The new Cabela's in Reno opens today, and there's a lot of salivating going on within a 200-mile radius.
The Sacramento Bee (my hometown paper) had a story about it yesterday, and at the end was the part I was looking for was near the end:
"We know that the fastest-growing hunting and fishing population is female, and we have clothing, for instance, actually made for women, not just made for undersize men and sold to women," (said Peter Marshall, a company spokesman).I'm a huge skeptic, so I can't wait to get up there and see if this is for real. My experience so far has been like this:
- Wild Sports, my local, independently owned store - my first choice for sporting goods because I like to shop locally - doesn't seem to have anything for women, and the store often doesn't even have smaller men's sizes. But they're really nice to me, so I get what I can there.
- Sportsman's Warehouse, our new regional mega-sporting goods store, actually has a women's section. But whenever I'm looking for clothing there, God help me if I actually need help. (Gun department help is great; clothing department help is lame nine times out of ten.) Last time I needed something for a woman's body - a shooting shirt capable of holding a recoil pad on the left shoulder - all they had was extra large, and that ain't me. But if I want some camo panties - always helpful out in a duck blind - they had me covered.
- Several catalogs - Cabela's, Orvis, Kevin's - have women's wear, but of course it's a limited selection, and I'm further limited by the fact that, like many women, I have to try things on to know if they'll actually fit. (Oh, how I envy my boyfriend when he picks up a pair of jeans and buys them without trying them on, utterly confident they'll fit.)
Now, in the interest of fairness, I know these stores can't offer equality in what they stock because women are a tiny minority of hunters. But if Cabela's in Reno - less than two hours from where I live - actually has a decent selection, in a variety of sizes, with a dressing room where I can make sure things fit, that store will be getting some of my hard-earned cash very soon.
What we really need for women is a high-tech solution, like some clothing lines have: We take key measurements and order custom garments over the Internet. Not that I'm rich, but I'd be happy to pay more for a specialized hunting garment that fits right than pay the going rate for something that doesn't work for me.