My wife comes from a hunting family. The October deer hunt in Utah was her family’s biggest event, but when we got married I discovered that she had never killed anything her entire life. She knew how to shoot, and she had no qualms about hunting or hunters, and she liked to eat wild meat. It blew me away to learn that she had no desire to kill anything, and my narrow view of how I looked at hunting changed a little bit as I learned you don’t have to actually partake in something to believe in it and promote it.
I found out later that one major thing that had turned her off hunting happened years ago. As an older teenager, her uncle killed a deer and hung it in a tree for skinning. When she asked to help, he told her to not bother learning and that someday a boyfriend or husband would do it for her. Game over. After that, she wouldn’t show interest in killing a deer anymore.
Since we have been married though, my wife has taken a hunter safety class. Her first real kill were two Jake turkeys. Next she killed a nice three by four whitetail. She doesn’t get to hunt much because of her work schedule, but the aggravation of being shut out of something she loved is gone.
Lately, there has been an upsurge in hunting shows that are hosted by women, or feature women. I don’t know if the ratio of female hunting shows to women hunters is equal, but at least it is becoming more equal. Women can now buy hunting clothing in sizes and styles that fit (my wife wore her dad’s clothing in her youth and then mine and was stuck with rolled up cuffs and clothes that didn’t fit). Women can even buy bows and guns in sizes and styles that are comfortable as well.
So, if you are a woman considering hunting, or a husband with a wife who’d like to give it a try, now is the time to start. Like everyone, first time hunters can benefit from the experience of a long time hunter. A good start is to join a hunting-related forum. You can join any outdoor/ hunting forum or one specifically for women like www.womenhunters.com. Forums are great for good tips and techniques, learning new areas to hunt, getting equipment recommendations, and may even help you find a mentor. Forums in a specific area; such as, where you live or wish to hunt, are particularly good for updates on sightings of animals and area/weather conditions.
Finally, to finish up my wife’s story; she did marry someone who could skin a deer for her, but in one of life’s little jests, that man also happened to be a taxidermist. So as his wife and assistant, she had to learn to skin her own kills and just about every other critter imaginable (and some not in the best shape or smell). That skinning lesson she didn’t receive would have helped her after all.
She never told her uncle how that careless statement affected her, but I’m considering it.