According to the dictionary, the word empower, a verb, means to, “Equip or supply with an ability; enable.” Empowerment is a process of exposing and training people to new things in life and building them up in true confidence for them to carry-on alone.
Two things about hunting which are not really secrets.
1)Hunting in society has been seen in the past as an activity reserved only for guys. 2) Female participation in hunting is climbing at a rate unlike any other time and women are becoming leaders within the culture of hunting.
We are seeing these increase in the number of female hunters, which is the best thing for our culture right now and we ask, why is this? The easy answer is to credit outdoor media. TV shows, digital shorts, and classic written pieces help pave the way. We see leaders like Eva Shockey, Melissa Bachman, and Nicole Jones standing their ground against anti-hunting tormentors which throws hunting into the national spotlight reaching many questioning women. ( I would also like to thank the anti-hunting community for helping give our culture and our huntresses national attention.)
However, it is not just the public attention which has turned so many women into huntresses. Actually experiencing hunting first hand and knowing the unspoken empowerment of the wild is the biggest key.
According to Lauren Lee, an Ivy League non hunter turned hunter,
“Hunting gives women the feeling of power,self reliance and confidence.
That is right, Lee did not grow up hunting. She reports growing up she actually looked down on hunting and believed hunters to be somewhat unintelligent. Those opinions changed when she says she tapped into the primal side of life thanks to her husband, Stephen Lee. Her conversion experience took place not because some one was preaching at her or winning a point about the benefits of hunting,it wasn’t even TV. She simply sat in a hunting blind and watched the sunrise. For those of us who may have been raised hunting, we understand the serenity of a sunrise. Lee says “The simplicity of nature is so refreshing. To watch wildlife undisturbed is mind throttling.” Mind throttling, energizing and refreshing to the soul.
To someone who has hunted for many years, it was also refreshing to listen to a young huntress relay her excitement for the simplicity of the outdoors. I asked Lee to dive further into how she feel hunting empowers women.
“Hunting teaches value and respect. In regard to taking an animal’s life, you owe a lot of respect to the animal and the act takes maturity and patience. It is not in the killing of the animal in which you feel empowered but in the connection to a deeper sense of self.” Hunting forces you to strip away layers and demands honesty from yourself. Hunting is not easy either, and Lee learned this the old fashion way, trial and error. A successful hunt helps you grow as a person since it pushes you and every fiber of your will. When you do notch a tag, you simply realize you can overcome challenges. Lee says, “As women, we are programed to worry about things guys don’t. We are constant worriers like how people perceive us through our clothes and bodies. Hunting is empowering since ( outside of a few self righteous jerks) there is no judgement. Women should experience hunting first hand, it is open to everyone nowadays.”
As our time speaking closed, Lee mentioned one other aspect of hunting which she did not understand until she experienced it. The bonding of relationships through the intimate moments of the outdoors comes from the meshing of powerful emotions with the overcoming of difficult tasks. Lee finds this aspect empowering since it is a unique connection to family non hunters cannot experience. Something so different and so unique, you have to be able to appreciate the rarity of raw emotion spilling forth bonding two or more souls together for life in the simplicity of the wilderness.
Lee’s first successful hunt was a Hog hunt with Muddy River Outfitters out of Altha Florida. Having the ability to hunt wild hogs at night was a great learning experience and way to notch her first tag, providing fresh meat, another highly empowering aspect of hunting to women.
Muddy River outfitters can be reached through their website at www.muddy-riveroutfitters.com.
This story can also be found on Trophy Stack at http://www.trophystack.com/stories/296-how-hunting-empowers-women