Hey girls, bear hunting is a he-man activity

October 27, 2005|by TIM ROWLAND


Horrible, horrible news on the battle-of-the-sexes front. Horrible if you're a guy, that is. Maryland's second annual bear hunt commenced this week, and the first person to bag a Yogi was not some great and grizzled warrior of the woods.

It was not a Daniel Boone, a Roosevelt Rough Rider or an "Old Mountain" Phelps. No, the first person to kill themselves a b'ar was an 8-year-old kid.

An 8-year-old she kid.

Somewhere, Davy Crockett is spinning in his coonskin cap.

Sierra Stiles, a third-grader from Western Maryland, shouldered a .243 rifle and killed a 211-pound male bear, the first of 13 to be taken on the initial day of the hunt.


How did this happen? What, a teddy bear not good enough for her? There's a photo of Sierra, a cute blonde, sitting on the bed of a pickup, the burly beast sprawled out behind her.

First of all, if I'm this bear's family, I'm rounding up every last one of these photos I can find and burning them. Talk about an indignity. There's the man of the house, the mighty and fearsome grubwinner, flat on his back with his eyes X-ed out, and a grinning, apple-cheeked third-grader resting her elbow on his neck.

This has to be the Homer Simpson of bears. "Oh look, it's a nice little girlie sitting in the middle of the for ... d'oh!"

The bear is partially at fault here...

Second, I would have liked to have had a word with this animal prior to Goldilocks' revenge. I mean, come on, guy! You can't go out and let yourself get undressed by a giggling, Pixie Stix-eating, dollhouse tender. At least make an effort. She's the beauty, you're the beast: Would it have killed you to rise up on your hind legs and disgorged a mighty, terrorizing roar? Come to think of it, it might have. Well, at least feel free to duck.

And third, I have a word for all you big, husky, full-grown male hunters. Two words, actually:

For shame.

For shame, for shame, for shame. Do you realize how few areas of male domination we have left? There's that Japanese dude who can eat more hot dogs than anyone else - except, ironically enough, for a bear, thank you very much Fox television for that indispensable bit of information. And I think we still put in a pretty good show every year in the remote control Olympics, but outside of that, women are passing us in every area with alarming speed.

I would have thought hunting was relatively sacred ground, if nothing else than for the fact that a sizeable percentage of women think it's disgusting. You know how it is, guy goes out big game hunting and comes home and sticks the heads in the freezer while he's on the taxidermist's waiting list. Then every time she goes hunting up a pound of ground chuck she's got an elk staring her in the chops. They don't like that, for some reason.

Times, they are a changin'

But even this is changing. In fact, two of the first three bears taken in Monday's hunt were killed by women, and another bear was killed by a 9-year-old girl from Garrett County.

Looks as if the women have a better farm team, probably because all the boys are home playing video war games. "Anywhere you go for hunting these days, you see a lot more women," Tera Roach, a 23-year-old receptionist from Reisterstown, Md., who shot a 147-pound bear in Garrett County, told The (Baltimore) Sun.

Thanks a lot, chickie poos. Couldn't let us have just this one last bastion of male retreat, could you? First VMI, then poker, now bear hunting. Whatever happened to the good old days when the only thing you did with powder was put it on your nose?

And for the most part, we men have gone without a fight. Oh sure, there were a few bumper stickers that said, "Virginia Military Institute will start accepting women when the University of Virginia starts accepting men," but that was about it.

It's unfair, because with the advent of hunter safety tests, they can even trump us with intellect. Young Sierra scored a 98 on her safety test. This explains why there weren't more boys in the hunt.

Test: "If you see movement in the forest, shoot before you know what it is so it doesn't get away."

Boy: "What do you mean, 'false'?"

When I was a kid, I remember a classmate on the first day of deer season who hit upon the brilliant idea of draping a deer hide over his shoulders and tying antlers to his head so the deer would think he was one of them. Now they make you wear so much orange, the woods look as if they are full of construction zone flagmen.

When a man's native genius is stunted so, is it any wonder we're falling further and further behind?

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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