SITKA Gear

First-hand experiences of women hunters

SAJ-99

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I hesitated to comment because I have no first-hand experience in being a woman, so what the hell can I add? I thank the HT women for replying. I do believe that women face a bias based on stereotypes built up over the years, and across all areas. I'm sure that once you encounter that bias, you are on the lookout for it even more. Maybe you might misidentify a case - an a-hole is sometimes just an a-hole to everybody- but I am also sure you get a good feel for the subtleties in the attitudes of people. I am also sure that if you someone shows that bias in the field, they show the same bias at their home and at work. It is an ingrained feature in their life. Unfortunately, a lot of it stems from differences between the sexes. Men tend to be more aggressive and move toward a strategy of intimidation. Women tend to be more willing to listen and talk stuff out. I have never felt at risk or intimidated in the field. As I try to raise my daughter, I try to get her to be brave and stand up for herself, while acknowledging a lot of the obstacles she will face and how some will make difficult for her. But I don't believe in making excuses. I won't make excuses for the sexist a-holes, and I don't want her to make excuses for things that might be obstacles. We will see in 20yrs if that worked.;)
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
Some asides:
1. In shopping for vehicles the sales person will address me first, even if the vehicle is for my wife. She doesn't like that.
2. In shopping for houses, the realtors we've dealt with (all have been female) talk to my wife first. Some don't even act like I am present.
 

DouglasR

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East central, Il
To clarify a point on the firearm thing...I don’t care if I walk in and ask generally about looking for a gun if the guy hands me the pink one as an option. Not a selling point for me, but it is for others. I can simply rule that one out and move on to the other options. But when I walk in and ask to see something specific and I can see it sitting in the case, don’t hand me a bunch of other stuff and tell me I don’t know what I need, what would work better for me, yada yada. If I ask to see a Sig P220, assume I've done my homework and just show me the damn thing. I talked to my husband about this and he assured me he’s never had this experience.

I also agree that some things attributed to being gender-based either stem from some other issue (like the rookie question someone mentioned above) or are coming from equal-opportunity jerks. At the same time, there are people out there who actually try to make it quite plain that the only "problem" is that I'm female. Unsolicited comments about my looks, using diminutive words to address me (*ahem* "baby" *cough*), intentional use of vocal tones, facial expressions and body language to try to intimidate me...I assume people pulling those kinds of stunts are overtly targeting my gender specifically. Luckily, I don't get that too much and I have experienced it more at work than around hunting.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know what I think men can do to help (if so inclined), and I don't think it requires a seismic shift. With the audience here in mind:

1. Keep taking your wives/girlfriends/sisters/daughters/friends out and teaching them.
2. Produce content that portrays women in hunting as normal. I'm not talking big 2 hour specials. I'm talking routine content that has women in it sometimes, in a capacity that they are able to also share some of their expertise in a meaningful way.
3. If you run into a woman out hunting, remain calm. Act normal. Talk hunting. ;)

Seriously, the common thread here is to just help make women out hunting a "normal" thing. And if you are teaching, help them be skilled and capable too.


Apology accepted. I'm not one to dwell on the past, but don't be "that guy" in the future please.
Could you please define “that guy”
This falls under the bro category or pale stale and male?
Im just not up to speed on all of these stereotypes you have for white men.

im finished.
 

MNElkNut

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Minnesota
3. If you run into a woman out hunting, remain calm. Act normal. Talk hunting. ;)


That is too funny! We ran into a woman out elk hunting one year. She was coming out after a bunch of days solo backcountry hunting. The thing that really stuck out to me however, was not that she was a woman doing a backcountry solo elk hunt. Rare sure, but whatever. What stuck out to me was she had on those shoes with individual toes like water shoes. That were completely ripped to shreds and the side of her feet were sticking out. I asked her about it. She is a trail runner and doesn't like boots. Man or woman, that is nuts. I think we were calm. We did talk hunting. Acting normal? As normal as I ever am!

The other thing that happens is when many guys see an attractive (and I don't mean physical beauty....a woman who is hunting is certainly attractive!) woman, they cannot remain calm and act normal. Their tongue occupies their whole mouth, their brain shrinks and both feet are "lefts". Then they say stupid stuff trying to impress.

Because of my daughter, I try and encourage a lot of girls and women to hunt. My firearm safety classes are now close to 50/50 girls and boys. My worst students are always boys who think they know it all.

The value that the women hunters on this forum bring is immense. I am sure they are influencing many other girls and women to be proud hunters!
 

Harrier

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Dec 28, 2016
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Texas
I’m glad the article and this discussion were posted on Hunt Talk. I have participated in (and left) other online forums where that wouldn’t be the case. I think that in too many cases, the consensus on online hunting/shooting forums is that everyone present is a white, straight, politically conservative male, and I think discussions like this help show that isn’t necessarily the case.
 

MTelkHuntress

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Mar 20, 2019
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Missoula, MT
I can see how this article would rub people the wrong way but I just kind of read the anecdotes as differing opinions or experiences from my own. There were certainly a couple stories that I also questioned as situations taken the wrong way, but maybe that way of thinking has been primed by previous experiences of women being treated unfairly or different. I think in those instances, it is important to stop and think about it.

On the flip side, I've certainly had a few advantages in hunting because I'm a woman that hunts. So it's not all black and white.

Produce content that portrays women in hunting as normal. I'm not talking big 2 hour specials. I'm talking routine content that has women in it sometimes, in a capacity that they are able to also share some of their expertise in a meaningful way.
I think this is a really good idea. While I'm not an avid consumer of hunting content, I think this would help womens image in hunting a lot and hopefully normalize it more. I feel like the very few womens hunting content I've seen just didnt sit well with me. Often times the woman did not participate in decision making or even the gutting process. I get there are different kinds of hunting but it would be nice to see an independent woman out there sometimes.
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Could you please define “that guy”
This falls under the bro category or pale stale and male?
Im just not up to speed on all of these stereotypes you have for white men.

im finished.
I was thinking more along the lines of that guy who posts things that embarrass himself, which I thought you identified as earlier in your post.

I can't even figure out WTF is going on with you in this thread, honestly.
 

idelkslayer

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Aug 28, 2013
Messages
173
I read very little in the article that I would agree is based in gender bias or that that is unique to outdoors activities.

It is typical behavior for hunters and anglers to be cryptic about locations and try to misdirect others.

It is also common when encountering other hunters in the field to ask if they are alone or in a group.

Most of the anecdotes that the author shares are just as easily a case of a woman perceiving differential treatment based on her gender when the type of encounter is normal for all hunters/anglers. They appear to be mostly women with a chip on their shoulder experiencing some confirmation bias.

The gun store encounters seem like the only legitimate complaint throughout the entire article and some of the comments on this thread have experienced the same.

Other than that I didn’t see anything in her article that I agree happens to women at an “exponentially higher rate than men”
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Southeast Idaho
I was also propositioned once on a goat hunt and when I turned it down, I had to listen to 5 days of B.S. ( was he not handsome enough ?, did I only like other Indians ?, how about if he doubled the offer ( $ )?,) it got pretty tiring
This is BS and something that deserves to be addressed and brought to light unlike the pink gun issue. Im sorry this happened to you or anyone. Kudos to you for sticking out the hunt and doing your job professionally. The guy should be put on a blacklist.
 

DouglasR

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
874
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East central, Il
Well chit DouglasR, now Im'ma hafta read the article & see where you stepped in the minefield.
Idk man, I’ve just been acting real impulsive ever since I suffered that head injury at the covid vaccination site the other day.
it’s definitely CTE.

I’m done here.
 

np307

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Jun 25, 2018
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North Carolina
It's an interesting article. Some of the stories sound like things that have happened to me before. Maybe not as frequently as they might happen to women, but I've definitely had difficulty with salesmen "knowing what's best" for me and people trying to either intimidate or lie about hunting spots to keep you from going there. I've also had people question if I was nervous about staying out in the woods by myself. All of those are things that, were I a woman and constantly presented with the narrative that men are inherently biased against women, I would assume occurred on the basis of sex.

Similarly, I've been stopped by the police before when I wasn't speeding or breaking any traffic rules just to be let go with a "warning" after they asked some leading questions. I'm white but I can understand how someone who isn't might assume that was a racial stop if it occurred to them. And if that happened to me all the time, as I've heard several POC say that it has to them, I would probably begin to assume it was based on the color of my skin.

In the same vein, I've had plenty of women act like it was the most shocking thing in the world for me to be doing the grocery shopping ("wow, your wife lets you do the shopping?"). I've got a buddy who gets comments when he's out with his son about how nice it is for him to give mom a break (he's the one primarily home with the kid). I don't bring those up to say "aha, see you women just need to get over these things" but more to say that I can empathize somewhat with having people assume something solely based on your gender.

At the same time though, generalizations help us make it through life more easily. We have powerful minds built to recognize patterns. Sometimes those patterns are imprinted by societal expectations, but many times those patterns just naturally emerge. Men and women are different. Generally speaking they have different interests. It doesn't mean that women are incapable of enjoying the outdoors or thriving in the hunting world. Men shouldn't demean or berate women who chose to enjoy these kinds of hobbies. But I don't think the solution is expressing irritation anytime someone admits that you've broken the pattern.

Hopefully my rambling hasn't obfuscated my point. I don't deny that the experiences of the women in the article are more typical of the female experience in the hunting/fishing worlds. I don't deny that it's a shame for that to be true. I'm just saying that we shouldn't pretend that hunting isn't a primarily male occupied hobby. We can make efforts to change that. But at present, the split isn't 50/50 and thus the generalization will continually be geared toward that end.
 

Harrier

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
85
Location
Texas
I read very little in the article that I would agree is based in gender bias or that that is unique to outdoors activities.

It is typical behavior for hunters and anglers to be cryptic about locations and try to misdirect others.

It is also common when encountering other hunters in the field to ask if they are alone or in a group.

Most of the anecdotes that the author shares are just as easily a case of a woman perceiving differential treatment based on her gender when the type of encounter is normal for all hunters/anglers. They appear to be mostly women with a chip on their shoulder experiencing some confirmation bias.

The gun store encounters seem like the only legitimate complaint throughout the entire article and some of the comments on this thread have experienced the same.

Other than that I didn’t see anything in her article that I agree happens to women at an “exponentially higher rate than men”
In my experience, the behaviors you say are typical aren’t typical at all.

Cryptic? Maybe. But misdirecting? That’s wrong and dangerous. I have been helpful (and been helped) many more times than hindered when encountering other hunters.

Likewise, I’ve never been asked if I’m hunting alone. If I were, I definitely would want to know the motivation of whomever was asking.
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
That is too funny! We ran into a woman out elk hunting one year. She was coming out after a bunch of days solo backcountry hunting. The thing that really stuck out to me however, was not that she was a woman doing a backcountry solo elk hunt. Rare sure, but whatever. What stuck out to me was she had on those shoes with individual toes like water shoes. That were completely ripped to shreds and the side of her feet were sticking out. I asked her about it. She is a trail runner and doesn't like boots. Man or woman, that is nuts. I think we were calm. We did talk hunting. Acting normal? As normal as I ever am!

The other thing that happens is when many guys see an attractive (and I don't mean physical beauty....a woman who is hunting is certainly attractive!) woman, they cannot remain calm and act normal. Their tongue occupies their whole mouth, their brain shrinks and both feet are "lefts". Then they say stupid stuff trying to impress.

Because of my daughter, I try and encourage a lot of girls and women to hunt. My firearm safety classes are now close to 50/50 girls and boys. My worst students are always boys who think they know it all.

The value that the women hunters on this forum bring is immense. I am sure they are influencing many other girls and women to be proud hunters!
Yes, you get it. This is exactly what I was poking fun at. It was/is kinda funny. I usually chalk it up to being surprised.

@Hunting Wife as I expected from you, well thought out excellent posts, you should consider a career in politics.
Cheers
Richard
ps you can hunt with me anytime, and your husband as well of course:)
Noooo sir, no politics for me. Likewise if you ever get back out here :)
 

SAJ-99

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Montana
At the same time though, generalizations help us make it through life more easily. We have powerful minds built to recognize patterns.

Well, I do admit stereotypes exists everywhere. When my wife and I take my daughter to the Dr or meet with a teacher, I might as well not exist. I point this out to my wife and laugh. I can laugh about it because it isn't holding me back from anything. It's not a job interview or anything terribly consequential. In addition, I'm sure there are some women who think women shouldn't hunt, or hold jobs for that matter. The only way to break out of this as a society is to recognize it exists and be a part of the solution. Generalizations help us get through life easier but probably not in a positive way. If I let my "fast" brain dictate everything, I never allow for anything new to be introduced that would change my perception of the world. In that case I am not recognizing the pattern, I am helping to build it.
My $0.02.
 
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