Wow, my first official blog on my own page.  What to write about?  I mean, that's a pretty big deal!  Hahaha!  Seriously, there is no question about what I want to write about.  So, here it goes.....bring on the controversy!

I'm going to talk about my views on women in the hunting industry.  I can sum it up pretty easily in one sentence.  If you hunt, you are a hunter no matter what your sex.  There you have it.  Seems fairly simple, right?  But apparently, it is a hot button item.  Nearly every single day I see posts from women defending their love of hunting, men who support them, and those of both sexes who are angry and lashing out about companies using women (granted, some of them clearly non-hunters) to promote their hunting brands.

I have been around hunting since LONG before I was old enough to shoot a gun.  My Papa and all of his friends hunted and they would congregate in the kitchen at Papa and Granny's house before and after the hunt.  As the oldest grandchild and a complete tomboy, I had the benefit of being the one who Papa taught to fish at the back pond, then later on the lake.  He took me crabbing in the flats near Savannah, Georgia.  I grew up eating venison, fish, seafood and no telling what else that I was too young to think to request an identification.  That was our norm.  Then when I was blessed to have the man who is now my Dad step in, he carried on that tradition. I have a sister and a brother and all three of us can stalk, kill, clean and cook all of our own food.  You did well, Dad!

I have been in the company of some truly remarkable women who hunt and I can tell you that there are many who are far more skilled than I am with guns, bows and knives.  Some of them like to go by "hunter", some "huntress".  Some of them wear pink camo, some do not.  My opinion on that is - do whatever makes it feel right to you.  I mean, ultimately it only matters to the person it affects.  I prefer to be called a hunter and if I'm ever wearing pink camo it is because I passed out somewhere and someone is pranking me.  But by all means, if you want to wear pink camo and be called a huntress, go for it.  It really is not a big deal.  I don't understand why I see so many "controversial" posts about it.

Now for the biggie.  I have a lot of female friends who hunt and fish who are in those industries.  Like I said earlier, these are impressive women who can hold their own in the field and on the water.  I am forever seeing posts about how "they are only brought on by these companies because they are women."  For the companies who know what they are doing, they should only bring on legitimate female hunters.  There is a very good reason for that - if you put a woman in a ridiculous outfit holding a weapon incorrectly and say she is a hunter, you alienate true female hunters because you are making things harder on us with the public AND you alienate who you think is your target audience - men.  These guys will look at the picture and like and comment on it, but then they will take a screen shot and go to their own page where they will post the screen shot then proceed to bash women in the industry, bash the company who posted it and so on.  No one wins.  

It's time for outdoors people to come together.  There are too many who are looking for controversial subjects that they can use to separate hunters into factions.  We have strength in numbers.  We have a unifying love of the outdoors.  We are people who are capable of sitting for hours on end in hopes of even catching a glimpse of our prey (so maybe we are not entirely sane).  There is room here for everyone of all sexes, ages, abilities and walks of life.  Where there are differences, we have one HUGE commonality or we wouldn't all be on the same pages and following the same people.

Much love to my fellow outdoorsmen and -women!  I wish you safety and success!