Women are increasingly participating in traditionally male-dominated hunting and shooting sports, and currently represent 11 percent of licensed hunters.
Women are making themselves known in the world of guns. Not only are they hunting, women are also increasing their overall representation among firearms owners. The National Rifle Association estimated that about 25 percent of 70,000 attendees at its Indianapolis convention this year were women.
Female hunters are now opening up about the problems women face with some male hunters. Women shared tales of sexism, rudeness, and sexual harassment while participating in outdoor-related activities.
Tiffany Compton was a guard in an all-male prison ward and is a former cop. Despite this, she described feeling unwelcome as she checked in at a public duck hunting area near Indianapolis.
Compton said she was the only woman in a room full of camouflaged men, and she heard one man say to his son, "I know what you're looking at."
"The very last thing you want to do is make a new hunter feel uncomfortable in a scenario like you described when she's simply trying to draw for a blind," said Nick Pinizzotto, president and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. He added, "Women hunting is the best thing that could happen to our sport."
Morgan Born, a 20-year-old mother that taught herself, a female friend, and her boyfriend how to hunt ducks, has become a skilled hunter. However, she said there are some public duck hunting areas near her home where she won't go because "a little circle of men" has repeatedly made her feel uncomfortable or they were rude to her.
"It is a lot of sexual comments sometimes," she said.
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The editor of an outdoor magazine, California hunter Holly Heyser, says she has not been treated disrespectfully by men out in the field. Heyser is encouraged to see that girls younger than 16 make up the fastest-growing segment of hunters, while the number of male hunters has declined somewhat.
Just look at any outdoor television channel and the growing number of women hunters is apparent. Nicole Reeve, Tiffany Lakosky, Pam Zaitz and Julie Kreuter are just a few women who have extensive experience hunting throughout the world.
Men, take note. These lady hunters can teach us a thing or two, and we should enthusiastically welcome any interested women to the sport.