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The waterfoweler's wife: it takes a unique woman to marry a die-hard duck hunter; Habitat Flats owner Tony Vandemore is one lucky man.

First of all, you stink. Can you not smell that? It's not B.O.; it's more like a blend of wet dog, swamp mud, musty waders and stale-outside-sweat stink.

We're way too young to have an 8:15 p.m. bedtime half the year.

I wonder if the happiness of any other marriages is determined by duck and goose migration patterns?

When you talk about hatches, it reminds me I need to put eggs on the grocery list. We're out.

No, I'm not going to eat that duck. I just watched it die. My suburban palate prefers anonymous food.

When you say, "watch out for the shot," right before I take a bite ... well, now I'm DEFINITELY not going to eat that duck.

Don't be mad, but I can't seem to find that sweet little Benelli 20-gauge you "got me for my birthday." Have you seen it BY CHANCE?

When I gaze upon our dog, soaking wet out here in the freezing blind, my maternal instincts want to wrap him in a blanket. One more time, are you SURE he's OK?

If there's a guy at weather stations who is solely responsible for the daily "wind" report, he can thank you all for his job security. You are the only ones who actually care about wind speed and direction. Well, you and high rise window washers.

If you always get new Rangers, can't I just get one Range Rover?

I'm glad you don't mind loading my shotgun for me. This French manicure ain't cheap.

Some of this wild game has been in our freezer for two years.

Watching you manually finish off a cripple with your bare hands is, in fact, quite intimidating ... Sir.

When I express that our smelly dogs need a bath, your argument that they take "daily baths" in flooded corn and timber doesn't count.

Whenever you mention Saskatchewan, I think you're talking about the mystical Sasquatch.

Do you have to tune your calls EVERY night?!

I love it when you caress my face like that, but your fingers are caked with dried blood and feather wisps. Just throwin' that out there.

You got another leak in your waders? Really?

When you give me directions to a blind or random back country location in yards and north/south/east/west, I'm always going to make you break it down to mile fractions, rights, lefts and landmarks. I'm a city girl, you need to understand how we navigate.

The Weather Channel didn't change its major forecast in the past five (or three) minutes. Breathe.

If "decoys for men are like shoes for women," then baby, I've got A LOT of catching up to do. And my shoe collection isn't exactly small, either.

I secretly get annoyed when you talk about your beautiful "blondes." Why can't the redhead be cooler? Psssh.

I frequently wake up during the season between 2-3 a.m. in a panic that you've overslept.

During snow goose season, my friends get confused when I casually mention, "Yeah, my husband likes'em young and dumb." I guess not everyone understands the other meaning of juvies.

If we have a child, no, we cannot name him Drake Hunter Vandemore.

I don't mind the camo, but I do reserve the right to control your wardrobe every non-hunting day of the year. I believe we covered that in our wedding vows.

You are almost completely deaf. Will you ever wear ear protection around shotguns, or should we just start learning sign language now?

Around week three of snow goose season, you lose the ability to complete sentences and frequently forget my name. As well as your own.

Since you frequently hunt near our house, please start shooting in Morse code patterns. This will be a much more reliable form of communication than 14 your negative cell phone reception permits.

Thank you for letting me enjoy the finer things in life while you're hunting every day. The manicures, pedicures, shopping and dinners out are fabulous. When you get the credit card bill, please remember that I have to endure EVERY holiday season and six months a year without you. It requires retail and massage therapy at times to cope.

I think it's hilarious that your bands are hidden and locked away. As if an extensive collection of bird bands is on your average robber's list of things to steal. And as if a thief would get very far past a man who shoots a gun for a living.

It's always a blast to hunt with you, but your incessant monitoring of every movement I make with a shotgun in my hands makes me feel like I'm 5. Maybe 6.

Thank you for not constantly watching outdoor television, even when you're featured on it.

A field of millet and buckwheat will never bring me the joy it brings you. Let's say I'm excited on the inside?

Yes, I will wear make-up to the field. Yes, I want waders that are more figure-flattering. And yes, I will only wear UnderArmour camo, even though don't deer hunt, simply because it is the only fitted women's hunting clothing on the market.

You have over 50 blinds and always "need" more each year, yet when you hunt, you always prefer to sit against a tree. Don't give me trouble anymore about not "needing" all of the clothes in my closet.

If we have kids, understand I can't "just have twins or triplets" in order to have them all at once. Humans don't reliably birth litters.

I can't believe you just broke thick sheets of ice with your bare hands to help the ice eaters. What ARE you?!

I'll never remember all of the topics we need to discuss when we finally have time to have a real conversation after the season. So let's just call it a wash and start over with normal life then?

And last but not least: How are you not FREEZING OUT HERE?!?!

Love,

Your Little Waterfowl Wifey

First things first, I absolutely adore my life, my husband and the hunting industry. But regardless of my involvement in this sport, there are still things I'll never understand as a hunter's wife and as a woman ... Maybe you (or your lady) can relate?

No, I wasn't scouting for you today while out on my errands.

I love our deep morning talks when you leave for work each day: "Bye babe, I'm gonna go make a pile Michael Jordan couldn't jump over."

When you want my attention and command, "Here!" you've been around your gun dogs a little too long.

YES, THE SAFETY'S ON.

P.S. Thank you for giving me all of the other off-season months where you aren't allowed to shoot things that fly. I love my hunter!!!
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Author:Vandemore, Kate
Publication:Wildfowl
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Words:1126
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