Every year, more and more women across the Unites States are picking up bows and arrows.
For some, the desire to try may be there, but the means to learn isn’t available. At the end of this month, women in Minnesota can take a three-part series on archery basics, equipment, target shooting, and hunting.
“Women can learn the basics of archery, and those with intermediate archery skills can learn how to bow hunt,” said Linda Bylander, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) outreach program coordinator. “They will learn-by-doing in a supportive atmosphere.”
The classes begin Feb. 28 at the Schwan Center at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
Women have two enrollment options. The first is for beginners to learn basics, equipment, and target shooting. Women with intermediate skills can sign up for the hunting archery series to learn how to bowhunt.
The remaining two classes will be March 15, and April 18. A bow hunter education certification class will take place March 21.
Archery by the Numbers
A comprehensive survey by Archery Trade Association (ATA) released in 2013 shows that 5.8 million (31 percent) of all archery participants were women. Also, 4.2 million (41 percent) of archery-only participants were women.
“We were pleased to learn that one-third of all archery participants last year were women, and that 4 million women were involved exclusively in archery,” said Jay McAninch, ATA’s president and CEO. “These numbers prove the archery market is strong. They also indicate that archery appeals to a younger audience and that target archery appeals to women more broadly than bowhunting.”
The numbers also show that more women are interested in hunting than ever. According to Census Bureau statistics, the total number of women hunters grew by 25 percent between 2006 and 2011. During the previous decade, the numbers remained stagnant. In addition, the numbers show that 11 percent of all U.S. hunters were women, compared to 9 percent in 2006.