Saturday, February 16, 2008

Midwestern huntress insulted by troglodyte conservation employee

Oh joyous day! Today's the day I picked up my 2008 California sport fishing license at my local hunting and fishing store.

I love the experience of getting my license - I get as excited as a little kid thinking about all the places I'll go with that little piece of paper. And after a long season of hiding from ducks in often miserable conditions, the idea of kicking back on a boat with some beer in the cooler and a line in the water sounds pretty good.

Unfortunately, my huntress-blogger friend Blessed did not have such a pleasant experience when she picked up 2008 licenses for herself and her husband this week.

Get this: She goes up to the counter of her local conservation office and says she needs to get licenses, and the conservation employee tells her, "I'm sure it's not for you - do you have their Social Security number so that I can look them up in the system?"

When she tells him that in fact one of the licenses is for her, the guy ... well, you should go check out her post on it, because I don't want to steal the story. But I pretty much guarantee you that you'll wish you'd been there to smack the guy for her - at least verbally.

Blessed was especially offended because she went straight to her state agency to buy the licenses. Not to Wally World, but to the state agency that is really trying to promote women hunting.

I guess I've been pretty lucky - the insults have been far and few between for me. About the worst lately was when I went to the SHOT Show in Las Vegas earlier this month and had to visit the Duck Commander booth three times before anyone there took notice of me. Was it that hard to imagine that a chick staring intently at duck hunting products might actually be a duck hunter? Duh.

The silly thing is that there's no harm and plenty of good to be achieved in these situations by treating every woman as though she might be a hunter. Even if she's not, showing her a little respect is bound to make her feel better about the sport her husband, boyfriend and/or sons love.

And assuming that she might be a hunter could just make her feel welcome enough to try it.

Reminds me of what happened to me 12 years ago when I signed up at a tae kwon do school. I was just foolin' around, having fun taking classes, when one day another student said, "You're going to make a great black belt." It hadn't occurred to me before that I might take it to that level - but that was the day I decided I'd do it. Within three years, I had my black belt.

Ain't it amazing, the power that words have?

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


Blessed said...

Thanks for sharing my story - I'll be writing a letter next week.

Also wanted to agree that words are very powerful - I'm a little hard-headed and my dad used to say that the best way to get me to do something difficult was to tell me that I couldn't do it - because I'd do everything I could to prove you wrong. Of course he always told me that I could accomplish anything I wanted to - I'm thankful for a dad like that!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Hey, Blessed, please let us know how they respond. And make sure you tell 'em people all over the country know how much they blew it on this one.