I'll warn all of you that this post is about a personal irritation to say the least, so read on at your own risk. Let me apologize if I step on anyone's toes, then again maybe they need to be stepped on.
I am frustrated, angry and mad about the fact that there is not a single company manufacturing or offering, a quality Woman's Breathable Camo Chest High Wader. Yet there are well over a dozen different styles and price points for men to choose from in a breathable camo chest high wader.
As a woman hunter having spent over 35 years in the field chasing ducks, geese, pheasants, quail etc. I endure 1/2 as many gear choices as the men. Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, Macks Prairie Wing, Dunn's Sporting Goods, Drake Waterfowl and Gander Mt. are all guilty of ignoring women. In any of these catalogs there are but a few choices of women's boots, be it knee high rubber or leather field boots and many pages of men's boots. The same is true for clothing and waders.
I am tired and angry that when I ask "when is your company going to start offering Women's Breathable Camo Chest High Waders" the sales person either dismisses my question, asks if I want to be put on their mailing list or simply apologizes. None of those responses work for me in the slightest.
Seriously, if the sport of waterfowling is to continue to grow then it is time to meet the needs of women hunters and actually have a selection of materials and fabrics to choose from, not just one style. Women as consumers are a powerful group and once involved in a sport or activity their family often follows. Sons and daughters carry on our outdoor traditions in the shooting sports. There are even more choices of outdoor related garments and products for boys then there are women. Wouldn't it be nice for the women to be just as well outfitted and comfortable as even the little boys?
Let me tell you why I want Breathable Camo Chest High Waders. Hunting in early October and November temperatures are quite mild. Neoprene waders are heavy, don't breathe and after walking for 15 minutes in them in 40 degree temps or higher I am soaked. Were I were wearing a Breathable Camo Chest High Wader that dissipated my body's heat, I would remain dry and comfortable. Neoprene is old technology and about the most uncomfortable experience I have had as a hunter. How many of you men enjoy sitting in sweat soaked neoprene? Not my idea of a good time.
I have called Cabela's corporate headquarters over a half dozen times in the past two weeks and left messages with 2 different individuals and still have not had my call returned. For a company that is the size of Cabela's who boasts excellent customer service, I am a bit mystified with their lack of response.
Furthermore being a Cabela's Club Card member and loyal customer for more years than I care to admit, it is even that much more baffling to me. Also some of us women like plain, solid color chamois shirts because we actually hunt in them. A chamois shirt with a colorful pattern or horse print just doesn't work for us all.
Are manufacturers ready to listen to what women hunters really want and need? Please start treating us as equals. As for the camo lingerie, well I personally don't know any woman hunter who wears it, nor do I think it was a woman's brainchild.
I'm sure I am not the only woman who turns the pages in these catalogs and feels a bit of disgust at some items and then disappointed at the lack of choices in other areas. I personally have spoken with dozens of women hunters over the years who share my sentiments.
I will give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that since I started waterfowl hunting in the late 60's there has been much progress. Technology has evolved and improved our comforts immensely, although we are still lacking equality in products produced for women.
When I first took to the field with my dad I remember layering up in over sized men's gear and could hardly flex my joints. Shooting was that much more of a challenge. Early season was fine but as winter came on, so did the extra layers. I loved being afield with my dad, each time was special and I cherished those days. He made sure I was warm so as to ensure I'd have a positive experience and it paid off in more ways than I can put into words.
Yes we have wonderful lightweight insulating fabrics such as capilene & thinsulate that also wick moisture away from our skin. Also naturals such as wool that don't scratch or itch like that of generations past. I see more offerings of hunting boots for women both in the knee high rubber boots as well as leather and synthetic field boots. Nonetheless there are also areas where our needs as women hunters are not being addressed by the manufactures within the industry.
I am asking all women hunters to help me get our voices heard. Please leave a comment and let me know what you are trying to find and tell your friends to drop by and do the same. I will then create a dedicated page here at Women's Hunting Journal and with your permission, I will add your name to the page. I will create links to this original post and keep the page updated. I am hoping to initiate a change for the better and have more options available for us and those women who follow in our footsteps. If you have some ideas please email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome any and all input. Together we can be heard, join me and let's make it happen!
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt