To Have and to Hunt: Husband & Wife Hunting Teams
a blue one to cruise through their 80 acres of rolling timber and red clover pasture. Their dogs, Eve and Bosco, race ahead. Sara points out pecan and oak trees they've planted near her deer stand. Rich leads the way to his stand across a rocky creek bed and to the almost opposite corner of the property. They hunt "together" but at safe distances. Safety is a priority for this couple, so much so that Sara serves as a volunteer hunter education instructor.
Sitting on opposite sides of the same tree, Sara and Rich have tried turkey hunting together. "The turkey always comes up on his side," Sara says smiling, "but maybe that's because he's the one who can call."
Even marriages made in heaven have their hunting seasons from hell. Sara recalls a frustrating spring turkey season. "It seemed like every morning we would get up and get dressed and it would start pouring down rain. We'd get undressed and go back to bed."
Then there was the deer season when Sara wounded a deer and Rich helped her track it, cutting into his own hunting time. After they found the deer Rich settled down for the beginning of his hunt the next morning. Sara continues the story, "Our Labrador, Eve, decided her master wasn't going into the woods without her and squeezed through the fence to track him down. As you can imagine, Rich was not thrilled to see Eve come running."
Nor was he thrilled to see her repeat the performance several times that season, each occasion taking a little longer to escape her rewired pen. "Between the dog and me, he didn't have a lot of time out there," Sara says.
They enjoy the benefits of hunting, including savoring tasty venison stew. Sara and Rich process their own meat, but that all started by necessity. "Rich shot a relatively small deer on the last day of the season. He went out of town, and
I found that none of the lockers would take it because they were full. I was left with this deer to do something with. In the end I'd ground up some of the most tender parts!" Sara says.
By the next year they'd done their homework and have been cutting up their own deer ever since. Sara even teaches a class on venison processing at Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City each fall.
Who are these couples who head