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Women Duck Hunters: Growing in Numbers, but Lagging in Independence?

From Shotgun Life, Holly Heyser wonders why women love to waterfowl hunt, but don’t make the calls.

This is my ninth season of duck hunting, and while the number of women duck hunters here in the Sacramento Valley has grown a lot since I got started, I’ve realized this season that we, as a class of hunters, have some work to do.

Holly_Heyser_shotgunlifeTwo epiphanies have driven this train of thought.

The first was in October, when I went on a women’s hunt at the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, up on the high-desert border between California and Oregon. I hunted that day with three women and a kid, all of whom I’d just met.

Two of the women were experienced waterfowlers, but I was the only one blowing duck calls. One was comfortable only with a honker call. The other – Megan, whom I count today as a dear new friend – gave up on calling years ago in the face of her brother’s ridicule.

For some reason, this day crystallized eight years of personal observation: Most women duck hunters I’ve encountered don’t call at all, use only whistles, or call only when no one else is around. Often, those women tend to disparage their own calling skills.

Read the rest of Holly’s story at Shotgun Life.

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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Juli Wolter says: February 10, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Perhaps it is not a lack of independence so much as it is a lack of self confidence that more women do not try to call ducks while they are hunting. Could be that a majority find themselves hunting with men who seem to be more adept at calling. I say ‘seem’ because I have heard some pretty lousy calling by guys. LOL …. Some women’s only calling clinics through becoming an outdoors woman or other outdoor program for women would be a neat way to educate and give women the confidence they need to go out and ‘hail’ those ducks back in. 🙂

  • Shelly says: January 6, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    My daughter calls, and she’s teaching the granddaughters to do the same. I can also say, one of my dear friends, Natasha Hall – Last Call Custom Calls – makes duck calls as well. Women in the field, making us all proud.