Sporting organizations have been working to arrest the gradual decline of hunting in America, as fewer hunting and fishing licenses are being sold than in past years. Right now, one demographic in particular is providing hope for a revival of the hunting lifestyle—women between the ages of 18 and 24.
An article at OutdoorHub.com highlights the rise of young female hunters, as documented in the 2016 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report. This study by the Outdoor Foundation reported that 18- to 24-year-old women showed the greatest increase in participation in outdoor pursuits and a participation rate 16 percent higher than males in their age range. State-level sources also identify an increase in the number of women hunting, such as in Oregon where their numbers have risen 16 percent in the last decade.
Changing social norms for women have contributed to this trend, but improvements by outfitters and hunting organizations appear to have played a positive role as well. “Female participation continues to rise due to accessibility,” said Michelle Bodenheimer of the National Wild Turkey Federation. “More and more companies are making clothing and gear specifically for women, making their pursuits easier. Organizations are offering classes and clinics to help women and strengthen their skills, which helps build confidence, to get them outdoors.”