Why Women Make Better Deer Hunters
Dr. John Woods 10.30.13
In 1970 I was a junior at the University of Missouri studying biology, and I had been deer hunting. One of the friends I made in the dorm lived in Linn, MO on the banks of the Gasconade River. They had lots of deer, so Russ invited me home for the opening weekend of deer season.
Gathered at the Prater House was an eclectic group of hunters. There was an old German guy that showed up with an old military rifle, and another dude was a union man friend of Russ’s dad. Then there were three of Russ’s younger brothers and Uncle Pete. Finally, Gary the electrician brought his wife, Jan. She was as much of a deer hunter as any of us in the group, and she certainly outstripped me. She was a real trooper.
I hunted deer with the Prater family for probably five years running. Jan was there every year. She wore one-piece mechanics coveralls and carried her load as well as or better than many of the guys. She took her share of the deer, too. She only slacked off on joining us when their young child came along.
A lady in hunting camp was a curiosity to me. In all the hunting I had done up until that point, I had never seen a female join in. I’d have to say I paid more than a passing interest in her involvement because it seemed so foreign to me for a woman to be a deer hunter. My oh my, how times have changed huh? In this regard, the change is for the better, I think.
The one lasting impression that Jan left with me was a simple one: women make great hunters for a whole lot of reasons, probably way better than most male hunters.
Women jump in to help at deer camp. No divas there when it comes to getting camp set up and pitching in to unload, unpack, put away, clean up, cook, pull deer from the woods, hang them on the skinning rack, and assist with other chores. Perhaps they overdo it in an attempt to show the men they can hang tough. I suspect it is because real women hunters want to learn everything about the sport.
Their patience is awesome. Typically a woman hunter can sit longer on a stand than a man. Their endurance prevails. Bone chilling cold might deter them as it does me, but they put forth the finest effort. They can sit quietly for hours. They love to observe nature and deer, and each sighting is just as exciting.
Women hunters as a whole have highly acute senses of nature. They don’t fidget, generally speaking. They are good spotters of movement in the wilds. They can sit and glass with binoculars forever and always find something of interest to observe in the woods.
Lady hunters always want to learn something new. They take to guns like a good lab does to water, and they can shoot exceedingly well once they learn how. I’ve had a several ladies in hunter education classes, and they’re never too shy to speak up. They always ask the most pointed questions and won’t settle for a gloss-over answer. They are big on the “how” and, more importantly, the “why” of things related to wildlife and hunting. They are the best students in class and in the field.
Contrary to most of the guys, they may read a hunting magazine for the articles. We tend to look at them for the product ads. They want to learn how to hunt better, while we want to see the latest gizmo or gadget to buy. Women are seemingly immune to hunting ads, but they do surprise us ever so often with bits of product knowledge, so watch what you say around them. Never sell a female hunter short.
So, this is one hunter that is convinced from experience that women make better hunters. Now, I may not want them in my deer camp, but I enjoy seeing them in others’ camps. Double standard? Naw, I just don’t need the extra competition looking over my shoulder.