Dear Writing Huntress,
I’ve been hunting for 2 years now and I really love it. However, I only hunt with guys, because none of my girlfriends hunt.. I feel like I have issues and things I’d like to talk about in terms of being a woman hunter, but I only have guys to talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning a lot from my boyfriend, dad and their friends, but it’d be nice to see how a fellow female hunts. Did you have the same issues when you started hunting? What’s the best way to connect with other huntresses?
Seeking Support in Spokane
Dear Seeking Support,
I, like you, spent the beginning of my hunting life surrounded by men. Even though I learned a lot, I still found it difficult to grow as a huntress without a little female guidance. For years, I didn’t know any other women who hunted, which forced me to turn to writing, in the hopes that my experiences would help other women starting out. It took years, but I eventually formed my own huntress support network.
Luckily for you, Seeking Support, participation in women’s hunting has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years, causing a new community of huntresses to form that did not exist previously. Women of the outdoor world are meeting one another and forming lasting friendships through various outlets, which will allow you to build your network in a matter of days, instead of years.
As I’ve already said, back when I started my quest to find huntress friends, I began blogging. In an effort to increase my reader base, I looked towards social media for help and created a Twitter account. However, instead of just talking about my blog, I shockingly found many women looking for the same sort of huntress companionship. Soon, I found a host of women, including a few who I now call close friends, by simply searching for huntresses who tweet.
A great way to start is by checking out the Women’s Outdoor News’ social media sites. Following will not only increase your knowledge of the hunting world, but also allow you to interact with other women of the outdoors. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Expos and outdoor trade shows are no longer just men! Keep your ears open for advertisements about upcoming shows in your area and plan to visit. Once there, be sure to visit companies with female gear, especially Próis Hunting & Field Apparel, Girls with Guns Clothing, and HerCamoShop to check out their wares and talk hunting with the lovely ladies who run the booths.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshops invite one and all to learn new hobbies, and brush up on old ones. Check out the BOW website for more information on events and how to register for a session near you. If you’re able to attend an event, use the time to interact with fellow outdoorswomen in your area. You may leave with a newfound love for fishing, cooking or archery, and also a few friends as well!
National Wild Turkey Federation Women in the Outdoors
An equally awesome outdoorswoman-in-the-making program is hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Women in the Outdoors (WITO) began in 1998 as an initiative to support the needs of women in the outdoors. Since its inception, the program has hosted 4,000 events, educating nearly 80,000 women from across the United States and Canada. Events include digital photography, dove hunts, fly-fishing, rappelling, skeet shooting and much more.
If you’re interested in participating in one of these events, visit the NWTF website. You can also find upcoming WITO events via Women’s Outdoor News, located on the right sidebar of every internal page of the website.
Having just returned from such a hunt, hosted by Benelli USA, I can confidently tell you this option is one of the best in order to find hunting friends. In a woman-only environment, you’re free to talk about your life as a huntress, the challenges you face and the problems you have, all the while being surrounded by women who have already been there, or are facing the same issues. You’ll have a blast making lasting connections with a great group of women, and may even bring a trophy home to boot! You can peruse photos from our trip by searching the hashtag #BenelliTexasTurkeyAdventure on Facebook and Twitter.
Próis Hunting & Field Apparel is sponsoring 2 women-only hunts this fall. Visit the Facebook page for additional details.
If the area you live in is devoid of huntresses, invite your friends along for the ride! Although they may not embrace the outdoor lifestyle just yet, there’s no harm in teaching them to shoot a bow or inviting them to just come and sit while you hunt.
Seeking Support, there are many outlets for your huntress-friend-finding mission. Although, it can get lonely at times being the only woman, know that many of us have been through the same situation. Remember to utilize every opportunity to connect with local huntresses, but also don’t dismiss the power of social media as well as the Women’s Outdoor News’ community!