First-hand experiences of women hunters

idelkslayer

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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.

I don't see how it's dangerous to tell a stranger that I haven't seen any elk in a particular area even though I know there are.

If you need help (flat tire, lost, packing game) I'll help you. If you expect me to help you by sharing my knowledge about game movements in a particular area, you're crazy.

If I run into you in the field the first thing I want to know is if I'm going to keep bumping into more hunters in that area. I'll ask if a hunter is alone or in a group and if they are in a group where the other hunters are going. That way I can try to avoid them and/or head to a less crowded area. It's also one of the first questions other hunters ask me if I don't address it first.

In my workplace I have observed that the women hires get a lot more help and instruction than their male counterparts. I could conclude that this is due to sexism and the women are getting better treatment or I could observe that the women tend to be more open and ask more questions than the men. The result is they get more facetime with those who can support their growth. I think that most of the experiences shared in the article are being made by people who are choosing to focus on one aspect of the interaction and not all the other factors that are also at play.
 

Panda Bear

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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.
thank you.

When we got back to the village and I addressed the issue.

the client: "I was just joking around, we can't joke around the campfire now ? "
outfitter: "do you want me to use someone else in the future ? Are you that thin skinned ?"

Some issue's goes way beyond the article that was posted in the first post. If the only issue I ever had was a clerk handing me a pink rifle or someone asking me if I was alone, I would have no problems at all. i.e. my answer to hilljackoutlaw

. And yes men are also damed if they do and damned if they dont sometimes. And, it has gotten better, attitudes and stereotyping have and are changing.

I can not even imagine what it was like when April was my age, especially in a race car club, which probably at that time had zero women in the club. ( well, one-her )

So this is an opportunity to thank those females like April, my mother, grandmother, and others who fought the good fight so that the field would be a bit more level by the time I started playing on it.

I am not whining or even complaining. I have no complaints at all, but was and am contributing to the thread and responding to a member who quoted my post, with a comment, thank you

And one last note to hunting wife. My hats off to you, you have more patience than I might have had in responding to him ;)
 

DouglasR

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thank you.

When we got back to the village and I addressed the issue.

the client: "I was just joking around, we can't joke around the campfire now ? "
outfitter: "do you want me to use someone else in the future ? Are you that thin skinned ?"

Some issue's goes way beyond the article that was posted in the first post. If the only issue I ever had was a clerk handing me a pink rifle or someone asking me if I was alone, I would have no problems at all. i.e. my answer to hilljackoutlaw

. And yes men are also damed if they do and damned if they dont sometimes. And, it has gotten better, attitudes and stereotyping have and are changing.

I can not even imagine what it was like when April was my age, especially in a race car club, which probably at that time had zero women in the club. ( well, one-her )

So this is an opportunity to thank those females like April, my mother, grandmother, and others who fought the good fight so that the field would be a bit more level by the time I started playing on it.

I am not whining or even complaining. I have no complaints at all, but was and am contributing to the thread and responding to a member who quoted my post, with a comment, thank you

And one last note to hunting wife. My hats off to you, you have more patience than I might have had in responding to him ;)
I like the way you took the high road and snuck that little dig in at the end.

I will post in this thread no more.
 

SoCalhunt88

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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.
Great passage on the brain’s recognition of patterns and generalizations. It’s an evolutionary byproduct and we see it in tons of areas and a reason why a good portion of the population fears snakes, even those that are harmless.
 

270.Rose

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I have to say that I have really enjoyed my entry into the hunting world. Maybe it is the area I live in which is very rural/hunter-heavy, but I have always been treated with genuine respect that is not condescending by other hunters, sporting goods stores, game wardens, and anyone else I have run across as a hunter. In fact that is one of the things that particularly drew me towards wanting to hunt more. I don't feel like I have to prove anything more as a woman than as any newbie hunter in the field trying to learn as much as possible. I train hard to make sure that they don't feel like they have to make concessions for me, but I don't try to out-hike the guys just to prove I can. At the close of the 2020 season, my ladies Bible study group (ranging in age from 20-92) were all sharing their hunting stories for the year and showing pictures of their harvests, we had a great time and it sounded just like a group of 'the guys' sharing tales. None of those ladies made any mention of 'being a girl' or felt like they had anything to prove, any more than my husband's group of hunting buddies from work when they all stand around and tell hunting stories.
 

neffa3

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I've had my @ss handed to me at enough activities, by enough people of all genders to realize it's more about the individual that anything else. My daughter can hang, my son cannot. He is mentally soft while she might just be unbreakable (at least I haven't found any weakness so far).

But as others have mentioned the article didn't... I don't know, just didn't seem genuine maybe (?), I don't really know the right word. But there have been better articles that were posted on here in the last year. Also, as a member of the most privileged class in our society I've still had many of those things happen to me. Parts of the article felt like the story teller was insecure with themselves and thus projecting stereotypes on the person, when the other person was just being a jerk. It happens, jerks happen.
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

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Thank you for posting. Made me look at myself and how I act. I've had the pleasure of mentoring my sister in hunting, and now realize how often I tout her as an oddity. I realize I treat her differently than my male hunting partners, always checking on her and making sure she's ok. Some of that is because she is my sister and I want to protect her, but most of it is unrealized bias and that's hard to admit. In reality she is tougher physically and mentally and can outshoot me any day of the week, she definitely doesn't need a hand to hold.

I'm also guilty of giving posts by female hunters more attention, almost like an overreach to make up for inherit bias. I'm guilty of paying more attention to a hunting post if the hunter is sporting a mossy oak bikini, and that is shameful.

This author and our many female members didn't set out to make men feel bad or get defensive. We are simply supposed to read, reflect...and then mansplain it all back to them like it was needed (sorry).

I'm learning everyday and hope to be a better man tomorrow.
 

DouglasR

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East central, Il
Thank you for posting. Made me look at myself and how I act. I've had the pleasure of mentoring my sister in hunting, and now realize how often I tout her as an oddity. I realize I treat her differently than my male hunting partners, always checking on her and making sure she's ok. Some of that is because she is my sister and I want to protect her, but most of it is unrealized bias and that's hard to admit. In reality she is tougher physically and mentally and can outshoot me any day of the week, she definitely doesn't need a hand to hold.

I'm also guilty of giving posts by female hunters more attention, almost like an overreach to make up for inherit bias. I'm guilty of paying more attention to a hunting post if the hunter is sporting a mossy oak bikini, and that is shameful.

This author and our many female members didn't set out to make men feel bad or get defensive. We are simply supposed to read, reflect...and then mansplain it all back to them like it was needed (sorry).

I'm learning everyday and hope to be a better man tomorrow.
Why would you feel shame for spending more time looking at a post with a scantly clad women?
isn’t that called biology?

my final thoughts.
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

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Why would you feel shame for spending more time looking at a post with a scantly clad women?
isn’t that called biology?

my final thoughts.
It may be. A lot of urges are hard wired, like the urge to punch someone you don't agree with, or to lash out against someone that hurt you. Both are unacceptable in civilized society. My point with the hunting picture was that I was paying more attention than to the other pictures. To borrow from forum parlance, if I needed to "snap the raddish," there are plenty of places on the internet to do that. I get you feel like men are being attacted and that I'm being an apologist. Think what you will. This article made me think about my interactions with female hunters and for that I'm grateful.
 

2rocky

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We've had a handful of threads pop up about how women are treated differently by the hunting community.
There are a lot of things women I respect don't need any help doing when it comes to hunting well.

1)Accuracy and familiarity with their weapon
2) Knife skills on a carcass.
3) Calling skills
4) Glassing skills
5) Packing their own packs and carrying their own weapon
6) Training their animal (Equine or Canine)

If she can manage those she is welcome to hunt with me as an equal. If she needs accommodation in any of those arenas I'll likely treat her differently because of it.

FWIW I'm a father of three daughters. I attended Hunter safety with each one and have taken all three girls on hunts as either observers or hunters themselves. Too often, fathers, boyfriends, and husbands under prepare their female hunting partners because they want them to like hunting. When you run into a 25 year old wife who has never shot the 300 win mag her husband "let her use" on what is her first hunt ever 10 miles deep in the backcountry for elk you tend to cast that notion over the female hunters you meet in the future.

I've met enough badass female hunters to know not to assume. But Ladies, what is the best way for me to ascertain your proficiency in the applicable parts above without being interrogative?
 
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longbow51

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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.
CTE is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, like football players get, so no, you didn't get it from falling once. It may well, though, be foot-in-mouth disease. ;)
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
There are a lot of things women I respect don't need any help doing when it comes to hunting well.

1)Accuracy and familiarity with their weapon
2) Knife skills on a carcass.
3) Calling skills
4) Glassing skills
5) Packing their own packs and carrying their own weapon
6) Training their animal (Equine or Canine)

If she can manage those she is welcome to hunt with me as an equal. If she needs accommodation in any of those arenas I'll likely treat her differently because of it.

FWIW I'm a father of three daughters. I attended Hunter safety with each one and have taken all three girls on hunts as either observers or hunters themselves. Too often, fathers, boyfriends, and husbands under prepare their female hunting partners because they want them to like hunting. When you run into a 25 year old wife who has never shot the 300 win mag her husband "let her use" on what is her first hunt ever 10 miles deep in the backcountry for elk you tend to cast that notion over the female hunters you meet in the future.

I've met enough badass female hunters to know not to assume. But Ladies, what is the best way for me to ascertain your proficiency in the applicable parts above without being interrogative?
I think you make a great point about competence. Being treated at a level commensurate with my level of competence does not in and of itself mean I’m being treated in a biased way. If I don’t know something, I fully expect to be treated with more oversight, shall we say, and it is zero reflection on my gender.

I doubt there’s one best way of ascertaining skills that won’t irritate someone (but such is life). In my experience, my current boss has the best approach I’ve ever encountered. He simply asks..have you used one of these before? Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to operate that? If I say yes, he’ll move on. If I say no, he’ll provide as much or as little instruction as the situation calls for without making me feel dumb for not knowing. That is key...not everyone has had the opportunities to learn everything. It’s no one’s fault, and they shouldn’t be ridiculed for it. He’ll watch me once or twice and offer adjustments if necessary, then turns me loose. If it’s something potentially dangerous, I’m pretty sure he keeps an eye on me for a little bit but does it without hovering. This all works for me. Makes it easy to ask for help, without really having to ask for help, and doesn’t waste time telling me things I already know. I guess this does require that the person you are working with is very honest when answering so maybe it won’t work as well for someone who is more on the timid side or lacking confidence.

I hope some of the other women chime in on this one because I’m curious too.
 

DouglasR

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....you probably sneak a peak when you drive past car wrecks too right?
Believe it or not, this was an ode to an old debate between 2 forum members in which one declared
“I’m done here”
And then the other guy said something and the “I’m done” guy responded and then the other dude was like
“I thought you were done ?”
and I really wanted to comment
“Omg, I didn’t realize you 2 were dating! Congrats!”
But I held my tongue.
I think the debate they were having was about whether or not it is appropriate to call the police on someone because you think you maybe might’ve heard someone confess to a crime on a walkie talkie.

obviously I was dicking around.

I will say no more about this.
 

MTelkHuntress

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Missoula, MT
Too often, fathers, boyfriends, and husbands under prepare their female hunting partners because they want them to like hunting.
I think this is a very good point. Independence is a good thing to teach, even if they never hunt on their own. At least they have the skills if they ever need them.


But Ladies, what is the best way for me to ascertain your proficiency in the applicable parts above without being interrogative?
As to this question, I'm not quite sure. When I meet another hunter in the field....I'm not the most talkative person out there so I can see why maybe someone would think I dont know very much at first. I dont pretend to know everything and I always welcome any pertinent information.

I guess a follow up question would be, how do you ascertain proficiency with men? Is it just assumed that they are fully proficient in those fields?
And maybe theres no right way but that question has me thinking and I cant come up with a satisfying answer.
 

270.Rose

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I think you make a great point about competence. Being treated at a level commensurate with my level of competence does not in and of itself mean I’m being treated in a biased way. If I don’t know something, I fully expect to be treated with more oversight, shall we say, and it is zero reflection on my gender.

I doubt there’s one best way of ascertaining skills that won’t irritate someone (but such is life). In my experience, my current boss has the best approach I’ve ever encountered. He simply asks..have you used one of these before? Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to operate that? If I say yes, he’ll move on. If I say no, he’ll provide as much or as little instruction as the situation calls for without making me feel dumb for not knowing. That is key...not everyone has had the opportunities to learn everything. It’s no one’s fault, and they shouldn’t be ridiculed for it. He’ll watch me once or twice and offer adjustments if necessary, then turns me loose. If it’s something potentially dangerous, I’m pretty sure he keeps an eye on me for a little bit but does it without hovering. This all works for me. Makes it easy to ask for help, without really having to ask for help, and doesn’t waste time telling me things I already know. I guess this does require that the person you are working with is very honest when answering so maybe it won’t work as well for someone who is more on the timid side or lacking confidence.

I hope some of the other women chime in on this one because I’m curious too.
I think that you make an excellent point about being honest when answering inquiries about whether you have done something before. If you take it as your boss is trying to ascertain your skill level for the safety of everyone involved, you are going to react in a different manner than if you take it as being patronized for your gender, skin tone, college degree, or whatever. And if you feel like you have something to prove, that may color the information that you provide.
I've spent my whole life in what some would consider a 'man's world'. Farming, ranching, horse training, and now getting into hunting. There will always be a few people, both male and female, who make issues about what God gave you at birth rather than what you've learned since then, and you can't change their minds with a judiciously wielded crowbar. But I think the majority will treat you the way you teach them to treat you, and you will see what you expect to see. The trick is to know who is in the crowbar category.
 

mtmuley

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I guess a follow up question would be, how do you ascertain proficiency with men?
In the field? Not sure. Interesting question as I have had minimal encounters with women while hunting. (except of course with taking my daughter) To me, if a woman is in the elk woods with a rifle, and willing to hunt I don't need to question anything. It's funny as I like to keep any hunting proficiency a secret no matter who I meet. mtmuley
 

wllm1313

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I guess a follow up question would be, how do you ascertain proficiency with men? Is it just assumed that they are fully proficient in those fields?
And maybe theres no right way but that question has me thinking and I cant come up with a satisfying answer.
I like @Hunting Wife s boss approach, with regard to equipment, ask a brief question move on. In the context of hunting hey we haven’t hunted together anything you don’t feel comfortable with?

I’m laughing thinking about my experiences going the opposite way, apparently if I put on dirty carharts and boots I’m fully proficient in all sorts of stuff.

Here’s a AR, shoot a couple rounds and tell me what you think.
Hey can you unload the 4wheeler.
I need help moving the burn pile can you drive the tractor over here.
Snowmobiles, nail guns, power saws
Almost dry fired my BILs bow...
Outboard engines
Fishing rods, specifically how to cast...
I was handed told the oil filter and 5qrts were on the work bench and asked if I would mind changing my MILs oil, pro tip take the top off the oil catcher box before you undo the nut.

If we ever hunt together definitely ask before you assume I can do anything.
 
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Randi

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I think you make a great point about competence. Being treated at a level commensurate with my level of competence does not in and of itself mean I’m being treated in a biased way. If I don’t know something, I fully expect to be treated with more oversight, shall we say, and it is zero reflection on my gender.
I agree with the above, and-----

If I ask for help, help me, dont do it for me.

on the flip side

I find giving instructions to a male to be more difficult than teaching a female.

Whether it is horses or hunting, I have had better success teaching females than males. This is not an all inclusive statement however as some males will listen and some females will not, but on average males "think" they know what to do, before they do.

I already feel the wrath of the forum coming down upon me o_O So I should probably say my comments do not include the male members of this forum;)
 
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