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Retro WON — Ask Writing Huntress: How to date a guy who doesn’t hunt

Dear Writing Huntress,

I’m a proud huntress in a small town, so dating opportunities are limited to the guys I’ve gone to school with since first grade — slim pickens at best. However, this new guy from Indianapolis wants to date me, but there’s one problem — he doesn’t hunt.  He’s never even eaten venison! I’m not sure what to do. He is really nice, but he wears a suit and puts pennies in his shoes. Is he too city for my country ways?


Wishing for Mr. Perfect along the Wabash


Dear Wishing,

Allow me to answer your quandary by reminiscing of my relationships of yore.

Much akin to your situation, a guy at work (we’ll call him Freddie) who was mighty cute, wooed me a year before I met my husband. Freddie loved gyms, pushups, working out and girls who have a rudimentary knowledge of firearms. While he was already planning the wedding, I was, like you, attempting to figure out how dating a non-hunter would work.

Unfortunately for Freddie, our relationship didn’t go beyond a handful of dates. He refused to detach himself from the gym for more than 2 hours at a time; I refused to give up my early morning hunts to accompany him to sunrise yoga.

In the end, there is only so much you can do about compatibility, obviously something the gym rat discussed above and I lacked. However, the non-hunter hurdle can be overcome.

The keys, I found, to dating a non-hunter are: clear communication, pie and introducing him to your passion.

WH and her hubby frequently enjoy time together in the outdoors.

WH and her hubby frequently enjoy time together in the outdoors.


Tell your city boy exactly what your hunting life entails, so he won’t be angry come November when his girlfriend disappears into the woods and fails to return for weeks on end.

Explain to him that empty tags must be filled, scouting must be done, bows must be shot and the time must be spent to accomplish these tasks. And that you cannot accomplish this task list in simply a couple of days. It is important to be extremely clear about that point so your city boy doesn’t think you’ll be available to insert pennies in his shoes 3 weekends a month during rut.


Luckily, Freddie already had a hobby of his own to keep him company, the whole chugging whey protein and going to the gym everyday thing. This worked out well for a while because it meant both of us had separate time in order to pursue our passions. However, I had to work in order to keep our time pie equal.

Imagine your life is a pie – blueberry, rhubarb, chokeberry, what have you. Hunting takes out a large slice of that pie, and so does work, family time and household chores. Be sure to cut out a piece for your city boy and cement it in place, because as soon as your non-hunting time together begins to fall by the wayside, he’ll be gone quicker than a herd of jackalope at a mythical animal convention.

When in doubt, cook him a delicious meal using meat that you’ve harvested. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all.

The way to his heart is through his stomach.  Your guy may not hunt but he'll surely love when you cook up a meal that you have harvested - like this bacon-wrapped Snow goose!

Your guy may not hunt but he’ll surely love when you cook up a meal using meat that you’ve harvested – like this bacon-wrapped Snow goose!

Introduce him to your passion

Freddie had no interest at all in hunting, but he did like shooting guns, which ended up being the reason our relationship progressed past the first date. He had an interest in a facet, albeit small, of what my hunting life entailed.

Before you write your city boy off as “not country enough,” introduce him to your life a small bit at a time. Take him along with you to your local skeet-shooting range, teach him about firearms or even take a shooting class together. If you’re perfecting your archery technique in your back yard, urge him to join you or take a turn at slinging a couple of arrows down range.

Most importantly, if he shows any interest in learning to hunt or shoot, take the time to teach him or learn again with him. If he needs to take a hunter safety or a basic shooting class, take it with him, even if you already have.

If your guy shows an interest in archery, bring him out to the range and give him pointers!

If your guy shows an interest in archery, bring him out to the range and give him pointers!

Don’t forget to be true to yourself. Freddie believed that I’d abandon my hunting ways in favor of working out thrice daily and surviving on wheatgrass, which, obviously, was absurd. Before I was blessed with meeting my quack-a-holic husband, I’d meet many guys who thought it was cool that I hunted, until my schedule clashed with theirs or I had to miss Friday night dates in favor of cleaning the esteemed members of my gun safe.

Your city boy may be exactly what you need in order to expand your horizons, and, who knows? You may have found your perfect hunting buddy hiding in a city suit and spare change loafers.


This retro WON column was first published on July 11, 2013. 

Ask Writing Huntress is sponsored by SportDOG.

Ask Writing Huntress is sponsored by SportDOG.

The Conversation

  • Vera Koo says: January 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I loved your article, you are so funny and energetic in your writing. I am one that is all for straight forwardness and humor. I really enjoyed reading it! Looking forward to see more of it.

  • Ghost of 503 says: October 23, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Or just think that hunting can be “your” thing, while he has his things that you’re probably not too into, and learn to live & let live

  • Julie says: July 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    This was fantastic! I like that you really took an “honest” approach – to be straightforward, and to still be yourself and to let him know that this is what your interests are, and not just giving up something that you love. Also loved the many ways to introduce your guy to hunting…especially cooking up the harvest..that’s one everyone can appreciate!

  • Aili says: July 15, 2013 at 11:18 am

    This is great! I would add that there’s millions of “hunting widows,” “football widows.” and numerous other labels that women put on themselves when their husbands have hobbies that take them away from the next for big slices of “pie.” Why not men? Because they’re culturally accustomed to being the center of attention. This is why “mixed marriages” often don’t work.
    “Mr. Right” will encourage you to meet new challenges, will support your efforts to gain skills and pursue your interests, and do it selflessly. It took me 37 years to meet my “Mr. Right,” and in the beginning he didn’t share many of my hobbies – and he still doesn’t share them all – but he did take to shooting, hunting, and hiking, which are probably the most important for us to get any together time at all. Don’t write off City Boy until he has a chance, and good luck!!

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