YOU Hunt: A Tip for Being a Woman in the Outdoors

Alyson Rausch // March 20

You hunt? This is what it’s like being a woman in the outdoors surrounded by people who grew up in a time of set gender roles and a male-provider attitude.

Men may dominate the outdoors in numbers, but that doesn’t mean they are the only ones who dominate the game they pursue. The number of women participating in hunting and fishing is growing at an exponential rate; it is truly amazing! Though we see more and more women every year getting into the outdoors, why is there still such a stigma around it?

Comments like, “That’s so cool your girlfriend goes fishing with you” and “Wow, your daughter shoots with you?” are what I grew up hearing and still hear today. Honestly, I never really let it phase me. 

A Tip for Being a Woman in the Outdoors

All I know is that I would go trap shooting with my dad while his friends cheered me on and coached my technique. After a round, we would sit and catch up with our friends, and the occasional gentleman would walk up to my dad to say how impressive it is that I get out and do those kinds of things with him.

I never felt offended, rather I wore these comments with a sense of pride that I attribute to my personality. Even to this day, my boyfriend hears comments like, “It's so awesome your lady hunts and fishes with you. I could never convince mine to do that!”

I know some women get offended by these comments and respond to them with frustration and anger.

Next time someone says, “YOU hunt?” My tip for being a woman in the outdoors: Let it go.

Personally, I wouldn’t be where I am as an outdoorswoman today if I didn’t have men in my life to introduce me to new practices or push me to do new things. I believe most men have not really seen more than a handful of women enjoying the same sports that they do. 

A Tip for Being a Woman in the Outdoors

Much of the older and traditional generations are used to the old thinking of gender roles with men acting as the ultimate provider for the family. 

For those women who feel their comments toward your outdoor life are negative, try to remember this: most men just want to help. They don't mean it in a demeaning “women are weak” way, but rather in a “wow that’s great, here’s some advice from my experience” way. When I have a personal encounter with this, I’m actually excited because it means we are being noticed and supported as outdoorswomen

These encounters can be the opening to a conversation of sharing techniques, locations and so much more – one can learn a lot from the older man who has been in the woods a time or two in his life.

Interested in learning how to hunt? Check out our e-book.

Today, I consider myself a strong person; I stand up for myself and know what I want. I’m not afraid to try new things or argue about my actions. Why? Because with every comment about how “cool it is” that I hunt or “I should leave this to the boys,” I grow stronger and more determined to fight for my place as an outdoorsman. 

Today, I am confident in my skills and abilities because I had people telling me to keep going, who were eager to help teach me along the way and I encourage you to keep moving forward as well. 

Learn from those around you, teach others, and know that as an outdoorswoman, you have a heart and a passion that can make waves in this world.

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About the Author

Alyson Rausch

Aly is 23-years old and is from Central Wisconsin! Since she can remember, she has been involved in the outdoors. Even before she had her hunter's safety license, her Dad would take her and her sister duck and pheasant hunting, and she developed a passion for waterfowl and bird hunting. It wasn’t until 8 years ago that she began deer hunting. She fixed up an old Browning compound bow and soon bagged her first buck, EVER. From that moment on, she has not only fallen in love with archery hunting, but the practice and art of archery. Aly also loves to pursue black bear. In addition to hunting, she loves to fish both open and hard water. Ice fishing definitely takes the cake, because there is nothing like the excitement of watching your tip-up pop up and pulling a nice Walleye or Northern Pike through the ice. In short, if it involves hunting, fishing, or the outdoors...she’s in!