I’m Beka Garris, the girl under all this camo!
The hunting world is made up mostly of men, and being a woman in the middle of it all can be a challenge. Though most people welcome women into the hunting industry, not everyone takes kindly to a woman hunting, and many people have a biased opinion of what women who hunt will be like. Being a woman in the hunting world myself, and also living in a rural area where not many women hunt, I have dealt with the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am by no means a feminist, but I sometimes feel that I have to defend myself a little too often as a woman hunter.
Women who are trying to make their way into the hunting world have a much harder time getting there than the men. If a woman is looking for a job in the hunting industry she has to be twice as smart, work twice as hard, and be twice as careful about how she is portraying herself, in order to get respect.
Just because you hunt, doesn’t mean that you have to give up being a woman, as many people don’t relate the two. Hunting is and always has been my favorite thing to do. However, I am very proud to be a woman. There is nothing wrong with trying to remain feminine while being tough, hardcore, and adventurous. Some of us have that drive in our blood. We need to chase it, but remain proud of who we are. Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, friends, and most importantly an individual who dares to pursue her passion.
That being said, it is much easier to be feminine in the world of hunting now that there are a lot more great lines of clothing for women who hunt, clothing that promotes a woman’s appearance both in and out of the field.
This of course leads to the question, ‘are appearances an issue for women in the hunting world?’ Of course, this wouldn’t be fair, but that’s just how the world works.
A few years ago we found some cheap flights and flew to the Harrisburg Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania. I waited in line to meet The Crush Team, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky. The line was long, really long. My sister and I waited in line for nearly an hour, which really wasn’t so bad since we could talk to other people while we were waiting. Most of the people in line were guys, wanting to meet Tiffany. I mean, really, what guy would want to meet Lee when Tiffany is around? After finally meeting the Lakosky’s, my sister and I decided to check out the Whitetail Freaks booth, where Don and Kandi Kisky were. To my surprise, there was no line whatsoever at their booth. Kandi Kisky is a wonderful person, friendly, down to earth, a pretty woman and an amazing huntress. Yet, she was up against curvy blonde Tiffany Lakosky whose smile, among other things, won over fans all across the country.
Being a fan of Tiffany Lakosky, I myself have often wondered what she has had to put up with because of all her male fans. It is true that the Lakosky’s use Tiffany’s good looks and personality to their advantage. Some people dislike this fact, and have lost some of their respect for the Lakosky’s. Does this make Tiffany Lakosky the sex icon of the hunting industry, as some people like to think???
In reality, women in the outdoors are a saving grace to the whole hunting lifestyle. Hunters overall have declined but women hunters have increased significantly over the past decade. To quote Brenda Valentine, “I believe that not one buck, bull or gobbler I’ve shot cared one whit about my gender”.
Really, it doesn’t matter what others think, as long as you are doing what you love and are passionate about it, but these questions have been asked many times by different women. There are many different opinions and views on the topic of women hunters, yet there are women out there like Brenda Valentine, Tiffany Lakosky, Kandi Kisky, and Vicki Cianciarulo, who have proved time and again that women can and will succeed wonderfully in the hunting world, and still be beautiful doing it.
What are your thoughts about women in the hunting industry? Do you think they give hunting a good image?
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