Jan 25, 2013

The Marriage Solunar Table 

As I’ve lamented in past columns, I really messed up when I agreed to marry my lovely wife on October 22nd.  Don’t get me wrong, marrying her was the absolute smartest decision I ever made.  We have been married for 24 years and I couldn’t have found a better life partner and mother to our daughters.  The mess up was choosing to get married in late October.  Most guys get in trouble because they forget it’s their anniversary.  I’m usually not even in the same state as my wife, Jeannie, on that day. 

Although there have been many missed anniversaries, the most notable whiffs include our 20th, when I was bow hunting in Georgia, and 24th which “we” celebrated this past October while I was hunting Elk in Colorado and she was minding the kids in Wisconsin. 

I guess there are varying levels of poor choices for wedding dates.  Although he has been married to my mom for 52 years, my dad actually chose the worst possible date of November 5th.   

If you look at the Pope and Young record book for Wisconsin, I believe you’ll find that the greatest number of entries are between November 4th and November 6th.  Of course this is right smack dab in the middle of peak rut.  When I asked my dad what he was thinking he said, “Apparently I wasn’t, although I’m not sure we even knew what the rut was 52 years ago.” 

Every year a few buddies and I go to Canada’s Lake of the Woods to fish walleyes, northern pike, and the fish of ten thousand casts.  Each year, during the planning process, we check the solunar tables to determine the best possible time to go.  Sometimes our schedules don’t always work, so we end up going during off-peak days.  This usually turns out bad because we don’t catch as many fish.  When we think it through and make our schedules work, we catch many more fish and that is good. 

I wish I had done this same level of planning when I agreed to the date of my wedding.  Since I intend to honor the, “Until death do us part” thing, I will never get a chance to make this right.  What I can do though, is make future grooms aware of the importance of choosing the right date to marry.   

I don’t think the DNR has published all of the 2013 dates yet, so I am basing some of my recommendations on the 2012 dates.  Although some of my dates may be inaccurate, the point of this story is that, in order to prevent “bad” things from happening on your wedding anniversary date, you should spend as much time picking the date of your wedding as you do picking the dates you go to Canada. 

Whether you are contemplating getting married in 2013 or in 2031, here are some month by month things to think about followed by some recommended “all clear” dates to walk down the aisle. This is not all-inclusive so consider this my DRAFT version of a marriage “solunar table.” 

January:  Unfortunately there are no open weekends in the month of January.  The first weekend is the last weekend of the late bow season.  It will be eight months before you get to hunt deer again so you must hunt.  The rest of the weekends will be consumed with ice fishing and squirrel hunting.  

February:  If you’re going to get married in February then do it on February 2nd.  There are no other open weekends as you will be on Lake Winnebago or the Upper Lakes for sturgeon spearing, or fishing in the Battle on Bago ice fishing tournament on February 23.  Finally, rabbits close the last day of February and this will be your last chance to hunt anything until turkey season. 

March:  There are no open dates in March.   You will be fishing pre-spawn walleyes on Lake Winnebago and below the dam at De Pere.  If you get tired of catching walleyes, you will be wading through Wisconsin streams during the early inland trout season. 

April:  This is a tough month because you won’t know which turkey hunting period you have until February.  Be a safe hunter and keep all periods open.  Since the season doesn’t open until the second week of April, the first Saturday will always be free. You can get married on April 6th.    My buddy, Chris, got married the first Saturday in April and to this day I revere him.  He is THE man.   

May:  Between turkey hunting, opening day of fishing on most lakes in Wisconsin, and the return of the walleyes to Lake Winnebago, you should only get married the last weekend in May.  Memorial Day is acceptable because you will probably have to do family stuff anyway.  Family stuff includes taking your family camping to a remote Wisconsin lake. 

June:  The first weekend is out because the DNR calls this a “free fishing weekend.”  I know, 99% of you probably buy a fishing license but you should go anyway to show support for the DNR.  Come to think of it, June is usually an awesome month for fishing anywhere, so to be safe, do not get married in June.  

July: Fishing will still be good so you should not get married the first two weekends in July.  If you must, then choose the 6th of July since, like Memorial Day weekend, you will most likely be required to participate in a family type outing anyway. I’m going out on a limb here but you may be able to get married on the third weekend which is the 20th of July.  The last weekend in July is out as the application deadline for Sharp-tailed Grouse is due on the 1st of August.  You will need that final weekend to get that task done because God forbid you miss this one.   

August:  August is another tough month to predict but in the end, I don’t recommend any dates.  The salmon are beginning to stack outside the harbors at Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Two rivers and other cities along Lake Michigan.  Additionally, you should be spending every free moment in the woods scouting your bow stands and checking trail cams.  You will also need to reserve the final weekend to get your bow serviced at your local archery shop.    

September:  You may get married the 7th of September but only if you don’t hunt doves or early goose.  There are no other dates available as you will be bow hunting the next several weekends.  If you decide not to bow hunt, you will most certainly be getting your decoys ready for the duck opener, or fishing sturgeon with hook and line. 

October:  The first weekend will be consumed by the duck opener.  Although it seems counter-intuitive, you might want to think about getting married the second weekend.  The second weekend will conflict with the youth deer hunt but that’s okay.  If kids are in your future, your wife might even beg you to get them out of the house.  There will be a time when your spouse will say, “I don’t care if it’s our anniversary, go hunting and take the damn kids with you.”  So, you may get married on October 12th. Under no circumstances should you get married any other time in October unless it’s on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. 

November:  You should never, ever, get married in November unless it’s on Thanksgiving Day.  Between pre-rut, rut, post rut and deer gun you will be exhausted.  You must reserve the final weekend in November to rest before kicking it into high gear for late bow.   

December:  You will be very busy the first weekend of December with muzzleloader season.  The second weekend you will most likely be filling out your spring turkey application, which is due December 10th.  Many of you will forget, as I have, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  The rest of the month will be filled with late bow, and trips to Fleet Farm and other sporting goods stores to buy your Gold Hammered Swedish Pimples and other hot ice fishing lures before all your buddies clear the racks.   

So there you have it.  To summarize, if you are a true Badger Sportsman, and planning to get married in 2013, do so only on one of the following dates: 

February 2nd 

April 6th 

May 25th 

July 6th 

July 20th 

October 12th 

One final thought.  Once you get married you really ought to think through the timing for the consummation of the marriage.  For example, don’t be tempted to snuggle up to your sweetie on one of those cold mid-January to mid-February nights.  Better yet, get a king size bed and stay as far away as possible.  You may even want to consider sleeping on the couch.  Why?  If you don’t take my advice, you are in great danger of having a child between October 15th and November 15th.   

Next to eternal life, I truly believe children are the greatest gift from God – just not during the rut