What does it take to be a woman who hunts?

Women are the fastest growing demographic in hunting. Many, like myself, are becoming hunters later in life. Without growing up hunting it’s very easy to get lost on your path to becoming a hunter.

What does it take to be a woman hunter? Equipment, knowledge, opportunity, skill and thick skin. Thick skin will be one of your most important assets.  It’s unfortunate that there are still people out there what will discourage women hunters, either by dismissing their skills and accomplishments or by judging them by their looks.

If you hunt long enough you will catch some grief. You will either be too young, too old, too fat, too thin, too plain, too pretty, too pink, or too feminine to hunt. None of these matter to the animal but they seem to matter to the shallow people of the world. Their criticism has nothing to do with you, it’s their own short comings manifesting in verbal garbage. Don’t let a man discourage you because he isn’t “man enough” not to be threatened by a woman. Only weak men are threatened by strong women. Just ignore them.

Heck yeah you hunt like a girl, be proud of it! You are a woman, you are a hunter.

Not only will you be judged by what you look like you will be judged by what you kill and what you kill it with. Ignore those people, if the weapon fits and you are skilled with it, the stickers on it won’t matter. I hate it when women or men are discouraged by what someone has to say about their equipment. There are NO women’s or men’s bows. Bows do not have a gender nor do you shoot them with your bits. There are tall and short women and men, pick a weapon that fits you and your budget. You don’t have to spend thousands to be deadly. Why are some bows labeled youth, women, or men’s? That’s called marketing.

My first bow was the one in the shop that was closest to fitting me. I bought a used PSE Bandit. Wheels and all it killed a hog in Hawaii and my first deer in Georgia. I would have loved to have an adjustable bow for my first bow! My PSE may not have fit well but it did teach me a lot and I still use it as a back up for bowfishing.

My first deer. My PSE Bandit wasn't my draw length and with wheels not cams it didn't break any speed records but it killed! I would have loved an adjustable bow for my first bow.

My first deer. My PSE Bandit wasn’t my draw length and with wheels not cams it didn’t break any speed records but it killed! I would have loved an adjustable bow for my first bow.

Nothing makes me more angry than seeing a post of someone with their first deer and some jerk just has to comment on the size of the animal or shot placement. As long as it’s legal why does it matter? Animals are all made of meat, granted you’ll get more meat on a bigger animal but a small animal tastes a heck of a lot better than a tag sandwich. Hunting is about so much more than inches or pounds.

These jerks will have something negative to say no matter what, either it’s too small or if it’s a record book animal they will claim that you either high fence hunted, someone had to have helped you, or you are posing with someone else’s animal.

What is the point of nit picking shot placement on a dead recovered animal? The shooter knows it wasn’t ideal, but guess what, they recovered it and it will provide some tasty protein.

What is the point of discouraging a new hunter at all? If you can’t say something nice, move along. They are proud of their accomplishment, they shouldn’t have to worry about what some clown says on Facebook. Even if it’s just one negative post in a sea of congratulations, that one post will stick out and stick with them. Think before you type.

If you are just starting out hunting, learn as much as you can, join some women’s groups and keep company with people that encourage you no matter what you shoot. We were all beginners at some point, the best teacher for hunting is experience. Even the most seasoned hunters make mistakes and learn something new each and every time they hunt. One of the best sources of hunting knowledge is other hunter’s stories, verbal or written they will provide you with knowledge that is priceless, learn from their mistakes and triumphs.

Never base your opinion of someone’s skills or knowledge based on gender. I know it’s social norm but it not true.  Women can hunt as well as men, in fact almost all of the outfitters I’ve been to have commented that they can’t believe how serious the women hunters can be compared to their average male client.  Never underestimate yourself, on one of my hunts the shortest woman hunted the hardest, staying out all day in the rain when most stayed by the fire in the cabin.

Now get out there, make up or not, pinked up or not, hunt hard and hunt like a woman!

 

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