Earlier this week, we joked around about what chivalry might look like for women who hunt and fish. Gut piles, stink bait, and bloody clothes can all be part of the mix. Sometimes hunting and fishing should be taken seriously though, especially if someone is hunting for the first time.
A first kill can be as exciting as it is emotional
You’re about to take a girl out hunting. Ideally, she’s already been through hours of training, she’s been in the woods with her gun before, she has a steady aim when her adrenaline is pumping, and she trusts you. She should also know that it’s ok for her to respond however she may feel during or after her kill.
You can never be sure how someone will react, so practice how you will respond regardless of the girl’s reaction. If she makes a clean kill and she feels elated, it’ll be pretty easy to handle. However, if she’s stunned and feeling unsure, especially if there was a messy kill, think about how you’ll react. In the moment, things can happen very quickly, and it’s important for you to have practiced words to offer if the mood turns sour.
Be a good teacher
This is worth mentioning because the person mentoring a young woman can make or break her desire to be a hunter. If she has a bad experience, or doesn’t trust her mentor, it can drive her away. Talk to women who have learned to hunt recently, compare notes with other mentors, and try to honestly understand your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. For example, if you’re great at explaining the setup, but have a hard time with explaining how to gut the kill, bring someone else along to help out when the time is right.
You probably already know this, but remember that it’s tough to learn a complex skill. It takes time, and practice, and a few encouraging words. Answer her questions, assure her if she doubts her ability, and remind of safety precautions. She may also enjoy hearing about your first kill or funny scenarios from the field. More than anything else, let her know that she’s now part of a unique group of women who can seek, find, and harvest their own meat. And that’s something to be proud of.
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