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by Christiana Roussel | Sep 24, 2020 | ART & COLLECTIBLES, BIG GAME, BOOKS, HUNTING
Why Do Women Hunt?

Tisma Juett started her outdoor journey with a turkey hunt. Today Tisma has gone full bore into the sport made it a career, sharing her knowledge through inclusion and outreach with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).


In her book Why Women Hunt, K.J. Houtman features stories of some of the women who are contributing to the growing percentage of women in America who hunt.

If you’ve ever had the notion to take a woman hunting, you’re onto something pretty special.

As K.J. Houtman illustrates in her book, Why Women Hunt, it is almost always a man who introduces a woman to hunting, which is only the beginning of the journey. Each of the eighteen women featured in the book shares the singular hunt that shaped them as a hunter, but as the author notes, “every single one of them wouldn’t be hunting if it weren’t for the men in their lives who encouraged, mentored and participated with them.”

For some, like Tisma Juett, that man was a guide she hired, Deck Major, to take her turkey hunting. This city girl from Chicago started her outdoor journey with a series of Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) classes. Here she learned the subtle but requisite need to be still, something she had rarely done before. Since taking that first turkey, Tisma has gone on to take antelope and axis deer, discovering she’d rather stalk hunt than hole up in a blind. Clearly discovering her passion, Tisma has gone full bore into the sport and now made it a career, sharing her knowledge through inclusion and outreach with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).


Before the one-year anniversary of her first buck with a rifle, Nancy Jo Adams took a turkey with a shotgun, black bear and white-tailed doe with her compound bow and another buck with a muzzleloader.


For Nancy Jo Adams, it was her husband who first sparked her interest in hunting. And it only took him thirteen years of asking before she said yes. She might have originally agreed to go hang out in the shooting house that afternoon to get out of making dinner, but she got more from that first experience than she ever imagined. Not only did she take a buck in the first hour out, she found a passion worth chasing. As Houtman notes, Nancy Jo “may have started off hunting at the age of 43 through the encouragement of her husband, she quickly became independent afield. Before the one-year anniversary of that first buck with a rifle, she took a turkey with a shotgun, black bear and white-tailed doe with her compound bow and another buck with a muzzleloader.”


Author of Why Women Hunt, K.J. Houtman, poses with her antelope.


When asked about the audience for Why Women Hunt, Houtman says, “I didn’t want to write a book about the most famous women hunters. I wanted it to be a book about far more ordinary women hunters.” As a late bloomer herself, she found that she was fascinated with the journeys each woman took to become a hunter but found herself perhaps a little jealous of the women who had grown up hunting from a young age. “I remember meeting people like Trisha Steffen or Meadow Kouffeld and thinking ‘Wow, lucky you. Your dad raised you to go hunting with him from the time you can remember so, from the age of five years old on, you don’t have any memories of NOT being in the field on a regular basis.’”

Aside from being introduced to hunting by a man, there is another common thread that runs through each of these stories: self-discovery. Houtman says it is about diving deeper into the task at hand as an actual participant. “Almost every story has an aspect where these women shared what they learned about themselves, even if they didn’t kill anything. We discover more about ourselves when we put ourselves in situations where we have to adapt and we have to grow and we have to discover more about the world we live in and how we fit in it.”

If you haven’t thought about inviting a woman to go hunting with you recently, it is high time you did. But once she finally says “yes,” it’s Katy bar the door. She may have just found her next passion in life. And as K.J. Houtman demonstrates in Why Women Hunt, there is nothing more beautiful than that.
 
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I hate tree rats.......I associate them too closely with real rats to eat one.
 
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