just sitting in a blind waiting for a bird to fly over and shoot, how this could possibly tire him out to the point he would come home he was done for and crashed for the night. You know the saying; “Revenge is sweet” well my game plan backfired on me. I fell in love waterfowl hunting and upland game hunting so much, that I decided I wanted to learn how to shoot a gun and do this with him. I also learned why he came home so tired. I now understand how tiring it is getting up way before sunrise (to be exact, the middle of the night) to set the decoys out and wait for the sun to come up. Later we started to deer hunt during gun seasons. We already spent a great amount of time camping and fishing as a family but now we added hunting into the picture and I have been hooked every since.
I hunted by gun only until 1998 when my husband decided to look into archery. He said it would give us a longer window of opportunity to hunt deer versus the gun season, which only covers two long weekends here in Illinois. I had participated in field archery in high school so I had an attitude of dread when he took me to the archery shop to pick out a bow. We purchased bows for the entire family and began shooting. Within the first three weeks of buying my first compound bow, I out grew it and needed to trade it in for one with more poundage. When spring came, we started shooting outdoor 3-D archery for practice. I thought I enjoyed gun hunting but I quickly discovered I loved archery more. Like any other sport, it requires form, practice, and discipline but most of all, it presented a personal challenge for me. I have been hooked on archery every since and until this last year, I felt it was the only way to hunt! I recently started to hunt with black powder guns this last year and enjoy this as well. It is a one shot type situation as well and this presents challenges I would soon learn to love and conquer.
My husband and I have taken several hunting trips together since my anniversary plan backfired on me in 1983 and I became one of his hunting partners. In fact, many a times out in the field, it is a family event since both our boys also grew up to enjoy hunting, fishing, and camping. (God knew what he was doing when he gave me boys! He must have known I could not raise a girl to be any more “ladylike” than I turned out so it was best to give me boys. Thank-you Lord!) We have traveled to Iowa to pheasant hunt the family farms, to Wisconsin to deer hunt, Canada caribou hunting, Alabama to hog and deer hunt, and Michigan to Ted Nugent’s Sunrise Safari’s several times. We have been to South Africa two times and are planning our third trip back this August. I can hardly wait! I have several places on my list of “to go and do” and “animals” to hunt that I do not think I can accomplish in this lifetime. I am constantly seeking out new adventures.
I am currently involved with Partridge Creek Archery (Previously know as Caterpillar Employee’s Archery Club) as secretary. I have held this position since 1999. I am a member in WomenHunters, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and National Wild Turkey Federation.
I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and I find it works as a wonderful way to relieve the daily stress from the everyday rat race. Just getting outside to listen to the birds, listen to the wind rustle the leaves in the tree, looking at the stars at night, and taking in everything Mother Nature has given us and we must take never take it for granted. We must take each day as the gift that it is and make the best of the adventures we come upon! My family and friends know I live for life’s adventures! I recently learned how to ride a motorcycle and got a license so in the off-season we spend time riding our Harley’s. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, our roles have changed over the years. I am the one usually out hunting on our anniversary while he is working. My how things can indeed change and come full circle in life!
Coming soon, I will let you know how my African adventures of 2007 went!
Articles by Theresa Baior