Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I am a (female) hunter. Watch me foam

Note from Eric - When with the VT FWD I helped bring the Becoming an Outdoor's Women program to Vermont. We are fortunate that we have a relatively high percent of our hunters are women. Nationally women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population.

From the Women's Outdoor Wire

I am hunter. Watch me foam.
By Pat C. Robinson, Editor. Courtesy of Recorder Newspapers.

It's a fact of life: Dogs bark. Cats meow. Women hunt.

That's right, women hunt. We hunt, we have hunted, we will hunt, until the cows come home. Why? Because we love it and we can.

There's something about being in the Great Outdoors, either pheasant hunting clutching a 20-gauge or huddled in a blind ready and waiting with a bow that to me is the most wonderful thing in the world.

For one thing, it's a good way to pass the colder months here in the Mid-Atlantic. For me, fall and winter aren't the gray dreary seasons most take them for. True, days are shorter, but they are by no means dismal. Yes, the woods are no longer lush with thick, green vegetation -- unless thick with conifer stands, but the beiges and browns have their own subtle beauty. Nor is all drab: Along small streams there's emerald green moss and even watercress.

For another, it puts food on the table if luck and expertise form an alliance. Last week, after a good morning of pheasant hunting in Black River, I bagged a cock bird for dinner. I sautéed his meaty breast in white wine and served it over rice with a side of baked beans.

Conjuring up such a meal isn't quite a "woman thing" either, folks. One frosty morning last year I passed six men, their back pouches bulging with birds, locked in deep discussion as to the best way to roast and serve their bag limits. I didn't laugh at the thought of them wearing aprons.

Still, some guys register surprise when they encounter a huntress in the woods.

Like the gentleman of a certain age this past week. He had driven to Chester from Chatham to break in Annabelle, his spirited but obedient little German short-hair.

"I'm surprised to see a girl," he told me.

"A girl," God bless him.

Obviously, some men also forget their mythology. Diana was the Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt. A bow-huntress, no less. More athletic, I would presume, than her twin brother Apollo, the handsome sun god more renowned for his girly-girl beauty than hunting skills. Seems it should be the other way around, doesn't it? But we seldom envision Apollo wearing an apron like a French maid?

Sometimes, though, the joke's on me.

During Saturday's rainy hunt in Black River, I caught some guys pointing and laughing at me.

I thought it was the girl thing, until I glanced down and realized it wasn't the appearance of a female per se, but the legs of my camo rain pants.

They were foaming.

Somehow, I had managed to spill fabric softener on them, and the rain made me look like a walking Maytag in the wash cycle.

Now here was a powerful symbol of 21st century feminism. Only a woman could wash her clothes and hunt at the same time, right?

Check out more of Pat Robinson's newspaper columns.

1 comment:

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