If you've wondered how to encourage your wife, daughter or female friends to try hunting, look no further.
Through my own journey of becoming a passionate outdoorswoman and years of working to engage other female hunters, I have found these five tips to be very useful.
Intense, backcountry, big-game hunts can be intimidating to many, especially when the hunting is hard and the chances of success are small. Starting with smaller game with more frequent shooting and higher bag limits can make for a more exciting and rewarding experience. This usually acts as a strong hook into the sport.
Balance Competition and Fun
Keeping the pressure for a kill low is key to a fun hunt. Let her know there is more to gain from hunting than just a harvest. That being said, I have found that a fun shooting competition with my fiancé can really help encourage me to get out and practice, which also improves my skills in the field and increases my chances of success.
Find a Group of Female Hunters
I grew up with primarily male hunting parties but eventually found a female group to go with. Being part of a female network means learning first-hand tips for utilizing their own strength and finding more-comfortable gear suited for women. Plus, most females from mentored hunts I have done really appreciate the camaraderie from going afield with another female hunter.
Apply it to the Home
There's a multitude of benefits that come from hunting a wild animal. First-time hunters are often surprised by what they find in nature, such as a set of sheds hidden in tall grass, a turkey feather underneath an old roost or a withered piece of wood from a forgotten barn. For crafty women, these can become resources for new home décor. Also, successful hunters are typically empowered by being able to serve the meat they harvested for dinner.
Involve the Kids
My dad passed on his passion for the outdoors to my brother and me at a young age through a variety of activities. My mom recognized our enjoyment and quickly wanted to tag along. Don't have kids? Try a bird dog. Several friends of mine began upland bird and waterfowl hunting after seeing their pooch point or retrieve.
These tips can help open the eyes of friends and family members to all the benefits our tradition has to offer. Plus, there's constant social and political pressure to restrict hunting, so it's important we do all we can to create new hunters. Where better to start than at home?
To those who have introduced a woman to the great outdoors, what worked for you? To the lady hunters, what got you involved?