Getting Women Involved in Hunting
Coming from a woman who absolutely loves to hunt, I think one of the top questions I’m asked is how on earth do I get my girlfriend or wife into hunting? It’s a great question and there are many different approaches one can take.
However, I believe there are some very key points to keep in mind. Women are a growing part of the industry and even ladies who didn’t grow up with it are taking a keen interest into hunting. There are many reasons for this. Some are in it for the adventure. A handful want to spend more time with their boyfriend or husband.
Others want to provide a healthier and natural food source for their families, and of course many want to just get outdoors and enjoy the animals and scenery
Whatever the reasons may be, it’s our duty as hunters to try and help their interest grow to the next step. I’ve thought long and hard about my experiences, what worked and what didn’t, and also the stories of other women who decided to embrace the hunting lifestyle. There’s no instruction manual or step by step instructions, but I’ve come up with some helpful hints that may help get your significant other in the field with you this spring or fall.
- Make it Welcoming– Nobody wants to start a new sport, activity or hobby if they don’t feel welcome. At times you may need to go over to ensure that your hunting camp or trips feel welcome to others. This doesn’t mean simply inviting someone to your hunting camp. This means bringing it up in conversation, making comments about how much fun it would be to spend time hunting together and overall just making the entire experience as welcoming and comfortable as possible.
- Dress the Part– With many women, a big part of feeling prepared is having the right gear. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars in new apparel. What you need to find are clothes that fit, clothes that are practical and ensure she is dressed for the elements of the hunt. As a guy you need to remember that just because you’re warm or comfortable doesn’t mean she is. If the weather is bad, maybe think about sitting in a ground blind versus a treestand. Or, ensure you have some hot hands along to keep warm or even a heater. These little things can make a huge difference on the overall experience of the hunt. If someone is cold and miserable the entire time, the chances of them (or her, in this case) wanting to go out next time will be slim to none.
- Choose Your Timeframe Wisely– If you’re interested in taking someone out hunting for their first time you may want to look ahead at the weather and plan it out. I wouldn’t recommend hunting all day if the weather was going to be awful and understand it’s not always nice but try to make it a positive experience.
- Knowledge is Power– I can’t express how important it is to always be teaching, explaining how things work and why they work a certain way. It doesn’t matter if it’s about the gun, the animal, species, or treestand safety. Everyone likes to feel like they’re in the know and it’s important to never be condescending. Just explain things and the more information a new person can pick up the more they feel like they’re truly part of the sport. This also includes practicing and making sure she’s comfortable with her gun or bow prior to going out. This is an area where you really want to think things through before hand as well. Try to start with a gun with very little recoil and move up. Have hearing protection, explain what it’s going to be like. Knowing what you’re getting into and what to expect is extremely important.
- Creating memories– Remember the reason you want to bring someone along. You want to spend time together and create memories. Make sure you’re having fun with whatever happens. Things won’t always go smooth but it’s how you handle it that will make all the difference. In the beginning it’s all about just getting someone hooked on hunting and the outdoors. Things may not always go perfectly, let’s face it they never do even when you’re alone! But the ultimate goal here is to bring another person into the sport and have someone to enjoy it with. So make sure you’re making it enjoyable and having fun.