It’s no secret that female hunters are the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting arena, despite a drop in the overall number of hunters. Women are taking to the field and the backcountry in record number from state-to-state. According to NRA Family, the number of female hunters increased from 1.8 million in 2001 to 3.3 million in 2013. And that number continues to grow! The reasons why some women hunt vary, but here a few insights…
Being a Provider
Women have begun to identify with the provider persona. There is something very empowering for women when they begin to provide for their families. Whether their quarry is birds, fish or big game, there is a huge sense of pride and satisfaction for women when they fill their freezer or serve game for meals. It is not uncommon to see social media platforms flooded with images of packaged meat, meals, recipes and field preparation of game during the hunting seasons by female hunters. Historically, women have long been considered gatherers, while males were considered hunters. Women are changing that perception in record numbers.
Connecting with the Outdoors
Women have really begun to identify with the outdoors. Hunting is not just a matter of taking an animal. The harvest is actually the proverbial icing on the cake. Most female hunters will note that their love of hunting is based on spending solitary time outside. Scouting and connecting. Taking in all of the sights, sounds, and smells. Learning animals and their patterning. Watching all wildlife. Listening to the world wake up and go back to bed. The overall experience is revitalizing to women who are knee-deep in managing jobs, family, and households.
Having Trophy Pride
While hunting isn’t all about the trophy, let’s face it… when you get a good one, you definitely want to share it. Women take great pride in their trophies, no matter the size or score. And interestingly, women tend to raise up and cheer their sisters for their accomplishments. Women have an astute sense that a trophy is in the eye of the beholder. While often on social media, you can witness hunters shaming other hunters for smaller quarry, women don’t do this. And, should one of the ladies get a true trophy-class animal, the praise is genuine and heartfelt from her sisters. And let’s also face it… it is always fun when guests enter the home, see the animals and ask the husband about them. There is so much fun to be gained when they find out the trophies are yours.
Mastering Your Firearm
While most of us begin our hunting careers with a specific firearm of choice, women tend to really enjoy learning the nuances of new guns. One may start with a rifle, then move to black powder or archery. Women relish observing, learning, and mastering. There is a great sense of pride when a woman gets her first harvest with a new system. The entire process is both cerebral and emotional.
Passing-On the Heritage
With more and more broken homes in our society, many women have taken on hunting in efforts to teach their children and pass-on their heritage. Some families may not have a father/male figure to help teach the next generation. And this is where many women have rolled up their sleeves and assumed the role. There is literally nothing more satisfying than seeing your child on his/her first successful hunt. Not only are the ethics and codes of hunting being taught, but there is also time spent in the outdoors without the stimulation of civilization around.
Living the Sisterhood
More and more, women are getting involved with hunting in efforts to jump into the female hunting sisterhood. Female hunters are supportive, understanding and share the life roles of wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, income earner and housekeeper. They are drawn to women who share their interests and can learn and grow in a supportive environment.
Sharing the Time
Over time, I have seen one very common theme…men love to get their ladies interested in hunting so they can spend that time together. It becomes a couples sport and is so healthy for the relationship. It is heartwarming to watch the overwhelming pride men have when their ladies go hunting, go scouting, go shooting, and harvest animals. I personally love when the social media feeds flood with photos of couples celebrating each other’s success and adventure.