With September and October upon us here in Alaska, hunters are starting to reap the benefits. In many places hunting is considered a predominately male activity, but in Alaskan culture it is common for women to hunt as well. These women hunters stalk North America’s largest game animals to provide for their friends and families. We believe Alaska’s women hunters who have grown up hunting and passing on traditions to their families are some of the best hunters in the world.
This blog is dedicated to the Alaska woman hunter – whether you are hunting sheep and wolverines on the North Slope, or after ducks and deer in Southeast, we’ve put together these resources to help you on your hunt.
An Alaskan Word for Hunter
The word for hunter in Alutiq is Pisurta. In Alutiq culture, as in many Alaskan communities, both boys and girls learn hunting skills when they accompany and assist adult hunters on the hunt. In this tradition, everyone in the family gets involved in the hunting and harvest of game. A key aspect of being a Pisurta is hunting with respect for the animals being hunted. This respect is embodied in the hunt and the harvest, and the deep appreciation for the food and clothing that animals provide.
Women Hunters in History
Women hunters are common in history, especially women archers. What is true of history is also true today, as a growing list of women hunters are rising to prominence.
While the accomplishments of famous women hunters are considerable, Alaska’s women hunters have taken hunting to an entirely different level. Consider for instance, Ada Blackjack, who must be considered one of the toughest and best women hunters of all time. Ada Blackjack’s hunting skills helped her survive for two years on an isolated island in the high arctic
Planning Your Hunt
Every good hunter knows that a successful hunt requires the right gear and thoughtful planning. A great starting point for your next hunt comes courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Hunting Tips and Hacks
Reading up on hunting tips and hacks is a great way to expand on your hunting knowledge base, regardless of your degree of skill. Here are six ingenious ways to use zip ties. And here are some great hunting hacks that employ common household items you might find in your gear or hunting camp. And should you find yourself on an unknown trail, you’ll be glad you have these navigation and survival hacks in your back pocket.
Classes and Education
Whether you are an experienced huntress or new to the game, there are many resources to turn to for learning new skills or honing the ones you already have. Women hunters have many resources to turn to when learning new skills. Take for instance this women’s outdoor hunting education program. Scholarships for the program are also available. The State of Alaska also offers online hunter safety courses.
Where We Come In – Getting Screened
Here at the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Partnership we believe there is a connection between hunting and getting screened. It takes courage to hunt. It takes strength to hunt well. These same qualities that guide women hunters, are the same ones that can be used to better your health. We think of getting screened as a hunt, and the person who is getting screened as a hunter. So, whether you are setting a date for a mammogram or getting packed for hunting camp, we salute you and wish you luck on your hunt.