by: Todd Hassett
“It’s quiet. The world is turning a different shade of grey. Just behind me, the sun is slowly starting to rise and the shadows of the dawn are beginning to grow as the darkness of the night fades away. The chill in the air gets a little more intense and I can feel the excitement building inside me as I await the arrival of my objective. A white tail deer.”
I assume this is how most of us feel when we head out into the woods for an early morning hunt. Some of the details my change, but this seems to be a good general description of how most early hunts begin. So as you read this opening statement I can assume most of you pictured a man in camouflage sitting in the woods with his rifle at the ready for his prized trophy deer to walk into range. But this is not accurate on one point. “The man” you pictured in camouflage is in fact a woman.
Women of the world have been, and are becoming more and more involved in the sort of hunting. From big game to bird, women are in the fields and tree stands just as much as men. Many of these woman are even more successful them men when it comes to bringing home food for their families.
I had the chance to do some interviews with a few women about their time in the field and was able to learn quite a bit about the hunting world for women. For many of them they accredit family members (fathers, grandfathers, uncles) for teaching them the ropes of the hunt. Some have said that their husbands took them out hunting and that either rekindled a love for the outdoors or sparked a new love for the hunt.
This foundation that was built between their family and themselves, has also instilled a sense of great moral and ethical responsibility that is so vital in the passing on of good hunting skills and knowledge. The “eat what you kill” message seems to be alive and well in these women and their passing it on to the next generation, as all of them have taught this to their children as well.
One thing that some of these ladies have had to overcome is the stigma that comes with women hunting. As a man; even though I have only been hunting a few years now, no one seemed to really bat an eye when I began to hunt. But for some of the women that spoke with me that was not the case.
For myself and my best friend, we will meet up with family and friends and head out into the woods. Sharing funny stories and retelling the excerpts of what we saw or didn’t see on our morning hunt. We never judge or criticize each other for what we did or didn’t do. But for some women that has not always been the case. From being ostracized or downright not being allowed to go hunting, some women have had more to overcome then just the weather and the disappointments of coming back empty handed.
The one thing that has shown true from the conversations I had with these amazing women is that with time they were able to overcome all of these obstacles and enjoy their love of hunting. These women have shown not only their families, but also the outsiders looking in that they are not just the ones to cook what the man has brought home, but they are also just as lethal hunters as the men. In some cases they have even proven to be more effective in the field then their male counter parts.
Please check the Outdoor Girls page to see photos of these amazing women and to read their full interviews.