By Jason Reid
Reporting from the 2016 Safari Club International Convention.
Las Vegas, NV -(Ammoland.com)- Babes with Bullets fosters education on a grass roots level but the influence has national impact.
For the record, I absolutely love and wholeheartedly support the incredible influx of female hunters and shooters our culture is experiencing. It is already evident women are not just having incredible influence but are extremely instrumental in combating the ant-hunting movement. Even from what I learned last year while sitting in during the Hunters Defense Luncheon, women influence children and families, and that is one of the leading reasons it drives the anti-hunters insane.
Look, I really want to see hunting and shooting live long and healthy past my lifetime and I have a growing suspicion the leaders making that happen will largely be women. With this in mind I sat in to listen to Deb Ferns talk about encouraging women to pull the trigger. An hour long seminar on how Deb and others have built an organization, Babes with Bullets.
From the ground up Babes with Bullets has been based around teaching women how to shoot. There are varying reasons for women signing up for Deb’s Babes for Bullets camps. Some of these women have never shot a gun in their lives or were simply following the lead of their husbands or boyfriends. Others want to learn to shoot in order to begin hunting as they look to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat true organic meat. Others join to learn for self defense.
Ferns told me the number of urban and suburban shooters she has come through her camps far outweigh the number of women from rural areas. Since 2004, over 5,000 women have been trained by Babes with Bullets camps and Ferns noted how much more confident the women were when they left than when they arrived.
Anti-shooters and anti-hunters can say what they want, there is an intrinsic confidence gained through hunting and shooting because as Ferns puts it, you learn to control the gun and not the other way around.
It was really interesting to listen to Ferns speak since she has a boots on the ground perspective and is seeing the changing landscape first hand. Take for instance the first hunt, post Bear attack, of camille Bomboy. The young lady from Pennsylvania who was mauled by a bear.
PETA representatives were the first to approach the young lady while she was still in her hospital room about giving up hunting. [PETA types love to dance in the blood of victims.]
Ferns took Bomboy bear hunting was was able to help capture the hunt and show her confidence and resilience return.
So I asked Ferns, What is the best way for men to continue to help this growing trend, if any at all? If we just need to shut our mouths then so be it. The conversation really boiled down to basic communication. So fellas listen up, here is what I learned today. Ask your wife or girlfriend what gear makes them feel most comfortable. Be open to conversation and ask questions. Don’t take over the hunt but communicate clearly each aspect of the hunt. And as Ferns said, “Don’t make us second class in the field.” Powerful words in my opinion.
To protect our hunting and shooting sport culture this will be a highly woven joint effort. But there is no denying the power and influence women have is and will continue to play a significant role in not just protecting what we love, but expanding our passions to people who may have never considered picking up a gun or heading to the mountains in search of adventure.
For more information on Babes With Bullets visit www.babeswithbullets.com/about
About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits.
Jason’s work can be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com.