BEST COLUMNS OF 2022 – Dusty McGehee: Relationship Tips for the Outdoors Spouse


This Best of the LPJ for 2022 story was originally published on May 13, 2022.

If you consider yourself a good outdoorsman/woman there is a great chance that you have an awesome spouse who has your back.  I know I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have to enjoy the great outdoors without mine. 

Although she doesn’t enjoy hunting, she is a world class fisherwoman and a pretty darn good cook of wild game.  Over the years, I have figured out some key things to look for when determining who you should spend the rest of your life with.  Keep in mind that these tips are not only for those that hunt or fish but shall be used for anyone who may have any type of hobby.

  1. When choosing a potential spouse, make sure that you obnoxiously enjoy your hobby in the courting stage of the relationship. Find out how long it takes for them to complain and then make your decision.  If it’s the type of significant other that bothers you each time you go out with “when are you coming home” texts or perhaps rolls their eyes when you head to the deer stand, then that is not the one for you.  I don’t care how good looking they are, I can promise you this is a major red flag, and you should steer away!
  2. Finances- Make sure you make it clear that there is no budget for your hobby. Yes, it is important to pay your bills on time, but there are new gadgets that come out and it is more important to make sure you buy them and are on the cutting edge of technology because you will need every advantage there is.  If your partner is the “Even Stevens” type and decides they need to spend that same amount of money at TJ Maxx or wherever, then HARD PASS.
  3. Finances part 2- It is imperative to let them know you are saving money by harvesting wild game or bringing home an ice chest full of filets. There is no need to go to the grocery store and buy ground beef when you have a freezer full of venison.  Heck, I know we haven’t purchased any ground meat in probably 20 years.  Forget your lease fees, corn fees, gas, boat mortgage, etc… you are saving money while putting hard earned food on the table!
  4. There is no such thing as having too many guns. This one isn’t even debatable.  If your spouse wants to get another gun, encourage him/her, and perhaps tell them to get TWO more.
  5. Owning three boats is a necessity. You need one for fishing, another one for duck hunting, and then buy one for your wife and kids for fun days at the lake.  I promise the return on investment here is priceless.
  6. Teach your significant other how to use a filet knife or skinning knife. After a LONG and successful day of hunting or fishing, we are just too tuckered out to clean our game sometimes.
  7. Always greet your partner with a smile, hug, and a kiss upon arrival. This one can go both ways.  It is important that they know you missed them and that their hard work is valued.  Tell them that you love them and appreciate the sacrifices that they are making.
  8. Gift Ideas- This one is pretty simple. If you’re not sure what gun to purchase, just get a gift card.  Anywhere in the range of $500-$1,000 dollars will typically do.
  9. Don’t make any plans during hunting or fishing season. We are very busy during these time periods.  Especially don’t choose your wedding date during our “season”, as it is highly likely we will not make it, nor we will be able to celebrate future anniversaries.
  10. Print this out and post it on your refrigerator.

Now if you’ve made it this far, know that these are just the top 10 off the top of my head… also know that I have a great sense of humor and hope I made you laugh a little.  If you need anymore relationship advice, feel free to contact me.


Dusty McGehee is a native of Downsville and a 2006 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelors in wildlife conservation. He is currently employed by WestRock and serves as an environmental engineer at the Hodge Mill. Dusty is an avid hunter and crappie fisherman, fishing crappie tournaments with his son when he is not in the woods. He and his wife Rachel have three young outdoorsmen/women: Anders (9), Ridge (7) and Mae (5). If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE