Pheasant Hunting photo

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary. Having married a wonderful woman who has put up with the decidedly non-glamourous life of a freelance writer — inconsistent paychecks, dog hair and pheasant feathers in the house, my travel schedule — I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe our wedding date. Most of our hunting seasons are over by late January but every once in a while my anniversary does get in the way of something I’d like to do outdoors with a gun.

Not only that, my younger son’s birthday falls on November 20, right in the heart of duck and pheasant seasons. It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate family milestones, it’s just that I wish they didn’t take place during hunting season.


That is why William “Spook” Spann (left, at SHOT Show 2011) is a smarter man than I am. Spook (born on Halloween) not only chose a wedding date between deer and turkey seasons – June 1 – but he planned the birth of his children around hunting season, too. Let me repeat that: he planned the birth of his children around hunting season. And, it worked. His daughter’s birthday is also June 1, his son was born March 7, a little too close to the beginning of Florida Osceola seasons but still in the clear.

He told me, “I’ll be in deer camp and someone will say, I’ve got to go home this weekend for a birthday party. I made sure that never happens to me.” It is too late for me, but you younger guys take heed.