Huntress – What’s In A Name?

You wouldn’t expect it, but the word “huntress” is actually quite polarizing in the world of hunting.

By definition, a huntress is a woman who hunts.

Huntress Defined

Simple.

In actuality—it’s not that simple.  Some women are so absolutely put off by the word, you’d think it means something completely different.  When researching reasons why women hate the word, I found a lot of people saying they’re not “that kind of girl.”

Of course, I had to dig deeper to find out what made someone “that kind of girl.”  It appears the term refers to women who are perceived as high-maintenance, want rhinestones on their pink camo, a cute gun to tote around, and is more concerned about how they look than shooting an animal.

To me, that definition stems from people letting their preconceived notions make the word far more loaded than it truly is.  Not to mention putting limitations on what they believe females can do.

As a little girl, I always thought hunting was for boys.  I personally didn’t know any females who hunted so it never crossed my mind as something a girl could do.  I imagine I would’ve had more of an interest in hunting had I stumbled upon an issue of my dad’s Field and Stream magazine featuring a woman on the cover and the word huntress.

The word huntress can give girls something to identify with.  I could be a huntress if I went with my dad and brothers?  Awesome!  Sign me up!

It’s great that female hunter Eva Shockey got the May 2014 cover of Field and Stream, only the second woman to do so (the first being Queen Elizabeth in 1976).  I don’t doubt that her being featured has helped more women pursue an interest in hunting.

We, as women hunters, are a small group at 11% of all hunters.  It doesn’t make sense to me how one word can divide this already small group even further.

To me, a huntress is a badass female who has no problem working hard and getting dirty all for the love of the hunt.  I think of no negative connotations when I see the word.

It also seems some women associate the word with the love of the color pink.  Another thing that never crossed my mind.  I personally hate the color pink with a passion, but that’s a whole other topic and post about the ludicrous assumption all women love pink clothing.

I don’t understand why being a huntress is hard for some women to embrace.  Being a huntress does not diminish your hunting capabilities.  It does, however,  set you apart from the group by letting people know you’re female. For example, if my blog was called Country Hunter, you’d likely assume I was male.

Do I think of myself as a hunter?  Of course.  But I take pride in identifying myself as a huntress.  I don’t expect special treatment or to be looked at differently because I’m a woman.  I love hunting and want it to be known I’m a woman in the male dominated world of hunting.

The word is what you make it.  I hope to make it a word that embodies a strong woman with a passion for hunting and the outdoors.

I think it’s important that as women, a small group in the hunting world, we stick together and support one another.  Tearing someone down for a word they use to describe themselves doesn’t make you any better of a hunter.  To assume everyone who calls themselves a huntress is a high-maintenance hunter is incredibly closed minded.

At the end of the day, by definition, all females who hunt are huntresses.  It doesn’t matter what color camo someone likes wearing or how they want to look in the field.  What matters is that women are out there doing something they love, and everyone should be able to support that.

Do you like or hate the word huntress?  Vote below and share why you feel the way you do!

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9 thoughts on “Huntress – What’s In A Name?

  1. I’m somewhere between “hate it” and “don’t care”. I mean, I’m a total language nerd, and English doesn’t have grammatical gender. So I don’t see much need to give a word like hunter a gender when it already covers both male and female people who hunt (in modern English- historically it’s quite different). German (my second language) has “Jägerin”, which translates to hunter (female), or “huntress”, depending on how you want to look at it. And it sort of squicks me out, even though I understand how gender in German functions. But I could not care less if someone else embraces the term.

    I guess for me it’s different- pops took me hunting when I was a kid, so it never occurred to me that as a girl, I couldn’t. So in my opinion, “huntress” is making them separate from “hunters” in general, when the hunting industry already treats us either like an unimportant minority, or a Special Snowflake Group. I just want clothes that fit me and don’t ride up, man. It doesn’t need to be about how I’m a woman. I would be just fine with the same gear available to my fiance in a fit and cut that was comfy, and a size/proportion that fit my frame (looking at you, clothing manufacturers and gun companies)

    • That’s such an interesting point! I hadn’t thought of other languages and the grammatical genders they use.

      I completely understand your reasoning for being between hate it and not caring about the word. That makes a lot of sense you just grew up being a hunter by being included from a young age.

      I agree that it can be frustrating when the hunting industry sees women as a “special snowflake group”. I am so with you on the clothing available, or I guess not available, for females! It really shouldn’t be so hard to find comfortable and functional clothes for hunting.

      Thank you for sharing your viewpoint!

  2. Love this!!! To me huntress is so much more than a female hunter!! It means strong, responsible, dedicated, hard working, outdoor loving, independent female hunter!! Its never been about how I look or what color I wear!! Its strictly about the hunt and what I am capable of!! Me myself I do love pink but I don’t have to wear it lol!! Awesome read!!! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2015 | Country Huntress

  4. There are times when I wish I could be called Huntress. In the outdoor world I have seen time and time again, when the woman of this world out do their male counter parts. Maybe its the name? I still remember the first time I heard the word Huntress. That day, I saw a change coming. A welcomed change, when I could look forward to hunting side by side with woman.

    • I’m glad that you welcomed the change of huntresses out in the hunting world! And I can’t complain with you saying you see women outdoing men!

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