Lady hunters want woods to stay green

I hate pink! I’ve always hated pink –it silently cries pampered, princess and weakness. And now I am really boiling. Some bumble-headed writer for the Detroit Free Press has blessed the world with an article declaring that women hunters are wanting pink included on our hunting clothes.

“Women always want to look and feel attractive, even while hunting,” he said. “Having pink as an option can help with whatever insecurities they have over what they are wearing.

“Pink is a color that immediately identifies a hunter as female, “ he added. “Women don’t ever want to be mistaken for a man even from a distance in the woods,” he crowed.

He got a reaction all right, but not what he was expecting. Most outdoors women who read this drivel were enraged by it; they found it both insulting and totally wrong.

Women who hunt can be divided into two basic categories: tag-a-longs or independent women who gut their own deer and then drag them to their truck themselves, clean their own fish and often load their own bullets.

I have a couple of local outdoors women buddies of whom I have often spoken. They are Duncansville’s Teresa Patterson and my best friend, Joanie Haidle, who runs her own turkey calling company. She makes every single call herself and is the best turkey and deer hunter I have ever known. Of any gender.

The last thing any of us ever wants in the woods is pink, girly hunting clothes. We struggled for decades to get clothing manufacturers to pay any attention to our demands for clothes that were made to fit women. For years we wore men’s castoffs. With sleeves and pants legs rolled up to compensate and waistbands 10 inches too big in order to get the trousers to fit us through the hips.

The three of us have often sat and laughed at the “outdoors women” we see on TV shows with their makeup and hoop earrings. We are not in any way especially interested in having any fellow hunters know by our pink jackets that we are women. Frankly, we get tired of the stupid questions we get asked whenever we do happen to come close to a male hunter in the woods.

“Are you lost?” “Do you need help?” Yeah, I just saw a bear up ahead so I put my knife in my teeth and jumped out of a tree on him and rode him for about half a mile.” Stuff like that.

We want clothes that fit, clothes appropriate for whatever we are hunting, and without pink, thank you very much.

We don’t wear hoop earrings while hunting, nor eye shadow. The whole idea out there in the woods is to not attract attention from men or animals but to be hidden ambushers.

The gals with the makeup and jewelry are often those who hunt in preserves and fenced in ranches. A guide leads them to a tree stand in the morning where they sit for most of the day and comes to get them at night. Before they take pictures they spend an hour in front of a mirror. Heaven forbid if anyone should see them without makeup.

I’ve met a lot of female hunters of that sort and I’ve often wondered what would happen if I brought a couple of them home, took them out to the middle of some thick State Game Lands and let them loose. Could they could find a good deer stand on their own, not to mention their way out of the woods?

My friends and I come home from a day in field or forest with hair awry, no makeup or jewelry and hoping to goodness we don’t meet up with the preacher or somebody else. We long ago realized that real, hunting and glamour simply don’t mix.

As for our insecurities I guess that has to apply to all hunters not just female ones. If pink is the answer for that I’ll have to save up to get a few of my male hunting biddies some pink to help them with their anxieties. I know more than one guy that is afraid to be in the woods if it is dark.

This expert on women hunters told a group to whom he was speaking that it was really all about women wanting to look “cute” while hunting.

Either this was the dumbest, most behind-the-times writer I’ve ever met or he was looking to stir up something by which he could gain attention. He got attention, I am told, mobbed by women who wanted to tell him what they thought. That is as nice as I can put it.

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