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May 10, 2006

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Where Are the Women?

One of the articles of faith in the shooting industry is that the future of the gunpowder sports will be influenced by women; that for the first time, we’re going to see a real, meaningful influx of female hunters and shooters.

If you go to the SHOT Show, you now see as many women as men, but I don't know if they are they showing up in serious numbers at ranges and in hunting camps.

What do you see happening? If they aren’t coming into shooting and hunting, why not?

And if there are any women reading this blog, I’d appreciate it if you would step forward now and be counted.


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Aw heck...I reckon we ought to try a little harder at welcoming them in the field.

Matt in MN

I'm already shopping for a nice little 20 gauge auto for my two month old daughter, although we probably won't see her on the clays course or in the duck blind for a few years. I do manage to get my wife to accompany me once or twice a year. She just isn't as passionate about it as I am.


I am doing my part...both of my daughters hunt big game!


I love to shoot skeet. And I'm darn good at it, always beating out my male competitors. Had my husband not initially invited me to come out with him I would have never known that I enjoyed something so much. Not all males are ready to admit that a woman can be just as good or even better than them. Shooting is still a predominately male sport and men may just be scared of the competition a woman can bring because my shooting invites are very scarce.


I love to shoot skeet. And I'm darn good at it, always beating out my male competitors. Had my husband not initially invited me to come out with him I would have never known that I enjoyed something so much. Not all males are ready to admit that a woman can be just as good or even better than them. Shooting is still a predominately male sport and men may just be scared of the competition a woman can bring because my shooting invites are very scarce.

Judy Rhodes

Michael, Here we are the women are members of Texas Women's Shooting Sports/DIVAS. We are walking the walk and talking the talk! Our membership is well over 900 women (only) strong. We are in 48 states and 14 foreign countries! We conduct clinics in Texas and just now beginning to stretch into other states. Washington,PA in June, San Diego,CA in July with three clinics in Texas (Dallas, Houston & San Antonio): Sept 16th in San Antonio Gun Club and Oct 7th at Elm Fork Shotgun Sports in Dallas. Our last clinics in Texas were very successful with over 16 NEW shooters in San Antonio and over 140 shooters in Dallas (all ages with the eldest being my Mother 80 years young never having any handgun experience prior! Even though I grew up on a ranch in Texas my Dad taught me to shoot and hunt; while my Mom was cooking, cleaning & shopping with my sister...there was never a need for self-protection back in the 60s. The DIVAS are...Women Helping Women; Women Supporting Women; and Women Teaching Women!
We also have a television show on The Men's Channel DishNetwork Channel 218 Mondays @ 5:30p and Saturdays @ 10a (CST) encouraging women to become involved in the Outdoors...it is working...women are the gate keepers to the home and we are educating women to take a stand and enjoy our rights to enjoy The Great Outdoors wheither it be shooting, fishing, archery, or just plain running thru the fields to enjoy the beauty of nature! Check us out! www.txdiva.org We are one click away from having another member! Judy Rhodes, founder


Well, my husband wanted to know why I didnt want to go elk hunting with him and his friends this year. While I do like hunting, I don't like feeling like the only oddball. Amongst 7 men I'd be odd. That is usually how it goes when we go hunting, shooting, fishing. No other wives go, no girlfriends. I love going, but I hate it when a new guy feels like he has to apologize if he accidentally swears in front of me. Im just there to have fun. Don't make me feel like I should be wearing a ball gown instead of the camo pants I've got on. I'm carrying the 12 gauge pump I picked out for my 26th birthday, not a parasol. I guess what I'm saying is yes we're out there. I think a lot of women that enjoy the outdoors just don't really know where they fit in. There are these pseudo-outdoor organizations for women which might as well dress you in pink camo. Then there are others that are more realistic but are less based on things related to hunting and fishing, and in some cases are anti, so its really a catch 22. I'd love to find a group of ladies to get together with and go trout fishing, or squirrel hunting, but I don't know, so far I'm just not seeing it. I own my own rifles, shotguns, and fishing poles, I'm sure others do too, maybe if there was a symbol you know like a secret mark you could wear that could identify you as THE OUTDOORSWOMAN, we could seek eachother out. I'd love to hear some ideas.


This has nothing to do with the topic at hand (though it kinda sounds like it does) but isn't "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed" an old song by Eddy Arnold? I got the newest F&S in the mail today and saw the note below the sidebar about the Murray catridge holder so I thought I would attempt to answer it. It looks like quite the piece of leather, I already have one of their A-1 slings that was purchased after seeing them mentioned several times in F&S, it's honestly the best sling I've ever owned and possibly will ever own.

Dave Petzal

MattWV: For God's sake, concentrate!


TO: Matt WV

FYI, "so round. so firm, so fully packed" was an advertising slogan in the Fifties for a brand of cigarettes. Could have been Pall Mall or Lucky Strike. However, I was but a wee lad then, more interested in my Remington 521-T...

I've heard the full version of the song but am a bit too young to ever hear any lucky strike ads sorry to say.

DEP: After reading through the rest of the magazine I'd like to point out that I infact have a West "By God" Virginia sticker in the back window of my car. Also I've coveted a rimfire NULA (or any NULA rifle for that matter) for some time and what makes it worse is that I reside across the river from shop; since I cannot afford such a rifle and am also left handed I will glady take yours off your hands. Oh and I'd never heard of a Miller until reading your article, I am quite ashamed of myself.


I come from an outdoors family where my mothers and sisters have hunted and/or shoot as well! My fiance hunts and goes to the range with me. Her children are interested in hunting as well. I am a VERY lucky man to have a lady in life that enjoys the shooting (as well as fishing) sports!
Nothing turns me off, and scares me more, than men who think women shouldn't hunt or fish. This behavior has done more to contribute to the decline of hunting and fishing in todays society than alienating women from the grand wonderful heritage of hunting and fishing.


Last year my 11 year old daughter asked to go Turkey hunting. She harveste 2 mature Toms. Then an 8 point buck in the fall. She was anxious for season to open this spring and harvested 2 more birds.

She wants to accompany me to elk camp soon.
I don't think many of her classmates are doing the same.
She owns 3 firearms.


I think Judy Rhodes hit the nail upon the head. A woman trying to get into the sport hits a barrier when trying to enter deer camps and such. Predominately male, its got to be intimidating for a woman to work her way into the camp, and once there the camp dynamics change. Lets face it.E ven though in this day and age we all try to be politically correct and such, men still act differntly around women than around other men, and camp behavior changes when women are around. Some men accept it, some don't.

A decade ago, befor emy freinds and I were married, Fishing camp was a place of escape and refuge, where we could be grubby and grungy, swear, curse and fart and laugh about it without any social repercussions. Now most of us are married, and lucky that our wives enjoy fishing as well. WE still go to our fishing camp once a year, but now we are joined by our wives, and the camp dynamics have shifted. Our behavior changed a bit, were a bit more refined with the ladies about. Its not a bad thing, just different.


Oops, quick correction, the above post was referring to "julie's" post not Judy's

Dave Petzal

To Nameless from WV: There's no need to be ashamed of not knowing what a miller is. I'm sure you have lots of stuff that's much worse to be ashamed of. I didn't know what a miller was until a few years ago, and I know damn near everthing.

About the NULA .22. I'd give you mine, but it has a very low serial number and it shoots real good. If you tell Melvin Forbes I said you're an OK guy, he will sell you one at the full retail price.


I am a mom of 2 young daughters and my husband has introduced me to hunting as well as my kids. They made their 1st kills this past year on an African Safari and have their list of things they want this year when we go back. We have 500 acres that is to be used strictly to introduce women and children to shooting and hunting. A man can't do anything but shoot a cull buck or manage the does if we need him to. And we have lots of kids waiting in line to be on the list to learn to hunt there. Both kids have probably 7 guns each already at 8 and 6 from shotguns to rifles. They are very good shots, like their mom. We had a great teacher!!

Benjamin Kimm

You want to know where the women are? My 4-H shooting sports team consists of 3 males and 14 females. and their damn good. a couple are state champs in black powder and tomahawk throw.( in other words dont piss them off!)


I tried to introduce my girlfriend to trap shooting (she cleans her own game when we hunt). She can't stand some of the pigs, er, I mean shooters, Never wants to go back.
Good thing they shut their faces when I was around. Now what?


That is the other problem. Even if you have someone to introduce you to a sport-I love trap shooting, you might have people there that make it horrifically unpleasant. This is also the case at our local range. The men there told me that "Tuesdays 12-4, thats when girls and other novices come out". I said "what about women who know what they are doing?" He said "Thats the only time". So I don't go there, at all. I'd rather shoot in a cow field, with a hand thrower.


I personally apologize to those ladies that were abused by shooting snobs, and I’ve seen it done to new male shooters. Although such conduct is rare, it’s a pity and a tremendous liability for the shooting and hunting sports. No wonder our future is questionable. We shooters and hunters are probably reaping what we sow allowing such rudeness and hostility to exist at the shooting clubs and in the field.

Other—I noticed the more progressive clay target clubs will go out to their way to encourage and teach new women shooters.

Women do not like recoil, nor do they like to dress like derelicts for shooting and hunting.

I’ve yet to meet a woman that didn’t enjoy being taken to the field for a hunt. You see the light bulb going on.


I see that there are "varmints" in other trap clubs, too. Maybe there should be a Dorks night. We shoot in a mountain-side gravel pit with a Hoppe ClayMaster(?). I figured we had turned the corner when she said to me:"it's easier to count the misses than the hits." Anyway, I have made our opinions known to club management and they've agreed to watch for the anti-feminist rubbish.


Have 2 daughters, the oldest went hunting with me for 3 years then quit, wouldn't do any gutting, that was my job! But shooting was OK, just wouldn't touch the dead critter, but would EAT the dead critter after it was cooked! She has been the ONLY female I've ever seen in the woods other than my neighbor's granddaughter who goes with him when she can, and she will do her own gutting!

Mark Schaefer

Next time we are at SHOT, please introduce me to the "As many women as me"
Your friend
Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer

Next time we are at SHOT, please introduce me to the "As many women as men"
Your friend
Mark Schaefer

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