Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Confessions of a Wife of a Redneck.... 2. The Hunt

You might be a redneck if you have the local taxidermist's number on speed dial.  Or you've ever hit a deer with your car... deliberately. Or your mother has "ammo" on her Christmas list.

It was a tradition in the family I married into that only men hunted.  A woman could go fishing--as long as she didn't out-fish the men.  I would like to say that I could fish--I especially liked to catch wide-mouth bass.  But this story is about hunting--I'll talk about fishing later.

Many times during the hunting season when the family gathered at my in-laws the scene was always the same.  All morning the men hunted while the wimen folk prepared dinner.  Dinner in the South is the noon meal--the evening meal is supper.  There were no shortcuts allowed, we cooked from scratch--Southern fried chicken, biscuits, gravy and mashed potatoes we peeled--not from a box; we were allowed to get our green beans out of a can, though.  Then the men would come in all tired and hungry from their hard day at hunting and devour the meal in 5 minutes flat and leave the table and go relax in front of the TV.  They didn't help clear the table or even rinse their plates and put them in the sink; after all that was wimen's work.  So us gals spent the rest of the afternoon clearing up the meal and cleaning the game the men had so thoughtfully provided.

I thought that was just wrong!  I was the first city girl to marry into the family and they thought my ideas were a tad progressive.  I wanted to go hunting.  I thought it would be better'n being stuck in the kitchen on a Sunday.  

I pestered my husband until he bought me a gun.  It was a 410 Shotgun; he thought the light gun would be easier for me to handle and I bristled because he thought a girl couldn't shoot a 20 gauge.  I burned off a lota ammo annihilating stationary targets.  I could hold the gun against my shoulder so it wouldn't kick, sight down the barrel and fire without closing my eyes. I was ready to HUNT.  Hubby took me hunting trips to the barn to shoot pigeons.  Then he insisted I clean them, cook them and taste the meat.  I think it's an acquired taste.

Then the day arrived that he took me hunting with his brothers.  My father-in-law wouldn't had stood for it but he wasn't there that day.  We were hunting quail.  If my husband really loved me I think he could have chosen larger game for me on my first expedition--like a mule deer... with a target painted on its head ...previously shot with a tranquilizer gun.  But, nooo! it had to be quail--little bitty birds hardly worth bothering with.  I was gonna show 'em, though.  I determined that I would hunt so well they would realize that women could be good hunters and I'd be able to go all the time.  I would liberate the Simmons women from the bondage of the kitchen!

Hubby showed how to find quail and sent me off to hunt on my own.  I  tiptoed through the underbrush like Elmer Fudd. I'd approach the thicket where I knew quail were hiding--I knew they were in there, I knew it, I knew it! I'd get closer and closer tightly gripping my four-ten shotgun and ..whoosh!  The birds would explode from the thicket, scaring the daylights out of me and by the time I recovered from my heart attack they were gone.  This happened over and over-- even knowing they were gonna do it, it still startled me so bad I couldn't get a shot off.

When it was time to head back to the cars, I dejectedly trailed behind the men. I never even fired my gun. Then the worse thing possible happened--I tripped; with a loaded shotgun in my arm and my brother-in-law right in front of me! As I fell I turned the barrel down so the gun wasn't aimed at Hubby's brother; he was a nice guy and I didn't want to kill him.  Why I was so quick thinking then but not when I flushed the quail, I don't know. When I fell I rammed the gun into the ground driving dirt two inches up into the barrel. It was God's grace that it didn't go off.  Right then I had what 12 Step Recovery calls a "spiritual awakening."  I knew I had no business running around with a gun and decided never to go hunting again.  I no doubt kept hunters everywhere safe.  The game was never in any danger.


  1. This is a very funny & entertaining story Maxie! Thanks for posting it. Quail are a dinky little bird for sure, but the two bits that you do get are very tasty. I use to hunt them with my BB or pellet gun growing up in S. Cal. You can shoot them with a 410 with maybe 10 or 12 shot, but anything bigger is just TOO much Gun for those little guys... Hahaa
    Jon/ Bearclaw :)*