Everyone who has ever hunted knows the value of the stillness it brings. There is a sort of peace that comes from waiting, then a shock of adrenaline when the game comes in sight. Oftentimes, the love of this sport is learned young.
The benefits of doing so are staggering. In learning to hunt, young women will also learn patience, a respect for nature, an awareness of where her food comes from, and a self reliance that can only be learned outside of a classroom. Female interest in hunting is surging, but because there are still so few women in hunting as compared to men, there are fewer choices. More women hunting would mean access or more equipment and clothing designed for women. It would take the presence of women outdoors from a novelty and even an oddity to an expected occurrence.
How do we get young ladies into hunting?
So if there are so many good reasons to get young women into hunting, the real question is how to go about doing so. In an age of TV and Internet, Facebook and Twitter, how do we convince young women, who might not even give hunting a second thought, the motivation to put the smartphones on silent and pick up a bow or a rifle? Well, the key thing to do is to engage with them.
Nearly half of all women hunters took an active interest in the sport because of their husbands or boyfriends. Of the remaining women hunters, over half were taught by their fathers. In the end, most women hunters are involved because more traditional hunters in their lives introduced them to it. These were people they knew, cared about, people with whom they wanted to spend more time. So the best way to pique a young woman's interest in hunting is to introduce it to her by means of personal relations. Every learning experience is enriched when it is enjoyed with a loved one.
Of course, making a young woman feel comfortable with who she hunts with isn't everything. She really needs to get involved in the hunt itself. The best way to encourage her is to teach her more about the outdoors and the environment she is entering each time she goes out. Hunting isn't about food. It's about getting out of the house, getting back to nature.
Hunting can be as much a learning experience as a hobby. Teach her about the food chain, about the value of hunting in controlling overpopulation. Teach her how to move through the woods while respecting the habitats of other animals and the value of our natural resources.
Better yet, show her that hunting is not, in fact, a new phenomenon for women. Prior to WWII, women had a powerful influence in the outdoors. Even famous women like Queen Elizabeth I and the phenomenal sharpshooter Annie Oakley were avid hunters. The same thing that drives men to hunt drives women, too, and every young woman can carve a place for herself in this exciting sport.