Widows of the woods

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 17, 2000

Hunting widows are not necessarily in mourning, according to three local wives of avid hunters.

&uot;After years of being married to a hunter, you adjust and look at their time away as a good thing,&uot; said Catherine Ratcliffe.

Catherine not only loses her husband during hunting season, but also her three sons Brant, Calvit and Wade.

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&uot;Everette and the boys come from a long line of hunters and farmers,&uot; Catherine said. &uot;They live to hunt.&uot;

&uot;It makes me happy to see him doing something he enjoys so much,&uot; said Kristi Tedder about her husband, Ralph. &uot;And I enjoy the time to myself.&uot;

&uot;I love it because it puts him in a really good mood,&uot; Kristi said.

Mary Katherine Smith said her husband Danny’s hunting worried her at first.

&uot;I worried about him getting hurt, especially when the girls were young,&uot; Mary Katherine said. &uot;It makes you worry about becoming a real widow.&uot;

Now Mary Katherine agrees with Kristi and Catherine. &uot;If you are married to a hunter, you get used to it and like your solitude.&uot;

All the women said there are perks to their husbands’ absence.

&uot;I shop a lot and have time to talk with my friends,&uot; Catherine said. &uot;I justify my shopping by the money they spend on hunting.&uot;

&uot;I do things around the house and I shop,&uot; Kristi said. &uot;It gives him his time and gives me my time.&uot;

Mary Katherine enjoys Danny’s time away because, &uot;I don’t have him in my way and I can be with my friends and my children.

&uot;I also don’t have that dog under my feet,&uot; Mary Katherine said. &uot;The house is a lot cleaner when he’s away.&uot;

The experienced hunting widows have advice for any newly-wed hunters’ wives. &uot;You just get used to the lifestyle,&uot; Mary Katherine said.

&uot;If you fight it, it backfires sometimes,&uot; Catherine said. &uot;For some people it becomes a real problem in their marriage. When you marry a hunter you have to realize that that’s the way it’s going to be.&uot;

&uot;If it bothers you that much, then just go with him,&uot; Mary Katherine said.