There are only a few situations that make me feel uncomfortable, nervous, or anxious…. turbulence, the dentist, and when someone asks me where Mark is hunting. If you didn’t know already, the location of a hunt is top secret, classified, the highest clearance, and absolutely UNDISCLOSED information. This I’ve learned as I’ve learned a lot of the do’s and don’ts of hunt talk over the past few years.
The thing is, I am a TERRIBLE liar. Now, I can bluff at cards, keep a secret, and pull off a surprise, but when someone asks me out right….”so where is Mark?” I freeze. Then I sweat, my hair stands on end and my mouth goes dry….I fumble my words, and often blurt out….. uhhh I don’t know. Which I would imagine 90% of the time people see right through… and then it’s awkward.
I hate this part of hunting…the lying, the deceiving, and the trickery…..but I’ve been educated that it is absolutely necessary because literally EVERYONE is trying to find out where their comrades are hunting. It’s just a fact.
And because of the seriousness of this classified information and the responsibility I have to keep what I know safe, I am developing my own techniques of secrecy.
1. Keep your head on a swivel – Look out for camo, Elk Foundation license plates, hunting decals, facial hair, trailers, excessive dirt on person or vehicle, lingering eye contact, and broken-in hats.
2. Be brief in conversation pertaining hunting, ungulates, weekend plans, and husband – Be wary, when your closest girlfriend seems a little too interested in your complaints about your hunting obsessed husband….she could be a mole. Trust is not an option.
3. Obtain a disguise – You are already in too deep… never underestimate the power of a good disguise. I recommend mustaches and glasses… preferably worn together, fake license plates, and in extreme cases – multiple passports.
4. The absence of knowledge – When dropping off hunting spouse at specific trailhead, INSIST on being blindfolded. When he’s talking your ear off about his weekend hunt plans….tune him out and maybe even walk away. The less you know the better.
5. Find comfort in the uncomfortable – you WILL be put in situations where people ask you about hunting locations. You can’t blame them for asking, you can only blame yourself for your response. The conversation usually goes like this:
Layman or suspected infiltrator: “So, what are your doing this weekend?”
Me: “Oh, I don’t know…”
Layman or suspected infiltrator: “What, Mark’s not home?” (RED FLAG)
Me: “No, he’s hunting…” (and I fell right in their trap)
Layman or suspected infiltrator: “Oh, where’s he hunting?”
My trained responses:
“Oh gosh… in the Wilderness I think.”
Silence, followed by spasm, universal sign for choking, and pass out
So remember, you can only be responsible for your own actions. During hunting season it is best to avoid public places, glance constantly over your shoulder, speak quietly while using vague and generalized nouns and adjectives, and when at all possible try to ignore the fact that you have a spouse that hunts and focus on discussing the other important aspects of your life, like………well…..