Woman's hunting experience

Hunting Wife

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Back in my college/early wildlife professional years, most of my classmates and colleagues were men, many of them became my friends, and it was pretty normal for us to go fishing, hiking, rafting, whatever without issue. But once spouses entered the equation, those days were gone. My experience kind of jives with what you guys are saying...wives aren’t happy about opposite gender hunting partner arrangements most of the time. Husbands sometimes aren’t either, if the tables are turned.

This kind of comes back around to my earlier comment about hunting with women who have been “taken” hunting, but not really taught enough to be self sufficient. I know a few women who hunt (varying levels of participation), but I know many more women who grew up going hunting with their dads, but eventually just fell out of it because at some point they didn’t have anyone to go with and either didn’t know how or weren’t confident enough to do it on their own. They aren’t against the sport, but they also aren’t really introducing it to the next generation either. We’re getting better at recruitment, as evidenced by all the guys posting pictures of their daughters out hunting. But retention seems to be potentially a larger problem.
 

Randi

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Back in my college/early wildlife professional years, most of my classmates and colleagues were men, many of them became my friends, and it was pretty normal for us to go fishing, hiking, rafting, whatever without issue. But once spouses entered the equation, those days were gone. My experience kind of jives with what you guys are saying...wives aren’t happy about opposite gender hunting partner arrangements most of the time. Husbands sometimes aren’t either, if the tables are turned.

This kind of comes back around to my earlier comment about hunting with women who have been “taken” hunting, but not really taught enough to be self sufficient. I know a few women who hunt (varying levels of participation), but I know many more women who grew up going hunting with their dads, but eventually just fell out of it because at some point they didn’t have anyone to go with and either didn’t know how or weren’t confident enough to do it on their own. They aren’t against the sport, but they also aren’t really introducing it to the next generation either. We’re getting better at recruitment, as evidenced by all the guys posting pictures of their daughters out hunting. But retention seems to be potentially a larger problem.
I agree with each point you have made, and will add that young women ( and men ) want to be accepted, especially in middle school, high school, and even college. They dont want to be the "weird hunting girl" to their classmates. They want to do what the other young adults are doing and that doesn't involve hunting, at least it did not for me. My relatives hunted and some of my dads friends and his children hunted, but the ratio is so different, you end up knowing three people in school who hunt compared to 100's that want to go to the mall. I found far more friends by playing sports, tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball. But, for me hunting was something I liked, not just something I did with my dad.

I can not over emphasize the social aspect and how verbal, mean, threatening, the anti hunters are toward women hunters. I read the other thread that got a bit heated when discussing how we should confront the "anti's" and one of the posters made a good point. They are organized, protest in lock step, the truth dont matter to them, only what they are selling, as IMHO the NRA is basically our voice and if they responded in the same mean way the anti's do, they would be called everything in the book.

Here is an example of how they work, albeit on a different subject. They will not say "illegal alien", but undocumented worker. Question, if someone who entered our country illegally, didn't they break the law, so they ar illegally here. If they are not employed how can they be undocumented workers ? BUT the ones who want open borders dont want to discuss it, they say we, who disagree with them, are racist. Same with hunting, the antis do not care about the facts, they only care about banning guns and eliminating hunting.
To them the end justifies the means. My dad always told me that all that happens when you wrestle with pig, is you BOTH get dirty. IMHO, it is time for us to get dirty

My apologizes Huntingwife, I veered off course a bit
 

wllm1313

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@Randi and @Hunting Wife do you see a solution? Perhaps, if one had a daughter maybe asking her friends parents if their daughter could come along on your hunt (maybe just invite the parents) e.g. try to help your daughter foster life long hunting relationships? I guess what I'm asking is what do you think works for female hunter retention, what worked for both of you? My wife grew up in a hunting family, she will hunt begrudgingly... I think she dropped it was the fact that her dad made it feel like a boys club, was quick to take over if he felt like she wasn't doing it correctly, basically all the typical reasons. She does really like to camp, but I'm not sure whether she would choose to do it solo, we've been together since forever so she really hasn't had a ton of opporunity. I think if a female coworker/friend of my wife asked my wife to take them out she absolutely would. My wife took me on a couple of hunts and is a great teacher and is more than capable of doing it solo... it's just not her thing.

IMHO, it is time for us to get dirty
I'm kinda more a Michelle Obama/ MLK/Gandhi and well Mr. JC himself on this one, take the high road, I'm not sure there is anything good that ever comes of throwing mud. The thing to keep in mind is that you will never win an argument or convince an anti-hunter that hunting is a good thing, but how you conduct yourself in the conversation has a dramatic effect on everyone watching the fight, those are the people you want to convince that you are a responsible, ethical, and thoughtful person... and that the other side are a bunch of wingnuts. Don't apologize for who you are and what you do, but don't engage in the BS. I think hunters who are interested in engaging in the debate would do well to some reading on various civil rights movements, I think a lot of the effective strategies that were employed in various movements around the world are very applicable to our current conversation.

Perfect example, did Rinella convince that vegan of anything.... doubt it, but did he tip the scales for people riding the fence, maybe.

(sorry for the digression)
 

Europe

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487
Back in my college/early wildlife professional years, most of my classmates and colleagues were men, many of them became my friends, and it was pretty normal for us to go fishing, hiking, rafting, whatever without issue. But once spouses entered the equation, those days were gone. My experience kind of jives with what you guys are saying...wives aren’t happy about opposite gender hunting partner arrangements most of the time. Husbands sometimes aren’t either, if the tables are turned.

This kind of comes back around to my earlier comment about hunting with women who have been “taken” hunting, but not really taught enough to be self sufficient. I know a few women who hunt (varying levels of participation), but I know many more women who grew up going hunting with their dads, but eventually just fell out of it because at some point they didn’t have anyone to go with and either didn’t know how or weren’t confident enough to do it on their own. They aren’t against the sport, but they also aren’t really introducing it to the next generation either. We’re getting better at recruitment, as evidenced by all the guys posting pictures of their daughters out hunting. But retention seems to be potentially a larger problem.
I once again agree with you ! Excellent points! One thing I wanted to mention is it isn't just hunting. In college they have coed dorms. This never happened in my time or even my daughters time, but did in my granddaughters. Boys were allowed in the living room on the first floor and that was it, in my time. So hunting alone with a man that was not related to you, just did not happen.

Huntingwife is so correct in her analysis of girls being "taken" hunting, as opposed to being "taught" how to hunt. She is also correct that most wives and husbands DO NOT want their spouses going alone with someone of the opposite sex. Even some men who say they dont care---do, and their wives know they do, so they dont go.

Another thing that takes some getting used to for people my age is the words "significant other" and "partner" instead of "wife" and "Husband". Of course, being old, I also dont understand an "open marriage"

Also, has anyone else but me noticed how few men have responded on this thread and I may be wrong but some men like to portray and would even say that they dont care if their wife goes hunting alone with a man, only to make her life miserable or at least uncomfortable and bombard her with questions when she returns. I believe that even if some women had the opportunity to go, they might not, out of respect for their husbands, because they would not want him to do so, or dont want to go through what she believes she would go through when she returns. But this is just one old ladies opinion and as I have said before my opinion and a nickel will buy you absolutely nothing

The one thing that hunting wife has said that I believe is true now and was true back in the day. Is girls are "taken" hunting, but not "taught" how too hunt.

wilm1313---we were typing at the same time

1. your response to Randi. Maybe (-: I am off both minds. I have even been attacked on this forum and some who know about it has suggested I tell Big Fin. But I dont, as to me the "forum" and "hunting" is more important that a couple of guys who feel that an old woman does not belong on the forum---plus--there are so many nice men on the forum, supportive men. So I ignore them. On the other hand. I actually remember world war 2 and always wondered if the Jews should not have organized and RESISTED, actually fought, perhaps others even from other countries would have jumped in to help them sooner than they did----dont know, just something I have thought about.

2. Your first point to Huntingwife. You do understand and it still happens. Daughters are taken and that is a good thing, but not taught and that is kind of sad. Also, hats of to your wife for being willing to take a coworker, man or woman, good for her
 
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wllm1313

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@Europe do you think there is a difference between, a day hunt (duck hunting, grouse, etc) and an overnight/camping hunt? During the course of this thread I've been think about like a backpack elk hunt, but @Randi @Hunting Wife is that what you are talking about as well, of like just a day hunt?

Not wanting your spouse to go sit in a duck blind with someone of the opposite for a couple of hours just seems absurd to me, I at least kinda get the overnight thing a bit, but in my mind your relationship as some serious trust issues if you are worried about a day trip.

Things have definitely changed, my grandmother was a bit flabbergasted when I told her that 2 of my 3 college roommates where women, and that we had to share a bathroom in our dorm suite... she was even more freaked out by the fact that all the bathrooms (yeah like gym style bathrooms with multiple showers stalls, a guy in one stall next to a girl in another) in almost all the dorms were coed. I'll admit it was a little weird the first like week of classes, but then you got use to it, kinda leveled the field a bit a think and made it a bit easier to just see everyone as people and focus more on the individual and what they brought to the table and less on their gender.
 
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RockinU

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Texas
This is an interesting topic to me, and one close to my heart as both the women in my life like to hunt fish and be outside. I've had varying experiences with a lot of topics discussed so far.

My daughter is an avid hunter, and outdoors woman(?) (she's 13, and it's hard for me to think of her as being big), she's killed a big whitetail, is working on being able to hit dove, and loves to fish, sleep outside and camp. She's has to potty outside in 4 degree weather with the wind howling, and endured hard hunting in tough conditions with stoicism that I've not seen in many grown men. I'm not sure if this is OK to say or not, and she would probably say not, but she got her first period while we were on a hunting trip, and we went to town, called mom, found and purchased all the tackle that we needed, then headed back to the woods. She's an amazing kid. She also wanted a birthday camping outing for her and all her friends. Yup...me (and bless my brother for helping) in the woods with 7 little girls in tents. That's when I learned that not all little girls are like mine...

My wife also likes to hunt and fish. Someone said something about teaching, instead of doing for. Well, my wife is an "I've got this!" type personality, which is sometimes not super conducive to learning, but she is an intense hunter, with a real passion for being out there, and being involved. When she does it, she wants to do it herself, and when she needs guidance, she'll ask for it.

I've an anecdote that covers both the make-up thing, and the hunting with other women thing. I've guided whitetail for a good many years, and several years ago an outfit that I guided for was contacted by a TV show that had a female soldier amputee that wanted to do a free range whitetail hunt like we specialized in, and of course we jumped at the opportunity. All I knew about the hunt was that I was going to be guiding a young lady who was missing her lower leg, and that there would be a film crew involved. Turns out the host for the hunt was also a lady, who I suspect never went anywhere beyond her bedroom without makeup. Long story short, it was an amazing hunt, and a truly awe inspiring girl got a nice buck, but the main takeaway my wife got from watching the episode was me sitting with an obviously flirty lady with a bunch of makeup on for 4 days. I've not asked her anything about hunting with women in the future who are not her...but suspect the answer would be that it would be fine as long as I took her as well.
 
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Europe

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I can only speak for myself but yes, I was speaking of a "hunting trip". Again, this might be a generation thing or the the difference in terminology between generations or possibly , just me (-;

We would not have had a problem in the 40's, 50's ( definitely not the 60's lol ) OR today with a "day" hunt. Either way, me taking a man which was not a relative or my husband taking a woman who was not a relative on what you fellows call today a "day" hunt. We had people show up on the farm and even my mother would allow me to take someone out and let them settle into a goose blind or to show them where the best possible place would be to snag a deer that day might be.

My husband taught many young females and males "how to shoot", by himself, but these were not what I refer to as hunting trips. A hunting trip to me is flying to Alaska or Canada and looking for moose on a river float hunt. Or hitching up a horse trailer and taking the horses to Colorado, to hunt for a week or two. And "we" took both single women and men or different hunts but we ( my husband and I were both there )

In reference to your rooming and showering with females----, my granddaughter was telling me things when we recently hunted Africa together------- that was more than I needed to know!!! LOL
 
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Addicting

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As someone who just got back from a hunt with my wife, daughter, and son this thread is interesting.

I will agree that I took them hunting but I also taught them how to hunt. We spent the summer going thru scenarios and shooting a life like target. When we saw the group of antelope we went after she needed coachyto get to within her comfort zone. Once there the training took over and she got set up on her own, waited for 20 min, and took the shot she wanted. She was on the other side of a mound from me and operated independently.

Do I think she could do it on her own? Absolutely she could, she as a Military Wife has had to do things by herself that most people would not be able to. Hence why our divorce rate is so high.

Now would she do it by herself? Probably not, she was there to be with us. As long as there is a us, she is content to just take a camera. She wants to be there for the experience. If there ceased to be a us and my kids wanted to go she would find a way to get them out there, to include doing it herself.

All of her friends she shared her hunt with were supper supportive. Out of the 15 or so in her group only one hunts. He was jealous that she got to harvest one before he did. I have no doubt today at her work she is retelling her story over and over with nothing but support.
 

MNElkNut

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Minnesota
Interesting read. My daughter and I are going on our 3rd antelope hunt in a week and a half and it has given me some things to think about. One thing that came to mind is that every kid is different. I have the 15 year old daughter and twin 11 year old boys. Of the three, the youngest twin has the hunting instincts. It is just natural for him. So I am forced to "teach" at different levels and different paces. Girls have different life experiences and you have to take that into account as you teach and guide them through their hunting journey. If I would have treated my daughter as I do my son, I am not sure she would have stuck with it. But by having an individual approach for each, all are on the path to being lifelong hunters.

My daughter has never been criticized for her hunting that I am aware of. I will have to ask her about that and see if anyone has ever said anything negative. I do know that she has had tons of accolades for it. Perfect example is she got her picture in the local paper for shooting a big whitetail buck. She had a ton of people congratulate her. As I think about that, I cannot help but wonder what my reaction would be if I was there when someone criticized her hunting....
 

dirtclod Az.

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I have never heard of or never have critisized a female for hunting,just the opposite.
I enjoy being out hunting or fishing with with women and often times had my butt
whooped in friendly competitions.It's all about how you view the situation.
If a male looks down on a female as being inferior it makes for a tense interaction.
If men and women feel they are equal in thier sceneario,be it hunting or fishing or
just conversing it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.My ex. outshot me
every time she picked up a weapon and still can.Did I pout?..Hell Ya!But it was always
in good fun. 🔥
 

vanish

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Had to look back to see if I had replied. I haven't listened to this podcast yet, sounds like I need to. Maybe I'll download it and play it for both of us. I'll answer what I expect my wife would answer.


Do you really hunt? She does. Her first mule deer, she went without me while I was traveling for work. Hunted, packed out, butchered and packaged the whole thing before I got home. There are times when we are hunting together where she feels I am overbearing; I think I am helping but she feels I am pressuring her to do what I think, rather than her making her decisions.

Shrink it and pink it. She'd find this lame and sexist as she doesn't wear pink anyway. She's not your stereotypical slight frame either; we share camo pants. Still, she'd prefer a flattering top. Haven't found one. Doesn't wear makeup in daily life either.

Did you cry? Haven't seen it.

Sorry not sorry. While she usually invites me, she has also gone alone. She's taken a close male friend of ours a few times for company and help packing. We're both confident in our marriage and she has given the OK for me to take a female friend of ours on an overnight trip before, though that friend ended up bailing. She has expressed concern over camping solo before with the questionable attitude of some men, so our truck camp is lockable and stocked with pepper spray.


This photo is getting a bit old but I just love the "Let me throw that meaty skull on my shoulders. Its in my hair? Whatever." excitement over packing out our first bull elk.

 

othercindy

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Well, I am new here, but I am 43 years old, I am a woman, and I hunt. I have attended both of the Deer Camps that Nicole has hosted (I was a co-captain this year), the latest being just a few weeks ago, so I feel I know a little about this conversation.

My boyfriend convinced me to try deer hunting seven years ago. It was not your typical mentoring method however, in that he taught me how to shoot a little and then shortly after, took me to the woods and said "there's a tree stand, figure it out, that's how I learned". Harsh? Maybe, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me. He would give me tips along the way, but I always went alone.

I hadn't cried over a deer until a few weeks ago in Montana, but my boyfriend welled-up with tears a few times over the years because he was proud of me, and I think that is a great compliment. I cried a few weeks ago for a brief moment after killing my Muley, mainly because I was so happy to be hunting with these other amazing women when I took my deer, and because I was just taken by the landscape and the sheer joy of being a hunter.

I have never worn make-up, so I can't speak to that. I don't wear pink or tight clothes so I guess I've got nothing there either. Sorry. I still hunt alone most of the time. When my boyfriend (yes, same boyfriend) and I go to Wyoming, we split up on public land and are often anywhere from 1-3 miles away from each other. But I don't MIND hunting with him, we just usually don't.

I am now an Indiana Hunter Education Instructor, an Indiana 4-H Archery Instructor, on the Indiana DNR State Teaching Team for Shooting Sports and I just recently started mentoring hunters. I just took a young man (17 years old) out this past weekend, which happened to be opening firearm weekend in Indiana, for his first time deer hunting. He was fortunate, in that he killed his first deer on our second sit, which was Sunday morning. Now the reason I bring this up is because there are those who find it weird for a woman to teach a young man how to hunt. It defies the age old "roles" that we play as women, some think. My boyfriend even made the mistake of saying to me, that this young man might be more comfortable going out to try for his next one with him rather than me, because "you know, guys would be more comfortable other guys". And this was AFTER, the kid had already taken a deer with me as his mentor. Lol! Needless to say, I put my bf in his place.

Some don't have a problem with it however. A woman who lives out by us messaged me just this morning to ask if her son could be my next "student". So there's that.

So my point to posting any of this is as follows: Women, go do your thing. Make-up, no make-up, hunt with a partner, hunt alone, wear pink, don't wear pink, just hunt YOUR hunt. I am sickened daily due to what I see posted on social media by women/girls who are flashing skin and promoting themselves as hunters, when there is no substance to what they are sharing. Be active in conservation, take a new hunter out, teach them ethics and safety, post about THAT. But above all, don't let society dictate whether you should be in the field with the men, or dictate what you are supposed to look like while you are out there.

And men: support us, encourage us, but above all, just let us do our thing. I'm no man hater, but I can promise you this, the 22 women I just spent 5 days with in eastern Montana, hunted hard and they didn't need a guy around to make their decision for them. They handled their hunts like a boss! A lot of game meat went home with some happy hunters, full coolers never lie.
 

LCH

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Well, I am new here, but I am 43 years old, I am a woman, and I hunt. I have attended both of the Deer Camps that Nicole has hosted (I was a co-captain this year), the latest being just a few weeks ago, so I feel I know a little about this conversation.

My boyfriend convinced me to try deer hunting seven years ago. It was not your typical mentoring method however, in that he taught me how to shoot a little and then shortly after, took me to the woods and said "there's a tree stand, figure it out, that's how I learned". Harsh? Maybe, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me. He would give me tips along the way, but I always went alone.

I hadn't cried over a deer until a few weeks ago in Montana, but my boyfriend welled-up with tears a few times over the years because he was proud of me, and I think that is a great compliment. I cried a few weeks ago for a brief moment after killing my Muley, mainly because I was so happy to be hunting with these other amazing women when I took my deer, and because I was just taken by the landscape and the sheer joy of being a hunter.

I have never worn make-up, so I can't speak to that. I don't wear pink or tight clothes so I guess I've got nothing there either. Sorry. I still hunt alone most of the time. When my boyfriend (yes, same boyfriend) and I go to Wyoming, we split up on public land and are often anywhere from 1-3 miles away from each other. But I don't MIND hunting with him, we just usually don't.

I am now an Indiana Hunter Education Instructor, an Indiana 4-H Archery Instructor, on the Indiana DNR State Teaching Team for Shooting Sports and I just recently started mentoring hunters. I just took a young man (17 years old) out this past weekend, which happened to be opening firearm weekend in Indiana, for his first time deer hunting. He was fortunate, in that he killed his first deer on our second sit, which was Sunday morning. Now the reason I bring this up is because there are those who find it weird for a woman to teach a young man how to hunt. It defies the age old "roles" that we play as women, some think. My boyfriend even made the mistake of saying to me, that this young man might be more comfortable going out to try for his next one with him rather than me, because "you know, guys would be more comfortable other guys". And this was AFTER, the kid had already taken a deer with me as his mentor. Lol! Needless to say, I put my bf in his place.

Some don't have a problem with it however. A woman who lives out by us messaged me just this morning to ask if her son could be my next "student". So there's that.

So my point to posting any of this is as follows: Women, go do your thing. Make-up, no make-up, hunt with a partner, hunt alone, wear pink, don't wear pink, just hunt YOUR hunt. I am sickened daily due to what I see posted on social media by women/girls who are flashing skin and promoting themselves as hunters, when there is no substance to what they are sharing. Be active in conservation, take a new hunter out, teach them ethics and safety, post about THAT. But above all, don't let society dictate whether you should be in the field with the men, or dictate what you are supposed to look like while you are out there.

And men: support us, encourage us, but above all, just let us do our thing. I'm no man hater, but I can promise you this, the 22 women I just spent 5 days with in eastern Montana, hunted hard and they didn't need a guy around to make their decision for them. They handled their hunts like a boss! A lot of game meat went home with some happy hunters, full coolers never lie.
Welcome from a fellow Hoosier!
 

Randi

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Aug 4, 2019
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othercindy. want to say welcome aboard but it looks like you have been here since 2017 ?

maybe joined in 2017 and made your first post yesterday.?

regardless, enjoyed your post. what rifle/caliber do you hunt with ?
 
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