Women Hunters on the Rise

Women in the hunting world are on the rise. They are discovering that hunting isn’t just a man’s game. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of women hunting with firearms jumped 50%, from 2 million to 3 million, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. Bow hunting women climbed from 500,000 to 800,000, and female target shooters increased from 4.3 million to 4.7 million. Women attending hunter education courses and the sale of various permits and licenses for the purpose of taking game have increased. This year alone, the number of women with hunting licenses jumped 22 percent there when compared to 2007-08. An estimated $3.4 billion is spent annually on the sales of firearms, ammunition and hunting accessories with women accounting for about $500 million of that total.

Once thought of as strictly a male dominated sport, the doors to the world of hunting have been flying open by more women in the last few years. While there are certain regions of our country seeing the largest surge in women who are turning to hunting as a sport, I think it’s safe to say that most of the country is seeing at least some upswing. As the stigmas that hunting is only for men or that it is a backwoods hobby go down the tube, more and more women are picking up shotguns and bows in the pursuit of game.

Gun and archery makers are starting to take note of the trend and are developing gear that will appeal to women by using more feminine colors and materials. Clothing companies, who in the past catered almost exclusively to men, are adding more options and patterns to their women’s lines, or branching out and adding a women’s line for the first time. Flattering and sturdy winter coats, hunting apparel made to fit a feminine frame, and entire outdoor sports apparel catalogs dedicated to women, are beginning to spring up.

Outdoor skills programs and workshops geared towards females are becoming more popular. Women are deciding that not only are they capable of cooking the meat, but they are competent enough to bring it to the table as well. The ability to cook the game is something women are striving to include in their outdoor experience. Workshops are appearing all over the country that offer everything from instruction on firearms safety, how to clean and cook a game bird, to the basics of bow hunting. From teenagers to grandmothers, the growing appeal of learning to draw a bow or fire a rifle spans the ages.

Regardless of what stage of life they are in, women are realizing that there is a peace that can only be found by spending time in the woods and fields while hunting. No matter if they come home empty-handed or with enough meat to fill the freezer, the experience of being close to nature and understanding the balance between humans and animals is something that more members of the fairer sex are adding to their lives. Whether they caught the hunting bug from a father or a husband who is an avid outdoorsman or they experience a wild game dish at their favorite restaurant, the urge to experience the entire life circle from hunt to table has hit many women today.

I cannot express how excited all of these statistics make me. Women are certainly capable of bagging, cleaning, and cooking wild game. I caught the hunting bug from my dad, who came from a long line of hunters. I am so fortunate that he took the time to pass the skill on to me.

Are there any women hunters in your family?

Sep 05, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 1


One comment on “Women Hunters on the Rise

  1. Scott

    I’m doing my part with my kiddos. One 13 yo girl, and an 11 yo boy. My daughter got her first deer (doe) last year with a .243. She got into archery through Girl Scouts, and ended up getting me, her brother, and her grandmother into it as well. We are all hoping to get our first bow kill this season. Last weekend my daughter got a new 20 gauge, and we all went out for opening day of Dove season — everybody got something. This weekend, it’s archery range, and skeet! Now time to work on getting mom out with us.

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