Monday, December 5, 2011

Girls At Deer Camp? - Maine Mag Response

Sophie Nelson
The following is an e-mail response from Maine Magazine Writer Sophie Nelson who along with independent photographer Erin, joined the men at this year's deer camp. Her words below are in response to the three "Girls At Deer Camp?" postings, I published on the blog in late November. For links to these articles please see the end of this post. Lastly, thank you Sophie for the kind words, everyone had a great time having you and Erin attend our farting, burping, practical joking, gun shooting manfest we call Deer Camp!

WOW. Steve, thanks for directing us to the blog! I should have known some writings of the sort would make it up on!

You bring up all kinds of things I wasn't aware of. For one thing, I thought that the idea of hosting women at deer camp developed from your initial meeting with Kevin, Susan, and Tyler! Phew, I guess that came as a surprise! Of course, knowing you I know that what you wrote about women (being nagging, gas-free, intolerant and generally obnoxious) was meant as a joke, that you know that plenty of women drink too much beer, enjoy football, burp, etc. etc. just like plenty of men dislike sports, prefer wine, etc. etc.--thankfully we live in a day and age when most people have outgrown such simplistic thinking and don't equate one's value as a person with the degree to which they fulfill gender stereotypes! I wouldn't have felt so comfortable with you and your family and friends if they drew lines like that. And hopefully the mission to involve more women in what has traditionally been a male sport will help in the effort to rid the world of the hurtful behavior and speech that reifies that kind of gendered thinking. Thank you, again and again, for welcoming Erin and I at Deer Camp! You were all so kind and considerate and open-hearted, open-minded. How funny it is to read of fears re: tighty whities and gas! And what a delicious dinner, great music... I could go on and on... good thing there's a place for all I have to say in the forthcoming article! 

It's interesting to me, too, that you saw a "killer glint in my eye!" and I must say I read some of "Steve the jokester" in that assessment... It was probably more like fear and over-analyzing my every move to the point my brain might bust that you read in my wild eyes and hyper behavior. I definitely felt and thought a lot of things while moving toward the partridge with the gun in hand. I was worried about the safety, about whether or not we'd see the bird and if I had it in me to pull the trigger if we did. Honestly, I don't think I could have aimed to kill it. But I wonder about what it would have felt like if skill and bravery came over me all at once and I'd actually killed the partridge. It would have been a challenging thing to think/feel my way through. The experience was definitely awesome in the sense that it was both cerebral and physical, and very inspiring. I look forward to continue working on the story! I'll definitely run it by you when its closer to final form. I bet you'll find it interesting to read my take on the experience, just as I've enjoyed reading yours so much.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too! 

Talk soon,
For more on this series of postings see: Girls at Deer Camp? -  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3


  1. This was an excellent followup to a great series. Your blog is a joy to read...PRP

  2. PRpark, Thanks buddy! It is my sincere belief that my family and friends represented well the hunters in the state of Maine. I look forward to reading the MM article next November.

    Thanks for the kind words on my blog, it isn't always easy to think up something new to write about but it certainly is something I am passionate about. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I've really enjoyed the series too. We all talk a big game about increasing the recruitment of women hunters and it was interesting to read about what it actually takes to make that happen. Definitely applaud the efforts of all involved!

    Very interested to see the long term impact of this!!

  4. I am definitely looking forward to reading her story . You mention "next November"? That's a long time in the world of paper publishing these days!

  5. RM, I am attempting to get them to join me this spring on a turkey hunt! Might even be able to talk Sophie into pulling the trigger!

  6. PBM, Yes, same thing will all paper publications. Maine Sportsman has over an 8 month wait between when I write the query and finally get to see my name in lights! Process takes forever!

    Of course all this complaining is a real insight into the increasing power of online media. Will we see the death of paper print? Hmmmmmmmm . . .


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