Connie Snow grew up hunting, but at the age of 14 stopped. The reason: it was a male dominant sport and her brothers were tired of her tagging along. After waiting almost a decade Snow got back out there, pheasant hunting. This year is her second year back out in the field, and she loves it. Now women are a lot more accepted out there too. Hunter education classes are offered that are focused for women, instead of co-ed classes. These classes are usually full.
Some of the increase may be due to overbooked schedules, where it is a time for families to spend time together. Women go out to spend time with their children and husbands, or brothers and fathers. Another suggestion was that there are single mothers who are taking their sons or daughters out hunting.
While male licenses sales have been on the decline, women licenses sales are increasing, even youth female licenses are climbing where as youth male is not. An issue that worries some game and fish departments, that the youth is not involved with hunting anymore.
In South Dakota from 2008-2010 female licenses sales increased by 20%, males decreased by 2%. Youth small game license sales for females increased 18% and had the male youth decrease by 10%. "That's the growth in the industry. We are not recruiting youth anymore. I don't know why. It's kind of sad," said Lake Andes resident Terry Jacobson, who hunts and works in the industry. The average age of female hunters is younger than their male counterparts, usually by 10 years.
While the number of men who hunted with firearms in the nation dropped by more than 3 million from 1984 to 2010, during a time when the U.S. population increased by 77 million, the number of women remained relatively steady at about 2.5 million. Where have all the hunters gone? From ArgusLeader.com .