About The Author

Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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« What's Your Weirdest Hunting Story? | Main | Misadventures in Retail »

August 17, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The FSHuntress at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fshuntress.

The Women’s Blog is Back!

Hi All,

As some of you know, I'm leaving my full-time position at Field & Stream for another writing job, BUT as I was the only woman editing features for the magazine, I’m continuing as the FSHuntress blog host. So as long as we, as a group of women hunters, can prove there’s enough interest in the topic of females in the field, Field & Stream will keep the blog going. The “Email Kim” link under the author bio is now going to my new email account, so feel free to continue to send me thoughts, photos, and discussion topic suggestions—I’ll be reading them every day.

Of course, I think any forum for outdoorswomen is extremely important, so, I’ll get right to the topic for today: Fairy Tales. Well, fairy tales as they relate to kids and hunting.

I’m a research nut, and I’m always finding interesting little tidbits of information that I get excited about sharing with other people. Laura B. posted a comment on the blog about having her two-year-old son in the duck blind with her, and the thought of kids in the field got me thinking about a book I recently read on, of all things, the psychology of fairy tales.

It’s a book called, “The Uses of Enchantment” by an Austrian psychiatrist named Bruno Bettelheim. Of course, a lot of it had to do with witches, princes, and bread crumb trails, so I definitely didn’t pick it up thinking I’d find any references to hunting. But I found a lot.

Contrary to the redneck, bubba stereotype that some of today’s main stream media holds hunters to be, the book pointed out that the hunters of old folk stories were the most respectable of characters. As author Bettelheim put it: “In many fairy stories hunters are kind-hearted, helpful persons.”

Littlered_smTake Little Red Riding Hood, for starters. Who rescues the young girl and her grandmother from the belly of the Big Bad Wolf? The heroic woodsman. This quote from Bettelheim’s book might sound like a bit of psycho babble, but here’s what he had to say about the fact that, in the mind of the child reader, the wolf represents the bad part of male nature, while the hunter represents the good:

“It is as if Little Red Cap is trying to understand the contradictory nature of the male by experiencing all aspects of his personality: the selfish, asocial, violent, potentially destructive tendencies of the id (the wolf); the unselfish, social, thoughtful, and protective propensities of the ego (the hunter).”

And later:

“The hunter is the most attractive, to boys as well as girls, because he rescues the good and punishes the bad.”

SnowwhiteThen there’s Snow White. Remember, at the beginning, the Queen orders a “huntsman” to kill Snow White and bring back her heart. But the “huntsman,” being an upstanding and compassionate fellow, disobeys the Queen, and instead sets Snow White free (at which point, she wanders the woods to the seven dwarves’ house). The huntsman then kills a wild boar, and presents its heart to the Queen instead.

Bettelheim points out that in the world of the woods, where wild animals lurk behind every dark tree, the hunter is a symbol of protection to a child. One more dose of psycho-babble:

“Only the parent-hunter… can scare these threatening animals away, keep them permanently from the child’s door. Hence the hunter of fairy tales is not a figure who kills friendly creatures, but one who dominates, controls, and subdues wild, ferocious beasts…the hunter is an eminently protective figure who can and does save us from the dangers of our violent emotions and those of others.”

Of course, translations of these old tales vary, but if you have young children, and a collection of fairy stories lying around, maybe it’s worth picking it up to see if the version you have preserved the positive role hunters played in these original versions.

Also, for those of you who read Field & Stream, this might be a good time to point out that the Sportsman’s Notebook section has a relatively new column called “How to Raise a Sportsman,” which includes tips like building a tree stand for two.

Okay, so I’ve taken a long tangent from Laura B.’s original post about hunting with her son, but if you have any thoughts or stories about hunting with kids, the perception of hunters in mainstream media, or anything else, for that matter, comment below, email me, whatever – it would be great to hear from you! --K.H.


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Sarah Rogstad

This past fall I took a day off during the Deer hunting season to take my son(4 1/2 at the time)out to sit with me. I had known of a small plot of land that was very flat therefore it would be easy to get in with him by my side. As we arrived to the land he was very excited even for being up very early. Dressed in his blaze and snow pants. He was ready to go. I handed him the drag rope to carry. We walked in and found a good place to sit since up in a tree with him was not an option we sat under a nice tree and I cleaned the area of leaves and debri. We had arrived at around 4:45am. So, it was still dark he sat very quite and did not move to much until daylight. At that time he started to stir. Unfortunatly we did not see any deer or hear any thing. But he still had a good time with Mom in the field. And I got the bragging rights of saying I took our son out first.

Laura Bell

Yes! It's Back!! :)

Danielle Lofquist

It is so exciting seeing this blog, I will definitely bookmark this as one of my favorite pages, and I want to thank Kim for all of her hard work that she put into the July issue!!