Monday, May 8, 2017

Hunting culture*

Hunting is an activity that anyone can be involved in but for some reason it's a male dominated industry. In the article from  “USA Today” it displays the experience of a woman hunter when she wants to draw a blind on public land. Immediately once she walks in she feels everyone looking her and talking about her. Women are slowly becoming more involved in the hunting industry but still encounters like this are common to hear. Hunting has been a male activity since the days of BC but still thousands of years later it still remains to be male dominated. The hunting population throughout the past years have remained about the same for years, no increase or decrease in the amount of people hunting. There are 13.7 million people that hunt and only 11% of them are women which is an increase from 2001 where it was only 9%. Everybody in the hunting corporations agree that female hunters would be a great addition to this activity, so what's stopping them?

Hunting is a very social activity that often involves the help of many people, whether they're a hunting partner, or someone who gives you advice about locations, or even just the butcher or taxidermist all help you. Although nobody despises female hunters people have tight circles in which they interact with not allowing anyone knew to come in. Women often feel uncomfortable among all of the male hunters which plays a large role in the female hunting population. In Field and Stream Larisa Turville shares her experience hunting  “It's a funny thing being a woman and walking into a lodge of a bunch of men. The first day, they look at you like you've got green skin and scales. You are sort of entering this very private guy club, and they don't know how to react. By the second day, however, I instantly had forty new best buddies.”  This expresses the struggle of breaking those initial thoughts and beliefs, once Turville did this it was a great experience but getting through those first moments is very difficult. Also Field and Stream they took a survey which questioned women on if they think they'd be better at hunting than males, many thought they were equal and enjoyed being in the outdoors a lot. The survey really reflected how engaged women are and want to be in hunting.

If there is going to be a change in hunting gender populations then men will have to apart of the change as well. Many women that hunted said they just wanted to be treated like the other male hunters and be comfortable around them. Hunting is an activity that should be available to anyone and not scare people away on their first experience. Fishing is also a male dominated industry for the same reasons as hunting. There have been events to introduce more women to hunting such as dinners and other efforts but still more needs to done. According to BBC News laws have been passed by five states that allow people to wear pink as a blaze orange in an attempt to make women feel more comfortable. Billions of dollars were invested into this law and hopefully other states join this trend to encourage new people to try hunting. Although this is a good effort more needs to be done, the statistics for the hunting industry don't lie, men greatly outnumber women  this sport that should be open to anyone.