of killing something, but rather a love of just being out there, with nature and wildlife.
“You can pull a bow back and shoot an arrow, but it’s not just that. Its awesome when they come walking in,” explained Patti. “You could have a deer eating right next to you and they don’t know you’re there. I’ve watched a doe cleaning her fawn from 20 yards away. I just watched them. I love being out there. They get so close to you. “
Patti, who shoots an Elite Spirit Bow with a pullback draw of 52lbs, stressed her motto of “Respect your Target”, meaning that a hunter should always know the consequences of every shot. Whether its an animal or a man made target, you have to be consistent and know what you’re doing. If you’re harvesting a deer, you have to respect that deer you’re shooting. It is sustaining you and your family.”
Like most women, it didn’t take Patti long to find that the hunting industry left a lot to be desired when it came to clothing and cold weather gear. Size and body shape differences between men and women usually mean that, in a sport traditionally male, it is very difficult for a female to find clothes that fit her body correctly. And, if clothes don’t fit, they’re uncomfortable and typically don’t keep you warm or serve their specific function. Babes with Bows, a clothing company for female archers, was started in 2014 by clothing designer Michelle Crevlon of Madera, CA. Patti was lucky enough to stumble across the company’s website one day.
“I was wearing Guy’s clothes and it just didn’t work. It was nice to come across a company that makes clothing for women,” said Patti.
Patti answered a facebook offer for women to be on the Babes with Bows Pro Staff team. She had to apply for the position, describing her hunting skills and specialty, the type of bow she used, and the passion she had for the sport. She was chosen in March for the team of women from all corners of the country and is now able to incorporate the company into her passion for the sport and its future.
As a Pro Staff member, Patti wears the Babes with Bows clothing line and gear at all hunting and target events and competitions. She maintains a public figure facebook page at Patti Simms Babes with Bows, where she posts articles, event results and information, and writes about her experiences as an archer and as a wife and mother. She is required to remain active in hunting, target shooting and educating young people about the sport.
For Patti, staying active is not a problem, especially now that she has the opportunity to promote her love of archery and the outdoors, especially to other women and young girls. She has gone on hunting trips to Wyoming and New York, and is currently planning one to Ohio.
“My husband thinks I’m crazy because I’m so into it,” joked Patti.
“Women are not a minority anymore in hunting, even though we very much were just 15 years ago,” she continued. “I have met female archers of all states now because of Babes with Bows. Women have many different backgrounds in archery. “
For example, its not just Whitetail Deer that are hunted with bows. One Pro Staff member’s niche is hog hunting. Another Pro Staff member in Virginia has inspired Patti to do more 3D target competitions.
“I never really tried target shooting and through this I realized there was competition out there and people take it seriously. “
Patti is very encouraged by the growing number of youth, especially girls in the sport, who are learning to compete through an avenue they love. And now they don’t have to do it in boy’s clothing. For her part, Patti just loves the experience.
“I’m not competing against anybody but myself. I practice to be the best I can be and be better than I was the time before. It’s really cool when you’re in competition with your own self, she said.
The Babes with Bows line is made for women’s figures of all sizes, from small to XXXL, and is expanding locally. Patti also noted there is new merchandise coming to the site, which already boasts a full line of wear from t-shirts and hats to fleece facemasks and camouflaged gear. One can browse the products at bwbarchery.com
This time of year, the Simms family is checking trail cams, putting up tree stands, and getting things ready for the upcoming season.
“October 1 is the first day of archery,” said Patti, as we sat on her back deck in the late September sunshine. “And I can’t wait.”