February 18, 2009
By Kim Hiss
I recently read what I think is one of the most disappointing stories I've seen in The New York Times. And unfortunately, it was about women hunters. Titled, The Huntress Club: Duck Hunting Sorority in the Swamp and clearly written by a non-hunter, the story focused on six women who call themselves the Swamp Witches and return twice a year to hunt a private club in the Mississippi Delta. While the article touches briefly on trends among women waterfowlers, it mostly follows this group through an unsuccessful Monday hunt, during which they manage to take none of the ducks that pass (some within 40 yards), they smoke, pass around a flask, apparently wear purple bands on their hats and finally leave empty-handed.
While it's commendable that the group is out there and doing it themselves, and while it's hard not to feel bad about the questions they say they get from skeptics (like, "Do y'all have to have a license, like males do?"), I wish The Times -- which doesn't exactly run stories on women hunters every day -- could have found a different group of representatives for their spotlight. -K.H.