‘Outdoorsman’ is Redefined With the ‘Female Invasion!’
The numbers are greater – the statistics are higher – and they are only climbing. Whether people believe or not, the female population has infiltrated the hunting and fishing worlds, and have done so in a big way. The old adage of the outdoors-‘man’ being only men, and the idea that the female can’t shoot the bow or raise the steel, has become a very old adage in 2012.
However, if one looks back at when time first began, the greatest hunter was actually seen and ‘known’ to be a woman. Artemis remains one of the most widely respected and honored of the Ancient Greek icons – with her real name being, Potnia Theron – which means “Mistress of the Animals.” Forget ‘The Hunger Games,’ this particular goddess is always seen with the satchel of bows on her back and the ability and skill of a hundred hunters in her eyes.
The child of Zeus and Demeter, Artemis is described as the twin sister of Apollo, and she was absolutely and undeniably the ‘huntress’ who saved the habitats, watched over the wild animals, and wilderness in general. Carrying her bow by her side at all times, the deer was sacred to her and she even brought other females into the world of the hunt. So, it’s actually not a shock to learn that females have gone back to their ancient roots in order to increase their outdoor skills and bring back their love for the wild.
When looking at any State’s Fish and Wildlife community, there are always listed events, activities and workshops that delve into fishing, hunting and many other outdoor pursuits. Whether a female is a novice or a skilled participant, they are diving into new challenges each and every day. The national programs feature a slew of classes; everything from archery to fly-fishing, spincasting, use of firearms, camping, backpacking, nature photography, canoeing, kayaking, outdoor survival and more, are offered. Whether it be outdoor events held in the winter that teach ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, winter survival skills or rifle target shooting; to spring and summer events that can range from wilderness survival to fly tying, trapping, or deep sea fishing – the choices are endless.
It was the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation – conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – that truly showed the ‘female’ deluge into the once thought of as ‘all-male’ industry. Among other things, this survey showed that the number of women hunters in the United States is literally growing at a record pace. More and more women are hunting; the number of female hunters 16 and older number almost 1.5 million now. The 2011 numbers show that anglers have jumped as well – reaching millions in the ‘female’ category.
When we look back at surveys from 2006, it was only 1 percent of females who enjoyed hunting which has increased dramatically in only the past six years.
There are many who add in the fact that more and more of the population in general are searching for ways to preserve wildlife and the natural habitats out there that need saving – which is what accounts for more women joining in the fun. However, there is also a much greater number of competitors that are female when it comes to the outdoor sporting events held each year. Especially, (and not oddly), in the field of archery.
Hunting with bow and arrow seems to be one of the ‘favorites’ of the female population and they seem to be truly good at it. In other words…Artemis would be proud that her ‘girls’ got back on the proverbial horse and began to once again show the world that they are the ones who can shoot straight every single time.
What is one of the nicest parts about this growing number of female hunters and anglers? The fact that the mostly male-dominated sport is finding it amenable that females have become a part of their natural world, so to speak. Of course, if you look back to the 1600s, 1700s and onward, women were expected to hunt side by side in order to feed the family.
So, barring any silliness, conserving the land, helping nature and working on the recovery of the world around us is most definitely a huge goal that will be accomplished far faster with everyone – no matter whether you are a lady or a gent – pitching in!