Monday, November 5, 2007

Special hunts for women

Check out this piece by Melinda Mawdsley in the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel about getting women to hunt. Stories like this always weird me out a little - on the one hand, I'd like to think we can play with men on level field - why do we need special learning opportunities?

On the other hand, there are parts of this story that resonate with me. In particular, I liked this part:

When women see the caution and calculation invested in hunting, particularly big game hunting, they become intrigued, DeRose said.

“I’ve had several women who have come up and said, ‘Would it be OK if I shot an impala?’ ”

That cracked me up. Hmmm, hey, this is complex. Let me try it.

And then there's this line:
He has also found that women are better listeners and more likely to take the advice of guides than male clients.
Too true! My boyfriend and I have both taken shotgunning lessons from the same instructor, who's a badass Vietnam vet and former sniper. Boyfriend's more likely to decide that the guy is full of crap on a particular issue and just disregard him; I, on the other hand, jump eagerly whenever he drops any wisdom on me.

Back to the special opportunities thing: I wonder if anyone out there gets upset about special hunts for women?

I jumped on the bandwagon last year and applied for a women's pheasant hunt at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area and I was thrilled when I was one of the 10 women selected for the hunt. I asked at the checkstation how many women applied. They said, "Probably 11."

Funny thing was, when I got there, there was this guy hanging out at the check station, waiting to see who arrived.
"You here for the women's hunt?" he asked me.

"Yup," I said (because all hunters must speak in monosyllabic grunts).

"Got any dogs?" he asked.

"Nope," I said.

"I have dogs. Want a hunting partner?"

And there was my partner for the day, and good thing, since it's hard to flush pheasants without dogs. Turns out the guy shows up every year hoping to latch onto a woman hunter so he can participate in a great hunting day with very few competing hunters in the field. More power to him!

And no, I didn't get anything. I'd been hunting for all of a few weeks at that point, and when my one good opportunity of the day came up - a pheasant that he missed - I froze and didn't take the shot.

I think I'll give it a try again this year.

No comments: