Hunting for Two

Long treks across uneven ground, hiking through brush and over fallen limbs, and climbing into tree stands all with your gear on your back and in your arms can be physically demanding. I never saw the challenges of this reality until the second half of deer season this past winter when the exciting realization that I was pregnant became known. I knew these were only the first challenges I would face in this life altering adventure. Here is my advice to all the hunting Mamas on the three major challenges of a huntress and outdoors woman I faced or I will in the near future.

Everyone in the Nusz family, even the dogs, got in on the new baby celebration. Everyone in the Nusz family, even the dogs, got in on the new baby celebration.

 

  1. Morning sickness: I was only about 4 weeks pregnant when this hit full force, all day, every day. I was an unlucky one who suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, which landed me in the hospital 5 times in 9 weeks during my first trimester. This was also mid-season and I was still strongly pursuing game with my bow. Like every other aspect of my life hunting was a mental and physical struggle at this time. However, I still bundled up in my gear, sprayed myself with Trinity Blast scent eliminating spray and trekked to the stands. I was tired, I felt weak, I had to stick my head out of the windows of the blinds to puke a few times and even call a few hunts early, but I survived. I wasn’t going to let it keep me out of the pursuit. I came to the realization I was going to be sick regardless of where I was and what I was doing.
  2. Comfort and mobility: I haven’t fully experienced this yet but as turkey season is just a few weeks away I know this will be a challenge. With a growing bump my clothes are fitting different, my body aches, and despite sticking to a solid workout plan I have never felt so out of shape in my life. My stamina on my bow even shows a significant drop. We do a lot of crawling through the trees and stalking during our turkey endeavors and I know that I will have to make modifications this season based on what is physically in my capabilities. Fortunately, my ScentBlocker Recon gear will help tremendously with my comfort this turkey season. The material is tough on the outside and perfect for crawling through the brush and trees, not to mention the Recon pants have a self-adjusting waist that allow a little extra stretch! Hello, pregnancy bonus! All in all, do what you can and be realistic about changes you may need to make based on your personal pregnancy challenges in comfort and mobility.
  3. Post-baby hunting life: This is a huge one for me. The realization hit me that our baby is due a couple short months before bow season is in full swing and the busiest time for Hang’Em Outfitters and I slightly panicked. Okay, I really panicked and shed a few tears over worrying about what this all would mean (thank you, out of control hormones). Would I be ready to leave the baby? Who is going to want to babysit at 5am? Will my husband and I ever be able to hunt together again? Will I physically be ready? Deep breath… Yes. Yes I will, and if you are in the same boat, you can do it too! I feel it is extremely important for children to see their parents successfully balance life (or attempt to), and continue to do things for themselves. I don’t find that selfish, I find it necessary, and something I want my children to have the concept of. I am realistic that I may not have the freedom to hunt as much as I have in the past, that my husband and I will have to have more button-upped schedules, that I won’t let a precious child alter my passion, but that I will share my passion with her.
It's a girl! (or a doe as she may be known in this outdoor family) It's a girl! (or a doe as she may be known in this outdoor family)

 

Bottom line, pregnancy can be tough, it can alter nearly every aspect in your life and force challenges and changes on your hunting routines. The majority of hunters out there, being men, will never first hand experience these challenges in the field. I often remind myself this is something I love deeply and I look forward to sharing my passion for the outdoors and pursuing game with my daughter and other future children. Plus, I want to take advantage of all the time I have where I don’t have the extra concern of childcare when season comes. For now, she comes along every hunting adventure with me, and that’s pretty dang special. Focus on staying positive and doing what you can to use the tools out there to support your comfort level. I am more than thankful for the SOLA clothing line and community. My ability to utilize their attire and philosophy helps bring every hunt of every season to a more enjoyable and successful level. Stay empowered Mamas. Keep hunting for two!

Shelby and her 2014 Kansas buck she took while "hunting for two". Shelby and her 2014 Kansas buck she took while "hunting for two".
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