Let’s Redefine the Word “Huntress”

Jess Kinamon // May 8

I personally don’t find the word “Huntress” offensive, but I’m not the biggest fan of being referred to as a huntress. I’ve been asked why many times. Here’s where the word came from and why it’s definition has seemed to change so much.



Huntress means a female who hunts. The word is pretty self-explanatory. It also goes all the way back to the 14th century and dates back to Greek mythology. However, these days the word seems to be a little twisted. For many people the word huntress not only means female hunter but also seems to describe the woman as well. 

I decided to ask random people on Instagram what they thought of when they heard/read the word huntress. Here are some of the answers I got: 

“I like looking put together when I hunt (minimal makeup though-natural look but a little mascara so I don’t look like death) and I love doing full makeup when I’m not hunting. I embrace my feminine qualities all the time, that’s why I don’t mind the word… or being referred to as a huntress rather than a hunter.  What does drive me nuts is the girls who “sell themselves” as hunters when chances are they are failed models or trying to hook a man.  I mean come on-no way are you in the woods full hair & makeup tight ass camo with your boobies hanging out. I like the real huntresses… us women who get after it.  Get up at 3 am and don’t have time to curl your hair… because it’s more important to get up the mountain than look hot for your Insta post. Put together-not out!” @mthuntress

“Moral of the story is I wish you could think of a woman hunter when you hear huntress, but these days that has changed to an Instafamous term for a girl who fakes it to make it, if you know what I mean” —@theantleralpha

“Where I find fault is when ‘hot chics' that are great at memorizing what their sponsors want them to say. The kind whose husbands or boyfriends put in all the work or shelled out big money so they can both capitalize on her model good looks and huge deer  that most people never have the opportunity to even see, let alone shoot. Yet she manages to shoot every year. 

Being pretty, having big name products/sponsors, and pulling a trigger do not make you a hunter, or shall I further emphasize, ‘huntress'. 

You want to hunt? Get out there and freeze, come up with your own game plan, go home empty handed, go home mad, get up and go at 3 am and earn your animal. Anything  other than paying your dues is cheating the experience and the animal.” —@western_binds

{What Do You Call a Female Hunter?}

The development of the term huntress 

When I asked people what came to mind when they heard the word huntress, I received a lot of negative feedback. Most responses were almost exactly what I figured they would be. There are lots of women out there who use the word huntress who are super cool women and really great hunters. Unfortunately, there are even more women out there who use the word to sell themselves. The word gets associated with things like bikini pictures, selfies with a full face of makeup and hair done up, skin-tight clothes, chest hanging out, so on. Women who seem to buy their followers and likes with these kinds of pictures with the word huntress. Because of this stigma, I’ve never wanted to associate myself with the word. I would like to see the word represent women who I want my future daughters to look up to. Women who work their tails off to do what they love; hunting. I want it to represent the women who embrace their feminine sides in the outdoors and not by wearing clothes that let every side of them hang out for everybody to see. 


Everyone has the freedom to use whatever words they want. However, I would love to see “huntress” redefined by women hunters who are the real deal, out there doing what they love, just as good as their male hunting buddies!

Use the hashtag #redefinehuntress and let's change the story about the term huntress! 

Read It Now: Unveiling the History of Women Hunters

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About the Author

Jess Kinamon

Jess grew up along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana hunting elk, mule deer, whitetails, wolves, bears, and coyotes. She and her dad have been hunting together since day one and they have grown both physically and mentally. Jess knew at a young age that the outdoors were her passion and something she always wanted to pursue as a career. Mule deer and elk hunting are two things that she cannot live without, but she enjoys other things such as riding horses/packing mules, and painting with acrylics.