More Than 1 Million Adult Women Hunt in U.S.

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Oct 1, 2007
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More Than 1 Million Adult Women Hunt in U.S.

When Evelyn David got her job at the Michigan Townships Association about 20 years ago, she said she told her boss that opening day of deer hunting season was like a national holiday to her.

The 66-year-old started hunting about 40 years ago, and it's always been a family affair.

About 10 of her family members - including children and grandchildren - planned to stay at her Sebewa Township farm house, near Portland, Saturday night. And today, they'll spread out on David's 140-acre property for the first day of Michigan's 2009 regular firearm season.

Springport Township 15-year-old Cassandra Bell doesn't have David's decades of experience, but she's done more hunting than one might expect from a teenager. She's hunted since age 12, but she began accompanying family members on hunting expeditions when she was about 5 years old.

"My family did it, and I just wanted to be able to say, 'I got my own deer,' " she said. "I'm the tomboy of the family."

David and Cassandra are among a growing percentage of female hunters in the United States, according to a 2006 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey.

Women make up about 9.26 percent of the total hunting population of 12.5 million people age 16 and older, and that number is growing slowly as female hunters have become more of an accepted part of modern culture.

No Longer Rare

Peggy Farrell, director of Stevens Point, Wis.-based Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, said she's noticed more women getting involved in hunting and more companies manufacturing hunting gear and clothing specifically for women.

"It's not such an anomaly anymore to see women participating," she said. "The fact that there are more images in the media of women hunters - that sends out a message to the public that says, 'Well, of course women can and should be able to do these things.' "

Farrell - whose nonprofit offers outdoor skills workshops and educational programs for women in 40 states, Canada and New Zealand - said most women hunt because they like the challenge, enjoy nature and gain satisfaction from getting their own food.

Source: Lansing State Journal


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Jan 18, 2009
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SCI N.E. Wisconsin Chapter - WisNRA
...Women are the group that we have to target for recruiting new hunters. I have 3 daughters , the youngest one hunts religiously, the oldest occassionaly & the middle one couldn't hardly kill a fly. But all 3 love to eat wild game & constantly raid my freezer if they have none! The middle ones husband finally took a hunters education course & is trying his first deer hunt this year - so far with no luck!
... In the past few years I have taught 2 different women how to shoot guns & they currently are always pestering me to take them shooting! I know it is just a matter of time until they both start hunting.
... The whole key is to start them out with small caliber guns & don't scare them or beat up their shoulders. After a decent group off the bench or a couple knocked over silhouettes or beer cans - it's amazing how competitive they become & the more they enjoy it! My friend Mindy claims my 22 & 22/250 as her guns. They don't beat her up and she shoots them well. She even likes my 30/06 but she gets a sore shoulder on occassion so it's one she shoots when more clothing is needed.
... I had gotten to the point from years & years of competitive shooting where I damn near hated going to the range. Now that I have some ladies that are enjoying shooting , I have gotten much more out of it as I get to watch the results of my teaching. And oh daughter # 3 with her skills of shooting a hand gun can raise hell with my ego as she has become mighty fine in the silhouette game & likes to shoot some friendly- or not so friendly competition.
... In my mind women are the future of hunting & shooting! Take the time to teach them slow & correct & you may have a new shooting partner that just may rekindle your own passion for shooting!!

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