Kristen Berube lives a crazy, laugh-filled life with her outdoorsman husband Remi and their three camo-clad children in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of Montana State University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, she loves being a mom and enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. “Confessions of a Camo Queen: Living with an Outdoorsman” is her first book.
When I first fell for my ruggedly handsome outdoorsman, I had no idea that he spoke a foreign language. No, not a language of romance like Italian or French, and nothing as exotic as Balinese or Icelandic. Alas, his patois is more of a mashup of grunts, animal mating calls, pantomimes, and words shortened beyond recognition, except to dogs. The following glossary explains these sounds, and also the terms of endearment familiar only to Camo Queens.
Binos: a visual aid used to determine the species of ear mite infesting the hunter’s prey across the valley and two ridges away (see also Glassin’).
Bite: when a sad little fish sacrifices itself to boost the outdoorsman’s self-esteem; the slightest nibble causes symptoms of screaming, hooting, jumping up and down, and swearing. Side effects include swooning, sudden clumsiness, and tunnel vision. The ability to discern size becomes severely impaired, especially if the fish gets away.
Blind: a damp, icy tomb disguised as a cozy nest that you sit or lay in—dead still—waiting to convert innocent waterfowl into pillow filling.
Bugle: frickin’ annoying $40 piece of plastic vacuum permanently affixed to the outdoorsman 365 days a year. He blows into the mouthpiece to make ear-shattering, never-ending screeches, alleged to imitate the mating calls of elk or a lonely, sex-starved sasquatch. Occasionally used outdoors.
Call: a truly remarkable array of grunts, snorts, whistles, whinnies, howls, squawks, and squeals produced by the same outdoorsman whose conversational vocabulary is limited to “Beer,” and “Uh huh.” Indistinguishable from normal male vocalizations made in the bathroom or bedroom. Upon hearing such calls, wild animals die laughing.
Camo: any article of clothing covered in a pattern designed to blend in seamlessly with grass, bushes, trees, wood, dirt, snow, or water, rendering the wearer magically invisible only to other outdoorsmen. Also worn as a badge of honor at the mall, four-star restaurants, and church.
Doggin’: an expression of readiness to hunt—rapid pelvic thrusts made by the outdoorsman at inanimate objects, such as his four-wheeler, much like a dog dry humping a pile of dirty laundry. Do NOT ask your outdoorsman for further explanation—it would be even more disturbing than the doggin’ itself.
European Mount: outdoorsman art—a bleached skull of a wild animal, usually with horns attached. Despite 10,000 years of civilization, the outdoorsman will attempt to display such mounts as home décor in the dining room and over the master bed. Not to be mistaken for a position from the French Kama Sutra.
Glassin’: using binos or a scope to scan every blade of grass on every distant slope, hoping to spot the massive buck that simply has to be there. Glassin’ is a year-round form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, not confined to hunting season. The older and dirtier the glass, the better the chance of spotting bears, coyotes, and trophy deer that to the untrained eye appear to be boulders, tree stumps, and shrubbery, respectively.
Hawg: any large, trophy-size animal, including hunting partners and girlfriends.
Honey Hole: a special, secret hunting spot rumored to hold monster bucks. Often indistinguishable from the surrounding landscape, which leads many hunters to wander aimlessly for days seeking the honey hole. See also Lost.
Hunting Widows Club: a sorority for all of us sisters who are seasonally abandoned by our paleo-camo guys while they romance furry critters and bed down with ticks, leeches, and intestinal parasites.
Lost: an unattainable state—no true-blooded outdoorsman has ever been lost. As Daniel Boone himself once said, “I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”
Outdoorsman: a man obsessed with fishing, hunting, hiking, and otherwise wallowing in raw nature; a Neanderthal in $700 worth of designer camouflage.
Rack: the object an outdoorsman can’t wait to get his hands on; the shapely, ample, uplifted, unrestrained, post-pubescent growth prominently displayed by male deer, elk, and moose and female humans.
Rut: the time of year when deer, elk, and other critters produce excess hormones in preparation for procreation. The hormones stimulate outdoorsmen to act all horny and brainless around guns and four-wheelers. See Doggin’.
Sneak Attack: the act of the outdoorsman dressing up in the appropriate landscape camouflage, tip-toeing, bellycrawling, or teleporting close enough to the poor little bastard animal that he has locked his glazed-over eyes on, just before breaking wind and scaring the target into the next county.
Spot: Any highly secret location where the outdoorsman hunts, fishes, stalks, or otherwise harasses wildlife. Only the outdoorsman knows where these spots are, and he’s gone to great pains to hide them from his buddies, Google Maps, the National Security Agency, Navy Seals Team Six, and you. Even his dog is blindfolded before driving to a spot.
Stink Wagon: the outdoorsman’s vehicle, most likely a truck, with dog-hair seat covers and stale fart air fresheners. The wagon is a mobile Superfund site, full of rotten fossilized corn dogs, bloody feathers, random ungulate body parts, and more weapons than the National Guard. Do not enter without full hazmat protection.
White-knuckling: an instinctive, prehensile, female reflex triggered by engine revving, sudden braking, and violent swerving, common while the driver hunting or glassin’ from a vehicle.