Recently, a non-hunter mentioned that she did not think there were many hunters in this area. I nodded politely but couldn’t help but think about his statement, as I know a lot of women who hunt.
Throughout the rest of the day, that thought became less about the number of female hunters and more about the women themselves. Who are these women ? What do they like about the hunt? Do they have any obstacles that male hunters do not encounter? Do they have advantages over men who hunt?
Finally, I compiled a list of 14 questions, emailed the list to women who hunt, and posted a call on Facebook asking women hunters to contact me if they wanted to answer a few questions about hunting.
Here is what I learned:
• About 50 percent of the women who responded started hunting when they were children, mainly with their father or brothers. However, one of the women mentioned that her mother was the one who taught her to hunt. The remaining 50 percent began hunting as adults and hunted primarily with their husbands or boyfriends.
• These women started hunting for various reasons, including spending time with their fathers or husbands; as a family outing; or some normal event in their family and that’s what everyone did so they joined in on the fun.
Wanda Cook, my hunting companion, started hunting as an 18 year old bride because her husband was hunting every weekend. She was devastated that she didn’t spend more time with her brand new husband, so she picked up a gun and started to walk with him. Almost 50 years later, Wanda and Jerry Cook are still hunting together.
• I asked these women, “What do you like about hunting? “
Their responses were similar: they like to be outside, it is peaceful, calm and beauty surround them, they are rarely so still and contemplative, they like to hunt in the morning and watch the world come to life, they feel close to God. , it is pure joy, their life is stressful and walking into a deer stand offers them complete peace. They love to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Most women prefer to hunt alone because they like solitude. Some mentioned that when they hunted with their husbands, they thought their husbands were talking too much.
I received frequent admonitions from my husband when I first started hunting because he thought I was talking too much in the deer stand. Wanda Cook advised me to go up to a stand alone as soon as I was safe to hunt alone. Better to be in a booth with no company.
• As a hunter, I see two disadvantages that women have compared to male hunters. Almost all of the women identified the same two problems – going to the bathroom and gambling on their own. Both of these topics present challenges for women, however, most of us have successfully overcome these barriers.
Jan Daigre, a longtime hunter, explained that her husband, Bubba, gave her a rope and a marble.
“You should have seen it,” said Jan Daigre. “There I was looking for a tree with a branch low enough and strong enough to throw the rope, then use the winch side by side to lift the deer out of the back of the buggy. Damn, it’s just easier to wait for Bubba Daigre to come home and send him to get the deer for me.
I agree, Jan, it’s easier to call my husband, Mark Posey, and let him know there’s a deer in the woods waiting for him. A few years ago he found an easy to use lift to load the deer onto my 4 wheeler.
A few problems remain: find the deer and get it out of the lowest ravine of the property. While I can load the deer myself, I can rarely find it without Mark’s help.
• On the other hand, I asked these women if they thought they had any advantages over male hunters. The majority believe that women are more patient than their male counterparts and have better eye / hand coordination, which allows them to be more precise shooters.
• Regardless of the age at which these women began to hunt, each of them continues to hunt. Marian Love, a longtime well-known hunter and blogger, is 80 years old and still hunts as often as she can. I hope to hunt with her someday very soon!
• Much like male hunters, female hunters use a variety of rifles, shotguns, muzzle loaders, compound bows and crossbows. We all have our favorites for very different reasons.
Although I have encountered a few issues with the length of the pull-up, most women don’t. It’s an easy fix, but definitely something to consider if you are buying your first rifle. Women’s arms tend to be shorter than men’s. Therefore, the pulling length is also shorter.
The guns you buy over the counter are usually designed for men. There are stocks you can purchase with a custom pull length, or you can take these over-the-counter stocks to a gunsmith and have them adjusted.
• Traditionally, hunting clothing and equipment was designed for men. There is a current trend to offer hunting clothing and gear specifically for women. Interestingly, most of the women who responded to the questionnaire prefer men’s items, finding them more comfortable and roomy.
• I was interested to know what women would say to non-hunting women and girls about hunting.
Most of the answers were similar: try it a few times and decide for yourself whether it is for you or not; there is no other experience like this – to be in nature, to be still and still; see the beauty of God; knowing the dishes and linens will still be there when you get home, so go have fun.
The best answer: there is always a story to tell. True. When you come out of the woods, there is ALWAYS a story to tell.
Hunting remains a sport dominated by men. My husband and I belong to several hunting camps. In a few of them, I am the only woman. To others there is at least one other woman, and sometimes two or three, who are ready to get up early, put on a whole bunch of warm clothes, grab a gun and go into the woods – even though our husbands have to. come find our deer and bring it back for us.
Robyn Lea is a resident of Vicksburg. She can be contacted at [email protected]