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Sherri Richards, Published November 08 2009

‘Hunting widows’ have their own plans

When male hunters are away, their wives will play.

Deer hunting season opened in Minnesota on Saturday. North Dakota’s season started Friday.

The opening weekend outing is a tradition for many men. And that creates another sort of tradition for women who stay behind.

“I enjoy it when he goes because I get a lot done,” said Janet Engebretson of Moorhead. “And I get to do fun things.”

One of those fun things was a vendor showcase at Fargo’s Wingate Inn. It was appropriately titled the “Hunter Widow Vendor Sale.”

Vendors sold home décor items, cleaning products, food and makeup. There were chair massages, door prizes and bars and cookies.

A similar event was held in Lisbon, N.D. The Ladies Fall Festival at the Ransom County Expo Center featured vendors, craft exhibits and hourly presentations.

Sue Benedict, a Norwex vendor from Sabin, Minn., organized the Fargo Hunter Widow Vendor Sale. She recently started selling the cleaning products and thought it would be a good weekend for a showcase.

“Women are out shopping, looking for things to do,” Benedict said.

Linda Granberg of Moorhead was one of those women. Her husband, Steve, is an occasional hunter, and usually goes out opening weekend. He was hunting near Detroit Lakes, Minn., with their son. She was shopping with their daughter, Brittany.

“It gives me time to do things I want to do,” Granberg said. “It’s nice to plan this when the guys are gone.”

Engebretson’s husband, Lee, loves to hunt. He won the Minnesota Classic for bow hunting three years ago. He was rifle hunting this weekend.

She’s developed her own opening weekend tradition. She goes on the Homes for the Holidays tour, has lunch and goes to a movie with friends, and tackles some projects that are easier to do when he’s not home.

“I really like it when he goes hunting, too, because I really do like the venison,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556