Do women hunters set double standards when it comes to how they want to be treated by their male hunting companions? I’ve been told that we tell them to treat us like one of the guys, when in actuality we want special treatment. I was going to defend women hunters and deny that claim in this blog, but as I began to reflect on past hunting experiences, I realized that perhaps I do set a double standard from time to time. Although I usually do want to be treated like one of the guys when I’m hunting, quite honestly, there have been times when I’ve appreciated the fact that my gender allows for some extra attention. I didn’t demand it or expect it, I just appreciated it. Let me explain.
Once I forgot to pack my rubber boots for a three-day guided turkey hunt in the Mississippi swamps. I was pregnant and miserable at the time, and I guess my poor guide felt sorry for me. Instead of letting me get soaked to the bone, he ended up carrying me like a baby through the thigh-deep water, which covered much of our hunting terrain. Every time we’d come to the water’s edge, I’d jump up in his arms, pregnant belly and all, and he’d tote me across to dry land. We looked so ridiculous that neither one of us could stop laughing. He definitely earned his tip that week as well as extra points for chivalry. I know had I been a guy who’d left his boots behind, I would’ve been wet and out of luck.
On the other hand, there have been times when I didn’t appreciate the differential treatment. I awoke one morning in turkey camp to an empty lodge. I walked outside where I found my guide, who said, “Well honey, it was raining outside, and I figured you didn’t want to get all wet. So we woke up the guys and took them out hunting, but decided to let you sleep.” I was pregnant then too, and I knew he was probably just looking out for my well-being, but that was a decision that I should’ve been able to make. Let’s just say, I was not a happy hunter that day.
I know it’s difficult for some men to know how to treat ladies in camp (especially pregnant ones), as each lady is different. Some want absolutely no special treatment, while others, like me, want our cake and to eat it too sometimes. With more and more women hitting the woods, I imagine many of you guys have had the opportunity to hunt with or guide women. Do you treat women hunters the same as men while sharing a hunt or camp? Do you think women have double standards when it comes to how they want to be treated? Ladies, do you want to be treated exactly like the guys in camp, or do you appreciate the occasional special treatment?
Get the latest news, tips and tactics in your inbox!
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.