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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January 25, 2008

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Speaking of Booth Babes


After our booth babes discussion a few weeks ago, blog reader Deb Tressler emailed to add a slightly different perspective. She's the head of the central Pennsylvania PR firm for the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show (I'm sure a bunch of us have attended), and wanted to comment on her observations of the increasingly positive role of women at that event. -K.H.

     Over the years, I've seen our Show change from the kind of environment where we had vendors bring in "Booth Babes" because they knew our Show was almost 99 percent a male audience, to what it is today -- a family event, filled with women and children.
     Sure, we still have groups of huntin' buddies that come from near and far and don't miss this Show for anything -- straight out of the woods dressed in their finest camo and blaze orange. But I can guarantee that at our "Try Before You Buy" areas every other person is going to be a woman testing out a fly rod or shooting a few arrows to see how that high-tech bow will suit her before she plunks down her cash.
     We have woman callers entered in our calling contests, in our fly-tying and decoy painting contests; they are as much part of the fabric of this Show as any man -- and believe me, our exhibitors have adjusted their way of thinking to reflect what they now know -- hunting and fishing and the great outdoors just isn't a man's world anymore.
     In fact, we've been lucky enough to have some really wonderful woman huntresses as featured seminar speakers (like Joella Bates) and they've packed our seminar areas as full as their male counterparts.
     You have to look pretty hard to find the "Booth Babes" at our Show -- sure, we have a few, but nowadays, I can count them on one hand.
    And, after 19 years, when an outdoor writer ribs me about being a woman that handles the biggest hunting and fishing show around, I just grin and ask them, "What makes me any different than you in the woods?" That usually shuts them up! -D.T.


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KUDOS to Ms. Tressler for helping to make the ESOS an all family event!