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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« And the Gear Goes To... | Main | Hunting and the Work Place »

September 28, 2007

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The Support System

I’ve mentioned Karen Lee, editor of Women in the Outdoors magazine in a previous post. She’s a great hunter, and hands down one of the funniest people I’ve ever met—she’ll come out with these one-liners that will have you on the floor in hysterics. She's also just a marvelous person in general.
      Women in the Outdoors (both the organization and the magazine it puts out) has done a lot to introduce ladies to the field. So Karen offered (since I'll be out of town for a few days) to write a guest post on how she got into hunting, and the support that helped her continue with the sport. So without further adieu…--K.H.

      I didn’t grow up hunting or in a family that hunts. We always were more of the canoeing, hiking Karen_2 types. In fact, I didn’t even know my father owned a gun until I started work at the National Wild Turkey Federation and became editor of Women In The Outdoors magazine.
      Thinking back to my first hunt (a turkey hunt in Mississippi) when I was 22, I smile at my parents’ reactions. The hunt happened the week before Easter, so I made a side trip on the way home to spend the holiday with them. Dad had me pose in full camo with our dog—a stray mutt that adopted us when I was in grade school—for a picture I still keep in an album titled Favorite Photos. And Mom weeded through the turkey feathers picking out the prettiest ones to pass out to her students at school.
      Now, both of them are active participants in the wild game dinners at their church. When they’re flipping channels, they pause on a hunting show just to make sure my husband or I are not on it. And both of their vehicles sport NWTF stickers. Neither of my parents hunt, nor are they in danger of picking up the habit anytime soon. But they are 100 percent supportive of me. And I am thankful.
      When you’re a novice hunter, it’s important to have a mentor to show you the ropes in the field. But it’s just as important to glean moral support from family and friends. Surrounding yourself with people keeps you energized and excited about your new adventure.
      You never know. You may just recruit a new hunter along the way.
      But I just can’t imagine my mom in Mossy Oak…
Karen Lee
Editor of Women In The Outdoors


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My mom has never been into it either, and neither has my sister. I picked it up from my dad and my love for it has grown with my boyfriend. My mom has always been supportive though, and gets just as excited as I do when I tell her about my groupings with my bow or my new Scent Lock suit. I could never imagine her weary anything camo though! Thanks goes to Karen Lee for keeping us going one more week.

Amy (Boomer)

I myself have picked up the hunting from my father, but when my parents were younger my father would take my mother out hunting but she never really caught on and I know the feeling...I can't really picture my mother in camo either, if you knew her you'd understand. I have 3 older sisters and out of all four of us, I was the only one that stuck with hunting. My oldest sister never tried it, my next sister did for a little, then my other sister never liked it either. I love animals and I always try to find a way to be around them, if it's not hunting season then I pick up a camera and i go and just take pictures of the animals. I have a friend that used to pick on me that I said I loved animals but I killed them. I used to laugh so hard when I had to explain to her that I was helping the animals when I hunted them by keeping their numbers in check so that they didn't run out of food or anything like that. I live in Pennsylvania so it's a pretty hard-core hunting state. The USA's Number 1 state for number of hunters. I loved the fact that we always got the first day of deer season off in High School and I wasn't the kid that stayed at home and slept in either!

Wanda H

My mom wasn't too happy about me going in the woods alone... I always tell her I have a gun, nothing is going to get me..
She & my stepdad will eat venison is we take a dish we have prepared, but we know she will not cook it.
My brother supports me alot, he will brag to his co workers.
One of my sister's hunts also & one doesn't, the one that does, we have gone on several hunts together, went to places where we were the only women there to hunt, we sure got some looks from the men, she reminded me that I probably have a bigger buck on the wall then half of them and we were there to hunt just like they were.
Growing up my dad & brother didn't hunt much, so I sure am glad my ex introduced me to the woods, I took an 8pt my very first time out.. sure has brought me alot of years of enjoyment.
Thanks Karen for helping out this week.


I was introduced to hunting by a boyfriend and owe my enthusiasm for hunting to him and his continuing patience in "teaching me the ropes" (not to mention sharing gear with me now and then). I also have the very good fortune, however, of additional "mentor" support. These guys, all experienced hunters, have been selfless with their time, equipment, encouragement, as well as granting me access to choice hunting ground (which I have learned shall never, EVER be taken for granted).

It really adds to the experience when you are out with a group that you know want you to succeed. I am convinced some of them actually enjoy the mentoring aspect more than taking to the field themselves. These guys are also involved in mentoring kids through our local Pheasants Forever chapter. Their commitment,respect for the sport/way of life, and their close attention to ethics and safety have inspired me to introduce my own kids to the sport when they are ready and if they are willing.

I hope I will be able to recognize the opportunity to be a mentor someday when the need arises, and I hope I can rise to the occasion and pass on all the positive experiences I have been privy to.

Maine Huntress

I'm from a non-hunting family too and started hunting with my husband when we were dating. My folks support our lifestyle, and congratulate me when I call with news of my latest harvest. Mom even bought us a chest freezer as a 1st anniversary present for us to store our meat in. They didn't get upset when the gun safe was in the guest room, and they don't even tease me about all of the taxidermy in our home. I think they were surprised at first, but they're proud and I'll imagine they even brag about my buck harvest during deer season to their friends.


I think it's just fantastic that more and more women are being introduced to the sport by friends and loved ones!

I had a pretty early introduction to hunting through my Dad, but we never branched out further than deer and squirrel. Although I always wanted to try hunting other game, the opportunity just never presented itself. Fast forward a few years, and I became engaged to an avid hunter. Without him who knows if I ever would have rabbit hunted or waterfowled. Two of my newest crazy addictions. I'm looking forward to this weekends duck opener more than any opening day of deer season! October 14 marks our first anniversary. And what will we be doing? Spending the week in the woods and on the water, duck and partridge hunting. My first exposure to upland! I wonder if he realizes just what sort of monster he's created?

Dana @ The Wild WoodsWoman

It was hard for me to imagine my mom spending time in the outdoors, and then one day she told me this crazy hunting/fishing story (Naturally retold by me as "I probably caught the same dumb fish 20 times..."!). You just never know - you might see your mom in camo someday!

Laura Bell

I got interested in hunting thru my dad. I was going coon hunting with him since I could walk, but it was my mom that was there to help me get my gear and make sure I stayed warm and had everything I would need. As I got older and my addiction grew, took off, exploded, however you prefer to call it lol, my whole family flowed right along with it. They know hunting is something I love and they offer me all the support I'll ever need and more.
The camera's are ready when I harvest something, supper is cooking or done when I come back from an all day hunting outing, they spend lots of time in the sporting goods stores/sections with me helping to see if I need anything. The list goes on!! It's this family of mine that has helped me become the hunter I am.

marcie orlowski

I have grown up with a hunting famly. It's a pasion of mine. I wish I could figure out a way to do it full time.
Both of my parents hunt , my sister and two brothers. My children are also following in my foot steps.
My husband and I have made several trips out west for the rugged adventures together. It's a great way to get close to nature and closer to each other.
If we can stand four day's without a shower and sleep in a tent together we're doing good.
I think there are many women hunter's out there. It's awesome.
I shot my first black bear last year and the first women in the county were I live so there was a big write up and picture's in our local paper. My husband took a little "heat" about it but, I know he was grinning ear to ear.
I look forward to this year's deerhunting season and the deer stories that come along with it.