Growing up in a family who hunts and a community who gives “hunting holidays” at school, it was only natural that I would start hunting. My dad had more of a challenge than most considering he had my mom, my sister, and me to deal with but he figured it out and made successful hunters out of all of us. I attribute most of my success in this sport to him for getting my mom involved early on in their marriage (even though she too was from a hunting family) and allowing them to pass on the tradition together. As we all well know, the word “hunting” encompasses so much more than simply stalking and killing an animal.
With the world of hunting growing larger every day, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the increase in population may be, in part, due to more females picking up weapons. It seems as though women have always been riding along in the truck with the men of their lives, but it’s only been recently that we began to see the shift of them getting out of the truck and going out on their own. For decades the men who look at hunting as something more than just “time with the guys” (and I applaud them for this) have tried to get the ladies in their lives into the world of hunting. Some of which follow and fall in love, some who end up being assistant butchers at the end of the day and some who make their “Honey Do” list just long enough to prevent hunting all together. I believe the brave huntresses of the world have been out there all along and we have just now tapped the resources of finding them. At any rate, it is something that cannot, will not, and, most importantly, should not be ignored.
After reading the blog “Big Kansas Buck Falls to the Bow” I was thrilled to read on and find it was a female who took the 200+ inch deer. However, the part about it being “not often heard of” disappointed me. Why is this true? Is it because there simply aren’t as many female hunters, or maybe we just don’t hear about their big kills, or maybe females just aren’t as good at hunting. I believe the first statement is true and the second may have some validity but the third is only something that is reasonably assumed with little to no evidence backing it up. Why wouldn’t a woman be every bit as good as “one of the guys?” I will be the first to admit that some females lack in certain physical attributes needed, but most of us give it all we’ve got.
We’re starting to see “Women Only” hunting groups as well as forums and workshops targeted specifically to the outdoorswoman. This is not because we need special training or attention; more so, we want the same companionship that comes along with an all women’s camp that accompanies the All American Men’s Deer Camps.
After several years of being uncomfortable in the field due to wearing oversized men’s clothes, I’m also starting to notice more and more women’s gear companies. The pants, jackets, gloves and boots are made specifically for women and yes, if you can believe it, we are built much different than the skinny hipped men of the world. If you’ve ever wondered why your girlfriend/wife lags behind you, have you ever thought it could be due to the crotch of her pants riding down to her knees and straps of her pack being too wide for her shoulders? We already have steep slopes, rough terrain, high elevation and the cold on our search for that bugling bull so we definitely don’t need to be fighting our gear too. Thankfully companies like, Prois, She Safari, SheHunts, and High Maintenance Camo have come along to save the day (and our cute little hineys too).
Only recently have I begun to hunt in different groups other than my family and I am starting to get a very good picture of how women are viewed in the field. Some guys simply won’t have it where others welcome women openly, but not for any reason regarding hunting (animals, that is). For the most part, however, I have found that most hunting circles enjoy having women in camp and don’t see it as a problem. I have met handfuls of wonderful people from all over the country that I have either hunted with or have hunts planned with and most of them have no biases. Until, that is, the girl in camp gets the biggest buck!