Women hunters are becoming more common all over the United States, but their ranks are expanding at a particularly frantic pace in South Dakota!
The number of women hunters purchasing pheasant licenses in South Dakota has almost doubled during the past decade. What is behind this staggering and rapid increase in women going afield in search of game?
A change in culture may partially explain the change. According to Maggie Lindsey, education services coordinator with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks:
In my generation, women stayed in the kitchen; men did the hunting. Now it's way more acceptable for women to go out and hunt. The fathers or whoever is doing the hunting in the family aren't just taking their sons; they're taking their daughters.
The emerging popularity of hunting among members of the "locavore" movement probably accounts for some of this increase as well as people who do not fit the traditional stereotypes of hunters go afield in search of locally produced, free range, organic meat.
The State of South Dakota has also implemented several programs specifically designed to help introduce young people in general, and young women in particular, to hunting, which may also explain the rapid increase in their numbers.
For instance, the state implemented multiple classes geared towards women like the "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" class and a "Women's Hunting 101" classes, which teach the basics of hunting in a manner specifically targeted toward women. Classes like these are appealing to many women who are interested in learning to hunt but don't know where to start.
Additionally, many companies, like Prois, are starting to produce hunting clothing and equipment designed specifically for women.
For these reasons, the future of women hunters is looking very bright in South Dakota as more women hit the woods and bring their friends and family with them.