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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September 25, 2007

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Girl-ified Gear

Have you seen this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about gun manufacturers offering pink firearms to attract female buyers? It’s currently being discussed by the guys on the F&S news blog (you might want to check out some of their comments involving Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake stickers). The story quotes a number of store-owners and shoppers who have differing opinions on the appropriateness of a pink firearm in the field.
      So how do you feel about pink guns—or any other girl-ified gear for that matter? Is such an item a fun must-have, or an obnoxious must-avoid? When I say girl-ified, I don’t mean a shorter stock or other modifications meant to improve the way a piece of equipment fits its owner; I mean aesthetic adjustments that make piece of gear more, well, girly.
      Maybe the larger issue is that of each person’s self-perception as an outdoorsman. Do you consider yourself a woman hunter, who’s in many ways different from the men in the field? Or are you a hunter like any other, who just happens to be a woman? –K. H.

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Comments

Shannon

I kind of have mixed feelings about the pink .22's that I've seen in the store. In one vein, I just find it horribly silly. I mean really, there's no practical hunting purpose for a pink gun. But then again, they are children's size, and if a little girl was excited about her pink .22 and wanted to shoot it a lot, perhaps it would be an entry point into a the big wide world of the outdoors or shooting.

I guess it all boils down to whether or not there's a market for "girl-ified" products. And you know, now that I think about it, I did just buy a pink Remington hat. But my husband thinks it's hot, so it's justifiable. ;)

Kristine Shreve

First of all, why do all manufacturers think that all women want things that are pink? I hate pink!

As to marketing products which are designed to appeal to women, I don't see why that's a bad thing. Some women won't like it, but some women will. As long as the function is the same, and the appearance alterations don't effect how the gun shoots, or the clothing wears, what difference does it make?

Jodi Kotimaki

I'm with Shannon. I hate pink! As a step mom to 2 girls ages, 11 and 9, I know the pink stuff would appeal to the 9 year old. My 11 year old also hates pink. She's also more of a tomboy.
I just wish they came out with more products that are modified for women. I need new hunting boots. I have big enough feet that I can fit into guys boots, but the arch is always in the wrong spot for me. Unfortunately, I do not have very many choices in the women's department. Any ideas?
Thank you!

Tracy

"Girlifying" might have a fun and useful aspect in the appropriate context. Take for instance younger girls who might have have their interest piqued by hunting but are intimidated or put off by the predominant masculine "look and feel" of hunting (please forgive the stereotype - I was raised a city gal who had the very good fortune of having a wonderful man introduce me to hunting just a few years ago).

On the other hand, using the example of pink gear, it seems to lend itself to practical concerns relative to hunting certain species. Honestly, who is going to waste time and careful attention to plan the details of a successful hunt only to greet the game wielding a pink bow? I am embarassed to admit that I just love the idea of a pink bow, but it really has no practicality in the field. As far as I can tell though, deer haven't been able to discern hot pink undergarments! Haha. Happy hunting to all.

Judy

I've never felt that going hunting was like going to a fashion show.
The only hunting equipment I have that SCREAMS girl is my pink Muzzy broad heads and they definatley made a statement when they spined the 400+ pound chocolate black bear that I took this spring.
Wishing all you ladies the best of luck as we move into the bow hunting season. Get out there and show them what it means to "hunt like a girl". =)

Laura Bell

First Off, I HATE the Color PINK!
I'm a big Tomboy though too, but still just because I'm a woman hunter that does not mean I want more Girl-ified guns, etc. Blah! Sure it's just a color, but no way, no how.
Kind of funny you should say that too, when I went to a hound event there was a guy selling dog leashes, collars, etc. Well he saw me walking by and said "I've got just the thing for you and I'll make you a deal on it!" He brought me over a Pink dog leash. I told him no way, if it was Camo maybe but I hate Pink.
Then at another hound event they were giving away a hunting items and one happened to be a Hot Pink dog collar, they called a number out and a young lady was picked to win something. The guy hands her that collar and it was funny, her response was "I don't want that sissy thing!" She ended up taking a Blue one. They had a hard time giving that pink one away until a little girl said she'd like it.
I can see where those girlie items would appeal to some, but I am not one of them.

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman

I consider myself a hunter like any other, just happen to be a woman. But I think pink guns are great for those people who like them - I have nothing against pink at all. Some people just like to wear their hobby on their sleeve, so to speak. Some women get pink guns, some men put camoflage seat covers in their jacked up trucks. To me, it's not a 'strange' news item, as it is just a 'new' news item.

Wanda Hyleman

I just bought a pink browning hat on my lunch break, but no way would I buy a pink gun.....
I am in the catagory of - I am a hunter that just happens to be a woman, until recently have I purchased any womens's hunting gear, with the exception of boots, the men's were too wide.
I could see where like some others said that the pink guns might be appealing for younger girls to help them get excited about shooting, but for myself I prefer camo, black or woodgrain. I have always said I don't want to take over the sport of hunting I just want to be a part of it, and I have showed them that I know how to "hunt like a Girl" :)
I went to the sporting clothes store at lunch yesterday & today, looking to buy some new boots,went back today with my hunting socks I like to wear to see how they would fit. they are great cos' they know how serious I am about it, when I walked in the door he was saying I have something for you to see, they had just gotten in a shipment of camo's for women, they are called High maintenance ,the t shirts have a doe on front with a pink bow on her head of all things... but well made & the bibs unzip from ankle to ankle on the inside.. I tried on a pair & was very impressed with them. but I was looking for boots & bought a pair of Bogs, they are mossy oak camo & boy are they comfy... felt like a pair of bedroom slippers.. they are men's but fit my long slender foot very well. will see how warm they are this winter, which in So Ga it hasn't been 8 degrees in a long time.
Don't think I will hunt with pink crocs on like I read that Tiffany Labowski does, she is good but don't think you can cross any creeks with crocs on, and these South Ga briar patches would have them all snagged up. You can still be feminine with out the pink.


Lou Alexander

I cringed the first time I saw a pink stock on a gun. Yarg! What are those guys thinking! If they think slapping pink on hunting gear is going make more women hunt they are even more clueless than I thought. If I was a "pink" girl I really doubt that hunting and the outdoors would be my thing. What's next? Realtree extra pink?!

Meegan Turnbeaugh

I guess it is all in a persons taste.. if Pink guns will attract more people to the sport of shooting or hunting I am all for it. I am a tomboy too but I am also high maintenance meaning I have to have my hair and makeup done and my nails.... I love the color pink and have pink and purple fletching on my bow which is my weapon of choice.. but would never hunt with a pink gun... I like camo or stainless and black... If I was target shooting or something I would probably go for the pink... just to be different.

J9

I am not a fan of Pink either. I like the real basic colors when it comes to guns, the main thing is does it do the job. I have a Camo bow and have been more drawn to the Camo guns as I look to purchase my first shotgun that I can call my own. I have seen some ladies and young girls shooting with the hot pink guns during a clay event this past year and they were flashy and it fit their personality and that is good for them. I say let them have the color if they are outside doing what they love.

Denny

With the decline in both hunter and shooter numbers, I think the pink guns are a great idea. Anything that will attract new people ( especially kids ) the shooting sports is a plus in my opinion. My daughters .22 wasn't really 'hers' until she helped me camo it up with pink hearts. Now she has ownership and a definate interest in shooting her rifle.

Ricardo Rodríguez

Hello there,
Just a comment.
I remember to have read about the way deer see colors in this magazine, or may be in other, not remember, and about the dilemma of camouflage vs safety, and it was said that deer don´t recognize phosforescent pink. That would make great girly cammo gear;
they already make fashion pink cammo clothes anyway.

Gary Tompkins

As the father of a 5 year old and 10 year old daughter, and with a wife who also hunts, I thought I would chime into the convesation. To me, it's not the color that motivates my girls, its the style. It's either cool, or it's not. Unfortunately, many of the hunting clothes are not made for little people and don't fit well. As we move into equipment, again, it's not designed from the ground up. I would love to see a slender, lightweight, high quality .28 ga autoloader designed to be a .28 ga from inception, not a .12 or .20 ga where they stick a smaller chamber on the gun. This is something that can't be fixed by a gunsmith. It comes down to fit and function. Women are built differently (Thank God for the difference) and the manufacturers need to work with women of all statures and sizes to design clothing and equipment that is appealing, well constructed and classy/fashionable.
Hopefully, my older daughter will take her first deer in a few weeks.
GKT

Laura Bell

I'll comment again.
Women have enough trouble getting respect from some men hunters, so do you honestly think wearing "great girly cammo gear" that comes in "fashion pink", would help? Not in my eyes.
That's great that some companies are taking interest in making women hunter items, we need this! But why assume that we want it in Pink?

G Miller

I finally got my wife to go turkey hunting a few years ago and I've created a monster! This year she bought all new clothing because "the camo patterns are different and don't match". I'm sure the gobbler she busted did not care one way or the other!

Paula

I would much rather see hunting/shooting gear made to fit women instead of having to buy mens clothes, boots and youth rifle. I have found that a lot of the clothing/boots that are made for women do not offer the same protection from the elements, same gram thinsulate, etc. If someone wants to shoot a pink gun, that's their choice, I'd rather be taken seriously.

Katie

I actually hate the fact that anytime I want a hat or a shirt, it always has pink on it when it's woman sizes. I don't mind pink, if someone wants to wear it that's fine, but I definately would not hunt in or with anything pink: bow, gun, arrows, camo, or otherwise. I agree with Laura Bell, we already don't get the respect we deserve, putting us in all pink won't help matters any. I would apprecite something practical in the field a hole lot more than something that was made pink because I'm female. Gimme something a little lighter with less recoil, not something that looks "pretty".

Bill Birch

Who cares what women wear as long as they hunt. But then again, who in the hell would wear pink into the woods. The deer would be laughing. Its bad enough when they make us wear orange.

Amy (Boomer)

I honestly HATE the color pink and if someone offered me a pink gun just because I was a women, I'd probably have to hurt them! Anyway, I think hunting should remain the way it is, DULL. Believe me, women have many opportunities to get all dressed up: Dinner, Movies, the Mall and many more. But hunting isn't a fashion show so lets keep hunting plain and simple!

MS

I think it is pretty crazy that someone is making pink guns thinking they can attract female hunters. That to me says exactly what they feel about us in this sport. Somebody give us a real line of female clothing with the same choices and quality as the men lines. And the same goes for the weapons. I just wish the manufacturers would take us seriously.

ANewMe2B

I have to first say it doesn't help that some of the "SPOKESWOMEN" of the womens hunting world dress provocative for ads and cover shoots and bow companies putting women in skimpy spaghetti noodle tanks, braless, and 2" nails in their ads. I have to stop and ask myself... is this what is being portrayed by the marketing companies. I was impressed by a recent ad in a womens outdoor magazine that actually showed two "well known" women in actual true hunting gear. You don't see that much. I actually was impressed by the camo line that I ordered some of it. I believe this will always be a hot debate in this sport. One way I battle against it is to email these companies with my opinion of these ads... my email might not be much but 8,000 or so emails would. Now if we could just get the buck lure company with the picture of the mating deers on the label to change it... Hunting might be rated PG and a family sport again... Ha!!

ANewMe2B

And to G. Miller... Okay, you got me on that one... That is definitely a WOMAN thing. The camo has to match. However, it is not pink, mind you. But all the same patterns... actually two complete sets of two different patterns. :)

Wanda Hyleman

I agree with anewme2b, I am on a forum for a magazine here in georgia www.GON.com (Georgia Outdoor News) & while I do love the mag & also the forum where you can post etc... some of the guys on there think nothing of posting photos of scantly clad girls with bows etc... just last week there was one about a girl with a bow & she had on a bikini top that was about 3 sizes too small, they all were ohh & ahh & I wrote & told them I thought they liked women that could hunt, cos the guy said she couldn't hit the side of the barn, but they didn't care.. when I wrote my comment a guy wrote back & said " help the girl out build her a bigger barn... I answered Apparently I would be more successful at showing her how to shoot a big buck.. but then there are some good ones on there, had a guy email me last night that he thought I was awsome & he knew women that hunted but he could tell I was unique.. thought that was very nice of him. Sex sells, but I don't think it should have to sell guns & thermal underwear...
When GON first came out with the mag about 20 years ago, they had 1 ad for 4 wheelers & it always had women in evening gowns, bikinis etc... until enough of us complained & now they have no ads like that what so ever...I do have matching camo now, but I don't have any pink..

Delaine

It would be great if manufacturers of hunting gear would consider style and size before color. If I could only find clothing that was serviceable and designed for women, I would enjoy the hunt even more. Since my hunting clothes serve double duty, I would not purchase on color alone. Cabela's had a pink rifle and it stuck out from the rest. I looked, but I moved on and bought a Buckmark for my kid. Pink may get them to look, but will they hunt. I think not.