Dear Writing Huntress,
Two years ago, my wife, Denise, and I relocated to Montana, allowing me to finally be the outdoorsmen I’ve always wanted to be. Luckily Denise has begun to ask if she can start shooting and going afield, too. I am really happy about this, but I have a big issue — her gear. Now, I know I’m new to the outdoors, but from what I’ve seen in magazines and websites, women don’t wear much of anything while they hunt or fish. For the most part, huntresses are practically naked. We went to Cabela’s and bought a women’s pair of pants and a jacket, but now I fear she may be overdressed. Do women wear clothing afield? If she wants to fish, must she don a bikini?
Overdressed in Outlook
I am silently applauding your gumption. You are the first male who has even written to Ask Writing Huntress!
To answer your question, women, on average, almost always wear clothing while hunting. For instance, the first time I ever shot a deer, I wore lots of warm clothes. I looked like the marshmallow woman, my hair a complete mess and my face, makeup-free, but I still shot a deer. In fact, not a single one of my previous duck hunts ever included lengthy pre-hunt hours spent in front of a mirror, applying layer after layer of makeup lacquer or arranging my bikini and cut off shorts just right in the case of an impromptu photo shoot.
Do keep in mind; most of the calendars and print ads are filled with females who do not actually hunt or fish — shocking stuff, I know. The models in the ads, save a few, have probably never fired shotguns, waded through quagmires of muck to retrieve downed mallards, cast lines in freezing temperatures, or found themselves elbow-deep in deer carcasses. That being said, these images should not be the basis upon which huntresses plan their hunting outfits.
Despite popular belief, a female’s ability to hunt or fish is not dependant upon the number of items of clothing she is sporting at the time. A huntress is not defined by how cute she looks afield, or the smashing outfit she puts together. A true huntress hunts for the beauty she takes with her from Mother Nature’s creatures, from the fresh air that stays with her long after the field is behind her and the enticing way she fills her deep freezer.
There is no official list of “when to bikini” and “when not to bikini” in terms of the outdoors, but I’ve compiled a short guide of my own, below.
Bikinis are unnecessary in the following outdoor instances
When it’s snowing
While holding shed antlers in the middle of a field
While shooting or simply holding large-caliber rifles
During a late-season Canada goose hunt
While participating in a 3D archery tournament
While hunting bears, cougars, bobcats, mountain lions or any other predator that loves nothing more than a delicious human snack
When in areas ticks outnumber people 1,000 to 1
Bikinis can be worn
When it’s really, really hot out
While fishing when it’s really, really hot out
Your quandary gives rise to an interaction I had during SHOT Show with a gentleman I had known for some years via social media. He said how disturbed he was about the rising prevalence of half-naked girls on the front pages of his favorite magazines. When we began talking about other media — television shows, plastic surgery and the full gamut of Web and social media sites based upon big racks and the like — he admitted he was second-guessing introducing his daughters to hunting. They wanted to hunt, he said, but he didn’t want them to emulate the women they had seen in magazines or on calendars.
The population of females participating in shooting, hunting and fishing is on the rise. Huntresses, female anglers and shooters are breaking into and changing a long-standing old boy’s club. However, if this tradition of hunting, fishing and the outdoors is going to last in the future, something has to change; hopefully, the industry will start to notice it’s high time to shed the light on women who truly hunt with their clothes on.
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