The call of Cabela’s |

The call of Cabela’s

My husband is in such a good mood. The crisp end-of-summer evenings seem to be awakening the hunter within him. He sheepishly smiled to me when I saw him with our son on his lap, the Cabela’s Web page clearly displayed on the computer screen. Caught.My two boys. Both of them salivating over the youth coveralls just placed on clearance. Part of my husband’s grin was the hand-in-the-cookie jar feeling that came over him when I saw him shopping for our son’s hunting stuff. Our garage oozes with camouflage. You name the animal; my boys can hide from it. Cool stuff. Toys for boys, I guess. I was oblivious to having a boy when, in labor, literally shouting to “get IT out!” Years later, I see how important it was for that “IT’ to be a boy. And yes, we’ve been doubly blessed with a girl sibling who also collects antler horns in the summer with Daddy. In our family, girls wear camo, too. But my daughter prefers a different label from the boys, Da Nang, designer camo from Neiman Marcus, of course. She learned about it from her city-wise uncle and cousin in Los Angeles. They took her urban shopping this summer. My heaven, now those are expensive tags.I think that my husband pays around $35 for his elk tags. My daughter’s pants were likely near the triple digits. Isn’t there some joke that Neiman Marcus is dually called Needless Mark-up? The tags on those camo pants cost dearly. She’s lucky to have a once-in-a-while visit to her cousins. She is smart to figure out that hunting season can be a win-win for the non-hunters in this family. She has already asked me when the boys are going bow hunting. She knows that this means one-on-one time with Mommy, complete with Hello Kitty manicures and glazed doughnuts for breakfast.Instead of smarting that your husband is gone for another hunting weekend this fall, try to revel in it. Of all hobbies, overall, I think it is less expensive than many. Cumulatively, golf is the by far more time-consuming and expensive, but somehow it seems to be more tolerated by wives. I don’t understand that one.The golf bug, thanks to the Eagle Ranch Junior Golf Program, has bitten my son. He talks about coach Alice, Brad and Scooter as though they are his 7-year-old pals. He can knock a plastic ball 100 feet across our lawn. Thanks, coaches! He’s got the itch. Hope he gets a really good job someday and marries a patient woman. Golf clubs, now there’s some expensive tags. Oh, and the greens fees … ouch! That clearance section on the Cabela’s Web site is looking OK to Mom tonight. Go ahead. Get the coveralls. The Vail Daily recently reported that Eagle County is host to one of the continent’s largest elk herd. I’ve learned just to accept hunting. Done respectfully, it is a cycle of nature where we live. It’s come to be a part of my family’s way of life. Eagle literally turns fluorescent orange in the fall. The Everything Store becomes the Mecca of many people’s worlds. To my friends and family who are vehemently opposed to this way of life, I can only offer what my son told me when he learned about market chickens at the county fair. “Those poor little babies are raised only to be food, Mommy. The elk that Daddy and I hunt run free and grow up without knowing if they will be at a market.”His friend bought one of those chickens from the fair as a pet. He appropriately named it Lucky.Perhaps fortune has touched my son, too. He is learning about the woods, our community and the debate of how elk herds are managed. It is up to him to decide what side of the debate he will take as he ages, but he will be exposed to all aspects of it. Meanwhile, I learned long ago to stop protesting the time away from family that I once accused hunting to be as the culprit. Seeing my son on Daddy’s lap, scrolling down the clearance items, melted this mom’s heart. A shared respect of the outdoors is being taught during these moments. Plans for together time are being made. Hearts are being warmed.Even the news of a Cabela’s coming to west Denver isn’t all bad. We rarely go to Denver now due to the cost of gas, time, etc. Perhaps it will be a little easier to persuade my outdoorsman husband to go to the Denver Art Museum or to the new mall Flat Irons Crossing (yes, still new to me because we don’t shop much)! It’s an excuse for him to pop by Cabela’s. Women, get out your charge cards. Bugle your friends and find those tags at your favorite store. Doesn’t everyone deserve to have a little fun once in awhile? Elizabeth H. Chicoine of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily. She can be reached at This column, as with all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.Vail, Colorado

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