While I never laid eyes on a gobbler this weekend or even heard one for that matter, I did witness a hen party. For over an hour and a half, two hens fed in front of me, clucking softly. Perhaps they were exchanging tips on the best places to nest or gossiping about some Romeo gobbler off chasing strumpets. I don’t know. When I tried to join the conversation, though, they ran their heads up and stared at me. Guess they had no interest in discussing the shortcomings of retail offerings for female hunters.
You, however, had some things to say on the matter. Last week, I shared what I considered to be an idyllic retail experience for women who were shopping for hunting clothes and gear. I am not alone in thinking we’re a demographic that deserves to be taken seriously. Several of you sent emails or posted comments and I’m sharing some of the responses.
All ye retailers, listen up.
Cat had this to say:
Wouldn’t it be nice to see several brands of clothing, camo patterns, etc., in a store front? I think many stores don’t carry product because it doesn’t sell (mostly because it isn’t displayed or advertised!) — a vicious cycle. Of course, there are never sales on women’s hunting attire either. They carry so little stock, there’s nothing left over ‘after season’! Everyone knows how much we like a sale.
Honestly, I’m tired of shopping in sporting goods only to have the clerk ask me “who” I’m buying a gift for.
A reader from Louisiana added to what a model store would offer:
This is a subject that comes up every year while I and my best buds have “Girls Week” at my lease. Every year during turkey season, we spend a week without husbands, dogs, kids/grandkids just hunting turkeys and having the times of our lives. This subject comes up every year and every year we improve our fantasy. Our store would include hunting clothes for plus size “girls,” a little café where women shoppers could get together and tell the stories of their hunts; we will call it “the bragging place.” We, too, would have a section for boots in women’s sizes only and also a section for just trying and sitting on a huge selection of hunting stools or chairs. And the sales associates would have to take a precise training course and be tested on the products we offer.
Cara had a recent retail experience that left her wanting more:
I either had that same dream/experience a few weeks ago when I was shopping for some hunting apparel for an upcoming Montana turkey hunt. I first encountered the condescending clerk, and next was the one who did not have a clue. The only high point was I found a great pair of Danner hunting boots (women’s boots) that were on clearance for 75% off. When I asked why they were on clearance, I was told they will no longer carry these women’s boot because they claim there is not a female market. Go figure. However, I scored on a great pair of boots, which made me feel a little better.
Beth’s quest for brush pants hit a snag:
I live in Alabama and when upland bird season came around a couple of years ago, I went to our newly opened Bass Pro Shop. I was sorely disappointed. There was one rack with maybe 6 pairs of brush pants for women on it. I was pointed to the men’s section to find a new pair of brush pants. I’m not built like a man. I complained to the clerk and then to the general manager and got nowhere.
Karen is concerned about high prices:
Years ago I at least had the option of ordering reasonably priced women’s hunting clothes from Cabela’s, but that no longer seems to be the case. I have found She Safari and Foxy Huntress clothiers that offer a variety of women’s hunting clothes with an extremely high price tag. If you are anything like me, I would rather go on another hunt or pay one more trophy fee than pay outrageous prices for the clothes.
Shauna refuses to hunt in camo lingerie:
I’m so tired of wearing little boys hunting clothes, it’s ridiculous…The thing that gets me, even when you search online for women’s hunting clothing, the vast majority of results are for things like camo nighties and thongs!
The world is changing. Marketers everywhere predict those who continue to cling to old ways are doomed to fail. Clearly women are an underserved market. Isn’t it time to do something about that?