A week ago today I went to Cabela's in Reno with some girlfriends and we all left disappointed. We'd thought there would be a (relatively) fabulous selection of women's hunting gear, but it wasn't much better than stores that are substantially closer to us than Reno.
I blogged about the Cabela's trip on Saturday, and by Thursday morning - literally! - I'd gotten an email from Cabela's Product Manager Rob Burnett, who actually apologized for our disappointment, welcomed our feedback and proceeded to start talking about ideas for improving Cabela's women's hunting clothing.
This was not entirely accidental. It turns out a friend of mine is a Cabela's investor who didn't like the idea of our little pack of huntresses trotting off to the newest Bass Pro Shop in search of sartorial fulfillment, so she sent a letter to Cabela's.
But I'm still impressed, because it would be much easier to say, "Sorry, girlie, there just aren't enough women waterfowlers for us to cater to your whiny little self." Instead what I heard was, "What do you think of this idea? And this? And this?" Good stuff. And don't be surprised if you see cool new stuff for women from Cabela's somewhere down the line.
Brenda Valentine, "the first lady of hunting," may be well-known in our community but not in the non-hunting world.
That changed on Oct. 1 when she was featured in a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal about women hunting. Since then, she's been trotted out in the mainstream media as a representative of huntresses - highly relevant at a time when we have a controversial huntress on the GOP ticket.
The Women's Outdoor Wire did a cool interview with her about the experience of going on mainstream media. The topics range from adjustments (being "miced up" in a studio instead of a tree stand) to how people reacted (not at all hostile, very open, but not the least bit knowledgeable about hunting). Definitely worth reading.
There was a funny piece in the New York Daily News recently about an artist who created an installation of a fake dead caribou and cardboard cutouts of Sarah Palin, her daughter and a rifle. People can pose in the set to have their picture taken with the GOP veep nominee.
The artist, who admits she is not fond of Sarah Palin, says both fans and foes alike are enjoying the piece.
I didn't howl in protest when I read it - I'm trying not to let myself get upset when confronted with ignorance about hunting. I just found the piece interesting and amusing.
If you check it out, be sure to watch the video and look for the gunshot wound on the fake caribou. It is comic-book funny, like a shattered windshield.
© Holly A. Heyser 2008