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John's Journal... Entry 13 - Day 1

by Brenda Valentine as told to John E. Phillips

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE:

Brenda Valentine of Buchanan, Tennessee, is known by many outdoorsmen as the First Lady of Hunting, and her credentials certainly support that title. Besides teaching in the seminars, "How to Become an Outdoor Woman," all across the nation, Mrs. Valentine also co-hosts the TNN Outdoor TV Show and is a member of the professional hunt teams for Bass Pro Shop, Browning, Realtree and Goretex. A past 3-D archery champion, Mrs. Valentine, who has hunted since the age of 5, also writes for a variety of outdoor publications.

1) The women are intimidated. They feel like they're being pressure to hunt perfectly and not make any mistakes. Many women won't shoot at a deer because they're afraid they'll miss it, and then their male friends will say, "I can't believe you missed that deer."

Click to enlarge2) The equipment that women have to hunt with doesn't fit. For instance, most men who set up tree stands will set the steps too far apart for a female. To climb into a tree stand, a woman either has to struggle or won't be able to climb into the tree stand at all.

3) Some women are afraid of heights. If they're expected to hunt in a tree stand, rather than deal with that fear, they just won't go hunting.

4) The woman hasn't had a chance to shoot a gun or practice shooting a gun before she's asked to go on a hunt. Therefore she doesn't know what to do with a gun or how to handle it properly. Most men don't teach the women they take into the woods how to use the equipment required for hunting before the women goes to the woods, which means the women will be intimidated by the equipment.

Click to enlarge5) Most women don't like cold weather. But to keep them warm, their male companions often will give them boots and hunting clothes that don't fit and perhaps even drag the ground. If a woman's rousted out of bed early in the morning and drug out into the woods and stays cold all day long, you can bet that will be her last trip.

6) The trophy standards are set too high. If the male companion looks down on any deer that's not an 8-point or better buck, then the woman's not going to feel comfortable about taking a smaller buck or a doe. If you want to teach a woman to be a hunter and to have a good time hunting, she's got to be able to take game and be proud of any game she takes. Women and young hunters shouldn't have to live up to a veteran hunter's trophy standards.

Click to enlarge7) Women don't want to feel like they're the oddballs in hunting camp. They want to fit in and be one of the other hunters. If they don't feel like they'll fit in, they're not going to want to hunt with males again. If a woman doesn't feel welcomed in a hunting situation, she's not going to put herself in that situation again. A women doesn't want to feel like she's intruding on a hunt.

8) Some women question their abilities to take animals and don't want to be put in the situation to have to take a shot. Many women tell me, "I don't know if I could shoot an animal." Most women find out that they not only can take an animal, but that they also enjoy the sport. If you want to teach hunting to a woman, give her the option to shoot or not to shoot. If she chooses not to shoot, don't make it a big deal.

9) Most women won't allow themselves the time to tear away from their duties of cleaning the house, taking care of children, shopping and all the other demands a woman has on her time to go hunting. If you don't assure a woman that taking the time to hunt is okay, she won't. Most men feel like, "Hey, it's hunting season, I'm supposed to hunt." Women usually think about their other responsibilities first and consider hunting a luxury.

Click to enlarge10) Women are concerned about their ability to get an animal, like a deer, out of the woods. Because most women don't pick up anything that weighs over a 100 pounds, one of their fears is how will they get the deer out of the woods, if they happen to shoot a trophy deer. If you want a women to go hunting with you and learn how to hunt, you've got to assure her that she'll have help if she takes an animal. As far as cleaning a deer, I tell women, "If you gotten up and cleaned a baby's dirty diaper before breakfast, you won't have any problem field dressing a deer."

You can write Brenda Valentine at P.O. Box 31, Buchanan, TN 38222 or email her at breval@wk.net


Check back each day this week for more from Brenda Valentine.

Why Women Don't Hunt With Men
Why to Teach Your Kids to Hunt
Equipping the Woman Hunter
Christmas Gifts for the Hunting Woman
Which Places Welcome Women Hunters

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