Women Outpace Men as New Hunters

Women are the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting world

More women than men took up hunting last year, according to new data from the National Sporting Goods Association. While total hunters in the USA decreased slightly (.05 percent) between 2008 and 2009, the number of female hunters increased by 5.4 percent, netting 163,000 new participants. Growth areas for women included muzzleloading (up 134.6 percent), bowhunting (up 30.7 percent), and hunting with firearms (up 3.5 percent).

Data also show women outpaced men among net newcomers to target shooting with a rifle, where female participation grew by 4.1 percent.

The growth in new participation among women was no surprise to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Over the past several years, our industry has worked hard to help build this segment of the market," he explained. "We've developed shooting and hunting products especially for women, reached out with welcoming and instructional workshops for women, and encouraged existing hunters and shooters to introduce their spouses, daughters, and other newcomers to shooting sports and outdoor lifestyles. I believe these efforts are paying off, which is a bright spot for our industry as well as conservation."

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