I believe it is defined as the condition of being married to a person who has an overall general obsession with hunting, sometimes also accompanied by buck fever. Buck fever is the extreme end of the condition and is usually accompanies the most desperate symptoms.
There are many ways to determine if someone you love is suffering with buck fever or the general hunting obsession. It comes out mainly in how every part of life can be somehow related to desire to hunt. Everyday common conversations are even affected and quite severely at that.
This can be seen even in things as docile as conversations on the weather. "Hello, looks like a lovely day, isn't it? It's a bit cold, but I'm glad the sun is out."
Proper response: "Yes, I love sunshine."
Buck fever response: "This is the perfect weather to go hunting in. I think the moon is also corresponding to a good time for the bucks to be on the move. And especially with this changing weather pattern...I gotta get out there. Tonight. NOW! Honey, don't wait for me for dinner!" (As person trails off to the basement to collect bins of specially dirt-scented clothing.)
It is a sad thing indeed. Many people are affected by this initially innocuous disease.
It starts of innocent enough, "I just love spending time outside!" It progresses sometimes very quickly. It is also characterized by a loss of money (as it leaves your pocketbook to line those of Gander Mountain's) for absolutely and completely unnecessary specialty items that target their prey (those sick with buck fever) as they massage the ears and make suggestions that by purchasing this (ridiculous) thing, your chances of getting that dream buck are increasing exponentially.
You can check for symptoms through the purchases of such things as dirt-scented deodorant, dirt-scented silver laundry detergent, 234897492374983 mega pixel trail cameras, Mossy Oak brand camouflage, Mathew's Bows (can I please get the newest one, dear?), and Rage broadheads (this one causes sudden turrets-like outbursts in the form of, "Rage in the cage, baby!!"). You may also notice such things as pictures of deer as the background wallpaper on a work laptop, inordinate amounts of time spent on youtube looking up other deer-slayers and their adventures, finding small pieces of cut up cloth that are supposed to be tied to trees, talking about deer with other hunters, talking about deer with people who don't hunt, thinking about deer, dreaming about deer, debating which tree stand would be a better choice for this day over another, the hounding and lamenting over the need for new bow strings and ghost blinds, and even in severe cases - finding your loved one firing their bow and arrow into targets in your basement. ("It's just to see if my pins are good!")
You may hear of the obsessions over the debate whether or not one should turn up the pressure on their bow to make it a 70 pound pullback, or would it be better, especially when it is so cold out and you are covered in bulky clothing to perhaps turn it down to 66? And how many fps (that's feet per second) are you sacrificing in each instance? And don't you think the 100 grain arrows are much better than the 150's?
Or perhaps this sickness will rear its head in the form of enticing manipulations. "If I get to go hunting tonight, deer, I mean DEAR, I'll bring one of the children with me! Don't you think it's important for me to have bonding time with my children? Don't you think this is an excellent opportunity for us to do so? Are you against family bonding time, honey? I think I ought to go!"
This is the disease at its lowest. Sometimes at this stage, it begins to spread. You may wake up to a kiss on the cheek with the whisper, "Going duck hunting this morning, dear. See you later."
The next thing you've got is a text with a picture of your beloved holding a dead goose.
This is also characterized by the complete lack of being aware of anything else going on in the rest of the world. I have heard many hunting widows use this time as a great opportunity to purchase that diamond ring they've been wanting for the last year or two or to hire an entire workload of people to come in to repaint the entire house, redo the floors and buy all new furniture and go on thousand dollar shopping sprees because those affected with buck fever won't even notice!
|Come to mama, my pretty!|
You could have a conversation to your dear beloved - you, standing in the kitchen, he, sitting in the living room in front of the TV or computer. As long as their is a buck, an elk, a duck, a moose, anything to be hunted on said electronics, you can pretty much say anything you want and get an "uh-huh" from your sick little puppy.
You: "Honey, I've been thinking about dyeing my hair pink and getting a nose ring. I also wanted to tattoo the face of Ron Paul on my chest, what do you think?"
Sick puppy: "Uh-huh. That's fine."
You: "Great! Thanks. Also, would you mind if I bought a new Ferrari tonight?"
Sick puppy: "That's fine, deer. Dear!"
You: "Thanks. And also, I planned a trip for us to go shopping at the Mall of America so we could spend an entire day looking through Nordstrom's racks."
Sick puppy: "Uh-huh."
As you can see, this disease is serious. It affects many. I don't even know any natural remedies for it. I would say perhaps it can be alleviated by allowing the sick to go out and hunt, but really, that just strums up more desires that are lodged deep down in their sick little hearts.
The good news is that eventually it will pass. The season must come to an end (thank you, DNR.). When it does, you will get your beloved back. That is, until three or four months before the season starts up again and they once again wander out into the woods to make sure the tree stands are in good locations, do not need to be repaired, to go check the trail cams, and tell you once a week or so that they had a dream about hunting.
May you be rewarded by free-range organic meat for all of your patience.
Peace, love and goose meat,