I have an adventurous spirit. I love to travel, see and experience new things, and I adore the outdoors.
Fortunately for me, I get to share my love for the outdoors with my husband, who is an avid hunter and fisherman. Fortunately for me again, I have a husband who has encouraged me to hunt, fish and participate in shooting sports, all the while doing these things right alongside me.
Just so we are clear, we are not the next Tiffany and Lee Lakosky (from "The Crush," outdoor television show), not by a long shot, nor do I want to be like them.
Writer Jessica Welshans and her husband, Tim, head for home after an afternoon of hunting. They’d put in a few hours of hunting doves, then unloaded their guns and shucked their orange attire.
I have been "married" to the outdoors since childhood.
My backyard was the woods and the wilds. I grew up playing there, climbing - and falling out of - trees, riding ATVs and just roaming about.
I religiously watched shows such as "Marty Stouffer's Wild America" and "Babe Winkelman's Good Fishing" on television. I had books, pamphlets, poster and diagrams filled with wildlife information.
My parents always have been a heavy influence in conservation and fed my love for wildlife, still to this day.
I fished literally since I was a sprout, most of which I did with my dad and grandpa. If I can remember correctly, I baited my own hooks and cleaned my own fish when I was old enough to use a fillet knife.
Camping was a main staple in my life, too.
My first time hunting was for squirrel when I was 12, likely, most literally, just after I passed my hunter safety course - which I aced, by the way.
But, the trip out didn't yield a success, and I kind of lost interest in hunting ... not because it was a bad experience, but I guess it just wasn't "my thing."
I picked up archery for awhile in my early teens.
I really enjoyed shooting. I found peace in it. It was a good way to go out to the backyard, focus and just let the stress of a day go. I often have thought about getting back into it, because I really do miss it.
As with everything, life got too busy and I just didn't have the time to devote to my bow anymore, so I hung that up.
I joined the work force at 15, graduated high school and then went onto college. I worked while I was in college, two jobs for some time and, after graduating, I went straight to being a journalist.
The outdoors still lingered. I had friends and family who hunted and fished, and the spirit of it all never left me. I just couldn't find the time to devote myself to it.
I dated my now husband for a few years and, in that time, I came to realize the importance of what it meant to him to hunt and fish.
Little did I know that this man would be the one who would rejuvenate my interest in the great outdoors.
I really never lost my love for fishing during that busy time in my life, but I didn't think I would ever consider hunting again. Heck, I didn't even eat wild game for the longest time, but now I can't get enough of it.
The two of us do actually hunt and fish together, among other outdoor activities. Sometimes, one of us sits while the other is out kicking up deer, or calling in turkeys, casting lines or walking a corn field waiting for a dove to pop up.
We sometimes will track deer on our property, look for scrapes or rubs and hang game cameras. I most enjoy looking for dropped or shed antlers with him. We have turned that into a yearly competition.
My point is, couples easily can do these things together. It doesn't have to be an infringment on "man time."
I will be the first to admit it, but I enjoy when I can go out alone and find the peace, quite and solitude in the woods. I am sure he would say the same but, in the end, we come home and share stories and experiences with one another.
I can truly say that I have learned so much from my husband, that I am confident hunting alone or just sitting and talking shop.
I think, sometimes, he would admit I have taught him things about the great outdoors, too.
So if a woman, who maybe a wife or a girlfriend, shows an interest or a curiosity for something such as hunting, fishing, tracking or shooting sports, and her husband or boyfriend has the knowledge, then show her. Teach her.
It's a guarantee you will find yourselves closer and have many memories to carry with you.
A fond memory of my husband happened before we set out to hunt one day. I asked him, "Are you sure you want me to go with?"
He threw on his camo, tied his boots, put the sling of his rifle over his shoulder and smiled. His answer then has been the same ever since: "You bet!"