Vendors Cater To Women Who Carry

By Dan Voorhis
The Wichita Eagle.

What’s a girl to do? You want to carry, and you want to look good.

Well, how about a stylish purse with a hidden pouch that allows you to carry your concealed weapon and draw it quickly in that moment of need.

There were two booths selling those at the Midwest Huntfest on Saturday at Century II.

The professionally made concealed-carry purses tended to be a little larger and have studs and large decorations such as a cross, or crossed six-shooters.

“Ladies like their bling,” said Rhonda Eichman of Liberal, owner of Ronda’s Concealed Carry Gun Purses.

The other booth was Harrison Street Pawn & Guns in Olathe.

Eichman, of Liberal, said her recent sales have been decent, 12 to 24 purses per show.

She got in the business about two years ago. The market was so hot at that time that she sold out all of her initial inventory in her first two shows. That interest now seems to be easing off a bit, she said.

The purses provide women with a sense of security, she said.

“And if you need to, you can even fire through the end of the bag,” she said, noting that the metal-looking studs are, in fact, composite and won’t deflect a bullet.

Huntfest, which goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, has a little bit of everything for the outdoorsman or -woman, including lots and lots of guns, wild game seasonings, trailers and concealed-carry T-shirts.

Steve and Laura Wirth are promoting their 5,000-acre Spearpoint Ranch in Barnard. Between October and March, they offer fully-guided pheasant hunts, which involves lodging, meals, guides, dogs, transportation to the field and bird cleaning afterward. And between March and September they host off-season long-distance match target competition.

Laura Wirth discovered another side business: jewelry and decorative items made with pheasant features, which were on display at the show.

One of the noisiest booths was Kwakman Calls, of Petaluma, Calif., which makes duck and goose calls.

Several customers were trying out the product, loudly blowing duck calls, listening for subtle variations in the different models, from the Cajun Shrimp model to the Holy Toledo.

They had already booked more than 50 orders by midafternoon.

“This is a big waterfowl area, and it’s growing,” said the company’s Tyler Jackson.

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