Thursday, February 12, 2009

Women At Deer Camp?

This post is in response to the challenge at the Outdoor Bloggers Summit called Non-Traditional Faces of the Outdoors.(please encourage all women hunters to join the Outdoors Bloggers Summit if you can.)
As I was growing up at a hunting camp in the south, it was still a man's world. Yes, I knew a few adult women that hunted but they sure as hell were not going to come to stay at our camp. Men cursed, drank, stank, peed in the yard and were in general pretty uncouth there and it was a true He-Man, Woman-Haters Club. Everyone knew women could not hunt. They took too long to do anything, always had to go to the bathroom and got cold. Plus they always wanted you to clean this, or clean that and everything at camp was icky to them anyway.
Hunting was for tough guys. Even my sister was treated this way and told to stay home with her Mama. I do not say this was right, it was just the way it was.
This was my thought at a young age, but slowly it has evolved until I see it in a whole new light, as have all the men of my family.
As I grew older, I still thought of hunting and camp as a very virile sport, and going to camp was a place for kids like me to be treated as men. Deer camp was not for girls! Then I learned a lesson. The lesson came when I held my newborn baby daughter in my hands and realized the importance of making sure to spend as much time as I could with her while I could. My eyes opened and I began to realize there were a lot of women out there that hunted, and having them at camp was pretty much OK. Once they were accepted, I found out they were eager to pull their weight, eager to learn, and a lot of fun to hunt with.
Marian has hunted with me many times and she is a joy to have at camp. My children and Pauls children all hunt and if some one is getting dressed and walks by a doorway in their underwear, the girls don't bellyache and act like they are insulted. They politely turn their heads and keep doing whatever. None of them have shirked their duty to be good sportspeople, to abide by the rules and game laws and to dress their kill if they take an animal. It is part of it and I have found that the women that hunt accept that responsibility as being part of the club. A lot of them can drink and spit peanut hulls into the fire as well as you can, and they are as competitive as any hunters you have known. In fact, I am looking forward to meeting and getting all my female link friends to come visit and hunt with me when they can.
This is a little rambling, but the truth is here. Women are a wonderful part of the Outdoor tradition, and us men need to encourage every woman to get involved.
PS That damn Thunderhoof loves women hunters and that is good enough for me.


Debbie said...

Great article. I have an aunt in Texas who is almost 80 years old and in a nursing home now, but ...

From my earliest memories, she and my uncle went hunting and fishing every spare moment they got. My aunt (God love her, she was an embarrassment to my father, her brother) could drink, cuss, carouse, and yes shoot with the best of the men. And beside that, she was beautiful. If she didn't go on a hunting or fishing trip, it just wasn't the same for the guys.

The last time I talked to her, she said "Honey, I'm in the old folks home!"

I remember when they came to visit us in Tennessee, she would always do or wear something to shock the rest of the family. I remember one leopard skin coat, black high heal nazi boots, blond wig... She went to the local town and walked up and down the streets just so people in the country could SEE her and be shocked. heheh

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Anonymous said...

Good for you Rex. I'm glad you raised your daughters to be a part of the outdoor world.

Deer Passion said...

Wonderful post, Rex! You remind me so much of the men in the family. I loved reading this post.

The Hunter's Wife said...

That is sweet that having your own daughter changed things for you. Anyone that reads your blog knows you and your gang welcome all.

If ever I visit I'll be just fine sitting out by the fire with my Miller. But if I see someone in their undies I might have to say something.

Anonymous said...

Can you guarantee men in undies if I come to camp?? ;-) I'll be right there. Rhonda

Deer News said...

Very nice post. This father's heart is not a lonely hunter.

Marian Love Phillips said...

A great post from someone I have special admiration for as a wonderful family man, friend and hunting buddy. :)

Phillip said...

Nicely done, Rex!

I remember those old hunting camp days too... and while there's a certain wistful haze of reminiscence, I'm awful glad to be sharing the field with women now. And I agree, having a daughter can sure bring your thinking around, even if it wasn't already there.

Matt said...

I wish I could get some of the women in my family involved in the hunt. I've often read your posts and thought how nice it must be to get your whole family together at hunting camp.

Editor said...

Matt, A good fire to roast marshmallows, ghost stories, some drinks and an indoor toilet will help :) good luck
PS bring all of them here

Live to Hunt.... said...

Fantastic article Rex. Good job.

Dennis A Carroll said...

I like the diverse views on the OBS Challenge. I have never had any issues with gender or race in my hunting experience. I grew up hunting in wilderness hunting camps where the cooks were all woman--many were tougher than the men--and some clients brought their wives/girlfriends to hunt.

Great post.