Build Your Wall… I Have a Ladder

Disclaimer: this is a very emotional blog; it is not mean’t to degrade anyone or hurt any feelings. It is a true account of what women hunters still face in today’s world and a true testament to one of the many reasons why this passion of mine spills into everything I do. It is why I hope this show will inspire women and kids to get out and hunt.
Apparently the wall is still up, the lines are still drawn, the respect hasn’t been achieved and my heart was bruised. I knew they were still out there tearing down confidence, setting us back, putting us in our place, and raising themselves up; but I hadn’t seen it up close and personal in quite some time. Why is it so hard to see me, a woman, as equal to you, a man AT LEAST in the hunting world? Why can’t I do what you do and be good, great, better at it and you learn from me?
Why must I force conversation because you won’t give me the time of day or speak to me for more than 2 seconds? I genuinely have questions about the land, the rules, the stands, the animals, the activity, and so much more but yet you make me feel inadequate, unworthy, incomparable, and out of place. My hunting stories are interrupted with your ego, your loud voice, and your disrespect; you drown me out as you beat your chest and say ‘mine is better than yours and you won’t compare ever’.
What must I do to prove myself to you and change your mind? Why should I even have to though? Why aren’t my hunting pictures and harvest stories worth seeing and hearing about but your trail camera pictures are mightier than the sword? Why is it when you do want to explain anything about the ranch you wait and say ill just tell your husband? Why can’t you tell me? I know I have blonde hair, I know I am a woman but I am not stupid, ignorant, less than you, or submissive.
I will not play your game, I will not pretend to sit by the sidelines and watch and cheer like a good little girl. I won’t be the one making your dinner and waiting for you to come back from your hunt. I don’t complain about the weather, I will build my own blind, I am not afraid of the dark or of the animals, I am a pretty good shot and I even shoot a bow.
So what is it?  Are you threatened by me or do you truly believe women do not have a place in the hunting world? Or is it something else? Did I step on your toes with my pink accessories or hurt your ego when I opened my bow case? When you finally stopped to listen to one of my conversations and overheard that I have the opportunity to be part of a women’s hunting show something changed, but only a little. You actually let me finish a sentence, speak about my passion, and maybe, just maybe, for a brief second I saw a glimmer of respect in your eyes, a hint of genuine interest, and just a touch excitement.
Unfortunately it faded fast because others were intrigued that this 116lb woman can do what all the guys out here can do and you aren’t the talking point for every conversation. So steal whatever moment or interest someone had in what I really had to say, as I knew you would, by taking my seat when I stand up, talking louder, and showing off your bigger, better, and man-approved hunting gadgets.
You will not break my spirit, my passion, my love, or my pride; in fact you will only challenge me to work harder, get better, smile more, and ensure that I never make someone feel the way you made me feel. There are more women hunters out in the world than we all know about and it’s not because they aren’t good, or proud, or growing…it’s because there are still people in this world who try to stifle us, break us down, shove us back in the camp house, and create obstacles for us to make us fall.
Rest assured, we as women hunters, will excel, thrive, and prosper and do it with class without tearing others down or insulting anyone along the way. And the majority of men hunters out there are the ones who have helped teach us, inspire us, and guide us and will continue to hunt with us, as equals, learn from us as we have learned from them, and share the experiences and memories with each other, family, friends, sons AND daughters as we build a solid community that supports each other.

Nov 27, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: 4

 

4 comments on “Build Your Wall… I Have a Ladder

  1. I had the same conversation as a guest on Maine Calling, a Maine Public Broadcasting Network show. Five men will stand in the mom ‘n pop store which serves as a store, tagging station, gift shop, shipping station, place to buy your hunting, fishing and trapping license and add tags to licenses. All is well and fine, laughter and stories flow as hunters tell their tales. Then I walk in. I’m head to toe camo, sometimes with hunter orange if it’s rifle season, and I’m not included in the conversation. I have a pony tail and breasts.

    I invite myself into the group and as soon as one man responds to me, I talk to him. Once one will talk with me the others usually will too. Tell your best he-man story. Make sure they know you’re worthy, even if they don’t want to accept that you can keep up with them in many ways.

    Remember, if a man can’t keep up with you or feels threatened, it’s his issue. If he feels inadequate, that’s his problem. Be confident and strong. You’re doing great things.

    Be prepared for the wives and girlfriends who don’t hunt and think you’re a threat. They can be harsh.

    • Candace

      Wow thanks robin. I know a lot of women hunters get treated this way and its why I am so passionate about this. I don’t know if it will ever change for everyone but I am going to try as long as they let me. I have seen more and more guys starting to support us and that is progress. Thanks for the words of encouragement, that is what the community of women is about. I will stay strong and confident! I will def be on the lookout for jealous wives/gf’s but try to find a way to interest them in the outdoors in some way 🙂

    • Brian Heffner

      Excellent story! I am a man with no walls to block out another persons thoughts, ideas, or answers. Life is about learning from others with no gender barrier or fences to cross. People that put others down are often insecure in themselves. Why is it that a woman can serve her Country, but can’t be equal or better in the sport of hunting? I enjoy the fact that woman want to get out of the house and have the knowledge and courage to enjoy the sport of hunting just like we do. Let’s tear down that wall, learn from each other, and pass these campfire stories on for generations to come. Remember: ” If you don’t take a stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

      Brian Heffner
      Texas

      • Candace Hubble

        Thanks Brian; good to hear from guys out there who are supportive. Most are, there are just a few who try to bring us down. Good point about serving our country – i have much respect for those women! Thanks again for the support and the response!

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