Once thought of as strictly a male dominated sport, the doors to the world of hunting have been cracked open by more women in the last few years. While regions with a strong outdoor sports tradition are seeing the largest surge in women who are turning to hunting as a sport, most of the country is seeing some upswing. Women attending hunter education courses and the sale of various permits and licenses for the purpose of taking game have also increased. It doesn’t take a male gene to be a good shot, and more women are finding out how much fun and excitement they can get out of the sport of hunting. As the stigmas that hunting is only for men and that it is a backwards hobby best left to so-called rednecks and hillbillies fall by the wayside, more and more women are picking up shotguns and bows in the pursuit of game.
Outdoor skills programs and workshops geared towards females are becoming more popular as women decide that not only should they be capable of cooking the meat, but bringing it to the table as well. Gun makers are starting to take note of the trend and 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 and their outdoor pursuits, are adding more options to their women’s lines. 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.
The current trend of wild game options on restaurant menus is piquing the interest of many women who want to learn how to handle a gun or bow as well as being able to prepare tasty meals from what they harvest. The ability to cook the game, using either their modern kitchen appliances or over an open fire, is something many are striving to include in their outdoor experience. Workshops are springing up all over the country that offer everything from instruction on firearms safety, how to clean and then cook a game bird in a Dutch oven to the basics of bow hunting. From teenagers to grandmothers, who have baked more apple pies than venison steaks, 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 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 catch the hunting bug from a father or a husband who is an avid outdoorsman, or they experience an “exotic” wild game dish at their favorite restaurant or wild game feed, the urge to experience the entire life circle from hunt to table has hit many women today.