An Open Letter to the Girl who Wasn’t Raised Hunting

To the Girl who Wasn’t Raised Hunting,

Like you, I didn’t grow up hunting and honestly, I didn’t really understand hunting as a child/teen. But here I am, as an adult, with a few mounts on the wall and venison cooking in my crock pot… And here you are too!

Maybe you chose to hunt because you wanted a better way to eat meat or wanted to provide organic unprocessed meat for your family, maybe you saw a gal on a hunting show that inspired you, or maybe you had an ex-boyfriend (or current) who brought you along in the marsh…Whatever or whoever brought you here, isn’t nearly as important as why you are STILL here all these years later. And that is because you fell in love with hunting!

I know how hard it was to get started, but hopefully you had a good friend or even that old boyfriend to guide you and to learn from.  And since then, hopefully you’ve gained confidence in the woods, you feel comfortable with your gun, and you have even acquired gear that actually fits you. That being said, you may still see where you could improve and that’s okay! That’s why it’s a life-long sport.

Lately, and quite often, I’ve noticed a lot of women are being accused of being “fake” just because they haven’t hunted their entire life. There’s a spectrum of real and fake people in every outdoor pursuit, but just because someone is new doesn’t mean they’re fake or that their experiences are any less valuable. It’s wonderful that there are women out there who have been hunting since diapers but when someone justifies their accusations of fakery with “I was hunting before it was cool…” or “I was born and raised hunting…” that sort of implies that anyone who wasn’t hunting since birth is fake, and that’s just simply not true.

So I just wanted to tell you, that I see you girl! I’m glad you’ve pushed forward and I can say with confidence that many hunters are proud of you for forging ahead and doing what you love. You are real and the confidence you’ve gained through hunting is absolutely valuable. In fact, your experiences are valuable to the hunting community at large. People who have been hunting for a long time need new(er) hunters to help keep the tradition alive (read more here) and provide fresh perspectives on tradition vs. bad assumptions.

Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many women hunters as there should be. But you and I are here, we’re true hunters, and THAT is what matters!

And when it’s your turn to teach someone new and walk her through her first hunting steps, it will only reaffirm this is where you belong. Seeing a woman who’s new to hunting worry and waffle and – ultimately – overcome, will inspire you to be an even better example for all the hunters-to-be. And you will never call her fake just because she’s new!

So keep going and growing and doing what you love, after all, we have a lot of catching up to do!

A REAL Hunter who will raise her daughter hunting



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