Not so long ago, if memory serves me right, most people considered serious women hunters a rarity. Their appearances on the outdoor channels were uncommon, and you couldn’t find camouflage or blaze orange specifically designed to fit female anatomy.
The last ten or fifteen years has changed that. Google “Women on the Outdoor Channel,” and you’ll visit multiple sites showcasing Tiffany, Gina, Vicki, Julie and more females scouting, harvesting, and showcasing hard-won trophies. You’ll also find ad after ad promoting Real Tree Camo designed for feminine shapes. While the fairer sex may be joining or leading males in the field of hunting, be aware that gals who stalk trophy bucks still like glittering gems and whip up prize-winning cookies.
The first Saturday of deer season, I spent the morning at an area craft fair. It spotlighted local vendors and hosted a cookie walk that made me salivate just looking at the assorted baked goods. I traveled from booth to booth, examining ornate woodwork, afghans and quilts, potato bags, cookware, jelly nails, and several styles of jewelry.
During my journey around the venue, a couple of blaze orange jackets and hats caught my eye. Trained in old school thinking, I expected to see a couple of guys in town for lunch. Instead, two lovely hunters took a midday break to check out beautifully displayed necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Why not, I thought. You may be able to take the hunter out of the girl, but you can’t take the girl out of the hunter. It reminded me of a friend who commented that his wife’s manicure kit was as well stocked as her tackle box. Ladies need their girl stuff.
I confirmed that thought a few hours later at another Christmas festival in a different location. This one hosted a cookie contest that required recipes to include chocolate. I hadn’t attended this event before, so I paid close attention to participants and their activities.
After we delivered my friend’s cookies to the competition directors, we joined the crowd playing Santa Bingo. Only a couple of tables away, I spotted a young woman dressed in camo from neck to toe. Obviously, she’d taken a break from her stalk to celebrate the season with a bingo card and corn kernel markers.
Within an hour, I understood even better why she’d interrupted her hunt. Finished sampling dozens of chocolaty confections delivered by hopeful prizewinners, three judges emerged with full bellies and happy smiles to announce the winners. A previously noisy room became silent as we awaited their verdicts.
Declaring a 13 and under winner, a judge called out a name. From my peripheral vision, I saw familiar camouflage duds striding confidently up the aisle between packed tables. This young woman had taken time from stalking this season’s contribution to the deep freeze to collect a $25 award. According to the announcer, this wasn’t her first win. She’d earned the prize in the past as well.
Western Kansas women amaze themselves and their men all the time. One of their talents is that ability to follow their bliss into the woods after a huge white tail or muley and then come home to cook a delicious meal followed by scrumptious cookies. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that she may have a new bauble on her finger that sparkles when she passes the cookie tray.