“Marry an outdoors woman. Then if you throw her out into the yard on a cold night, she can still survive.” – W.C. Fields
The relentless attacks on female anglers and hunters have gone too far.
From threats targeted at 19-year-old huntress Kendall Jones to 17-year-old Belgian teen Axelle Despiegelaere, anti-hunters–usually insecure leftist males–are calling on others to inflict harm onto young women who are self-reliant and independent.
This guy, who calls himself an “Agitated Texas Republican,” says women who hunt are ignorant and blood-thirsty. (Talk about elevating women!)
— DestroyerFan (@TheDestroyerFan) July 16, 2014
Another tweeted that hunting is out-of-date: “Hunting is so 1914! It stopped with Teddy Roosevelt!”
— ArthurEX Squire (@Art_daSnark) July 16, 2014
Attacking women who choose to fish and hunt hurts, rather than helps, females realize their potential. What happened to being pro-choice?
New York Post’s Eliyahu Federman wrote an article titled “The ignorant, sexist attacks on female hunters” to showcase the hypocrisy of guys who disparage female anglers and hunters. Here’s an excerpt:
1) Their hunting was perfectly legal. As a spokesperson for Jones pointed out, “All of Kendall’s hunts in Zimbabwe and South Africa were 100 percent legal, with proper tags and licenses awarded on a pre-approved quota by the countries’ officials and wildlife department.”
No, “legal” isn’t the same as “moral,” but attacking these young women in personal terms for lawful hunting is pointless. If you have a problem with big-game hunting, change the laws, don’t mindlessly attack individuals.
2) Hunting helps support poor local African communities. People magazine reported how Jones paid $160,000 in fees and services “provided by local trackers, skinners and assistants.” That money went to provide jobs, incomes and food in destitute parts of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Trophy hunting provides meat to local villagers and generates an estimated $200 million a year in revenue in poor countries in Africa and elsewhere.
3) African hunting helps conservation. It is poaching that poses a threat, not lawful hunting. In fact, the operators of hunting conservancies fight poaching to “protect the wildlife resources on which they depend.”
4) Animals aren’t people. Sport hunting isn’t murder, no matter how much some detest it.
5) Hunters are often middle-aged men, but the brunt of online outrage seems directed at young attractive women like Jones, Despiegelaer, Melissa Bachman, Olivia Opre, and Sarah Palin, not the male “Duck Dynasty” types. Sure looks like sexism.
Fishing and hunting are essential to sustainability and conservation. These activities promote the environment and encourage stewardship. The majority of fishermen and hunters abide by laws. Our license fees and investments in gear/equipment support charities and wildlife conservation efforts. What’s the harm in revering and replenishing nature? (Answer: Nothing!)
Even left-leaning National Geographic has praised and acknowledged the rise of female hunters:
Hunters are also quick to note that funds from purchases of licenses, equipment, and ammunition go to support conservation efforts for a variety of species. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, every year nearly $200 million is distributed from the federal taxes associated with hunting to support wildlife management programs, the purchase of lands for habitat conservation, and hunter education and safety classes.
There’s another factor, too: fun. Hunting is a way for women to be outdoors and enjoy nature while spending time with husbands and children who hunt.
“Women are realizing how much fun hunting is and how close it can actually bring them in their relationships with their families,” says Tiffany Lakosky, co-host of the Outdoor Channel hunting show Crush with Lee and Tiffany and a top bowhunter. “The whole concept is that I am shooting my family’s dinner tonight and we’re eating something I shot. I would say probably 90 percent of the meat we eat, we hunted.”
Whether or not you agree with fishing or big game hunting, be mindful that anglers and hunters are people too. We have feelings, compassion, and are fallible. (After all, we’re human.) Despite what the naysayers say, we respect our surroundings. We love nature. We want more empowered women and men. We don’t appreciate being pidgeonholed and threatened by jerks who have little to no regard for personal safety or tolerance of different beliefs. In fact, these attacks only encourage us to take up gun ownership and continue to speak out in favor of our beliefs.
Fellow female anglers and hunters: Don’t become disheartened by our detractors. Instead, go confidently in the right direction to enjoy the outdoors.