June 13th, 2011

From the Ladies Room…Networking-It’s a Chick Thing…

By: Kirstie Pike, CEO Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women

It’s a chick thing.

Honestly, it is. I have been asked many times about what opportunities there are out there to network with other women who love to hunt and/or shoot. As I prattle off a well-rehearsed list of great networking options, I am met with one of two reactions. 1) Women who take notes or 2) Men who look confused. For a time, I couldn’t quite figure out the reactions. Marsha (my often talked about alter ego) takes the stance of paranoia and convinces me that perhaps I am speaking in tongues and that men couldn’t quite make sense of my word salad. Yet, how did women understand my apparently strange and unusual dialect? I know, I know…women have been known to completely communicate with each other through seemingly telepathic channels. Whereas men have apparently lost use of those channels through evolution…something like an appendix- still there, not functioning but can indeed kill you.

My curiosity was peaked. Why is the idea of building a women’s network (which I have long referred to as the ‘sisterhood’) so important to women? OK…so beyond the typical social patterns of women, which interestingly encourage us to all require the ladies room at one time, what draws us to the ‘sisterhood’? Sure, we are herd animals. I am certain that the hardcore feminists out there will find some level of outrage to this, but I believe it to be true. The majority of women simply find comfort in groups. We are like moths to flame when we find other women who share similar lifestyles, interests and stories. Holy cow, I cannot tell you how fun it is to find another woman who finds joy in commencing target practice with stale Peeps, can swear like a truck driver if prompted and thinks the movie Step Brothers is cinematic genius. If I didn’t already have a sister, (Which I do…and I must confess…we have been kicked out of Walmart before) I would be compelled to call my mom to see if we could adopt her. Women just enjoy being part of the proverbial herd…or gaggle. You choose.

It wasn’t until a recent trade show, however, that I truly realized how important this is to women who love to hunt or shoot. I was approached by a woman who introduced herself and we immediately began to talk about hunting. She mentioned that she was recently divorced and no longer had any friends or family with whom she could go hunting. She was looking to find sources of networking and hunting opportunities. Gasp. That was it! The sisterhood! It isn’t just a matter of simply finding other like-minded women, it is a matter of actually connecting with other like-minded women. Eureka. Call it an epiphany…call it the obvious staring me right in the face. Either way- I get it!

That said, there are many amazing resources and groups out there for women who love to hunt or shoot! Here are our favorites!

The Women’s Outdoor News- www.womensoutdoornews.com
Facebook- there are many groups to join that are hunting/shooting related
Twitter- Again, this is a great way to connect with companies and organizations
NRA- Women on Target Hunts http://www.nrahq.org/women/hunting/
NRA- Women’s Wilderness Escape http://www.nrahq.org/women/wilderness_escape.asp
Outdoor Connection- a great source for female friendly outfitters http://www.outdoor-connection.com/home.php

Check for women’s groups with your favorite conservation organizations- Mule DeerFoundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation and Safari Club all have great opportunities for women!

Becoming an Outdoor Woman- check for listings in your state!

Also, check with your local Cabelas and Sportsman’s Warehouse to find out about their Ladies Nights Out Events!

7 Responses to From the Ladies Room…Networking-It’s a Chick Thing…

  1. Kirstie, Glad you are rallying the ladies to support hunting and fishing. As you may recall, I am 75 yrs. old and still hunt with a crossbow, my deadly steel spear and I even took a boar with a muzzleloader (Too much noise & smoke for me!) When I started hunting with my now X-husband, I oftentimes was the only woman at the dove shoot or other hunt event. Also, my mother hunted with my dad…back when females really did not do much hunting. Glad times have changed and women are getting out in the woods.

  2. Kristie,
    I have only been around for a few months, but I have connected with and formed a few really focused, excited and interesting women with a rare (I thought) common ground.

    The Sisterhood. Nice. The only thing is, we can’t let it turn into something that is only a nice thought. To encourage and share our world with others is another incredibly necessary, important task to continue to find, and help reveal more “Sisters”.

  3. kirstie pike says:

    Agreed! I have personally met SO many great ladies through the sisterhood!

    Oh…and Hilary…I can neither confirm nor deny that one could get kicked out of Walmart for putting electronic christmas decorations in moderately obscene positions…just sayin…

  4. OUTSTANDING Post! I can’t tell you the number of times when I have rattled off that same list to women, they get all wide eyed and excited. It makes me almost sad to think they have been plundering about looking for the “sisterhood” so long!

  5. Hil says:

    Just exactly HOW outrageous do you have to be to get kicked out of a Wal-Mart? Dang, girl.

  6. Teri says:

    Kirstie,
    Once again you hit the bullseye! How wonderful it is to connect with other women who not only understand and appreciate your own love for hunting and the outdoors who actually get excited about the same topics and can carry on A conversation & encourage instead of “oh you killed bambi” or “oh poor yogi”… REALLY… QUIT visiting the movies and get outdoors!!! :-) THANKS for being you!!!!!!

  7. Margie Nelson says:

    I think that is how I met you…..

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