Women Hunters Frustrated After Sportsman Club Denies Membership


SHARPSBURG, Md. - In hunting some say it's all about hitting the target, but for these hunters, it's a target they've been trying to hit for years.

"Well it's a little frustrating first of all because they know that we're not going to give up to start with. That we're here, we're not going nowhere," said Sandy Delauter, a woman hunter.

On Tuesday evening, the Western Maryland Sportsman Club denied membership to six potential hunters, five of them were women. Any club member can participate in the silent vote but it only takes 15 nah's to be denied.

"You could have 85 yes's but if you get 15 blackballs, you're blackballed. You're not allowed in," said a representative from the Western Maryland Sportsman Club who preferred not to be named.

And since the club's existence, they've never allowed entrance to a female member.

"The only thing I can say is that the charter was made in the 40's and it says a men's club, that's the only other reason I know," said a representative from the Western Maryland Sportsman Club who preferred not to be named.

Currently, women can participate in club events, support club fundraisers and be guests but they can't hunt on the club's grounds

"I don't want to say it's hurtful, but in a way it is. We love that club and support that club just as much as those members and just as much if not more than some of the members. So we feel that we should have the same rights that they do," said Tanya Klosterman, woman hunter denied membership.

And for these women hunters gaining membership into that club isn't about the hunting, they say they're fighting for future generations.

"We're not doing it for us, we're doing it for the girls," said Delauter. "I got granddaughters one day I'd like to, my son's a member down there. One day I'd like for him to be able to take my granddaughter hunting and it can't happened until somebody opens the membership up for women."

And for these hunters, they're hopeful that one day things will change but until then they'll try again every year.

"Hunting is up and coming with women so they're going to have do something to change it," said Klosterman.

Currently, the Western Maryland Sportsman Club's membership bylaws haven't been changed since the 1940's, but a current member could purpose a vote to change the bylaws in the future.

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