Women hunters on the rise, participation up 3.5% in past 5 years

Between 2003 and 2008, women who hunted with firearms increased 3.5 percent to 2.9 million, according to new data from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Women who participated in bowhunting rose 1.5 percent to 600,000 during that time.

And according to the Shreveport Times, Louisiana can attest to the recent rise in female participation. This year alone, the number of women with hunting licenses jumped 12 percent there when compared to 2007-08.

From the story:

Whether it's shotguns, rifles or bows and arrows and whether they're looking for deer, turkey or ducks, Louisiana women, especially in north Louisiana are hunting, with this week being one of the most popular of the season.

Finck, 51, didn't begin hunting until several years ago when the couple's only daughter left for school and left her with an empty nest.
"My husband was always hunting and I wanted to spend more time with him," said Finck, a registered nurse at Willis Knighton-Bossier. "I've grown to really love it. What sealed me was hunting with him in Montana when he killed a state record white tail."

Now, Finck is one of 13,548 Louisiana women with hunting licenses. That's an increase of more than 12 percent over the 2007-08 number of 12,037.

"It doesn't surprise me that the number of female hunters is increasing because of a number of factors," said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Steve Hebert. "There are a lot more opportunities for them out there where they can feel comfortable hunting and fishing."

According to the story, 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.

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