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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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D Kinnison

"So round, so firm, so fully packed" is a song, however it was not by Eddy Arnold. It was written by Merle Travis and performed by Johnny Bond and his Red River Vally boys in 1947.


I don't think many women know what is available to them ... but either do many men or kids. For the ladies (and families) in Southeast Michigan, check out the Women of Aim at the Detroit Sportsmen's Congress. These ladies get into everything - rifle, pistol, shotgun, blackpowder, cowboy action, archery, CCW, .... One woman in the shotgun class really showed up the guys on the trap and skeet fields the other night. A great thing is that more families are joining up and getting their kids involved. www.d-s-c.org


My husband and I raise and train our own bird dogs and enjoy nothing more than being together with our dogs in the field. My Dad taught me to shoot when I was six, because I asked. I love being in the field, clean my own birds, do most of the cooking (dutch oven) and am more fun to sleep with in a tent. I wouldn't miss these trips for the world and my husband says there is no one he'd rather have at his side. It makes our marriage stronger and way more fun.

Berit Aagaard

When I married my late husband Finn Aagaard who was a professional hunter in Kenya and later became a well known gun writer for NRA publications and for Wolf Publishing, back in 1968, I had never held a firearm in my hands. I was quickly made to understand that it was usefull for me to obtain a hunting license, therby allowing us to have a double meat quota. Finn started me off gently with mild loads and gradually worked up. I had always loved the out doors, but it took me several years before I could calmly sit down and shoot something. The female in me was too well developed; females by nature GIVE birth, they are not programmed to take it. With patience Finn and I overcame this, and now I am happy to say that hunting is a real joy. True hunting that is. I refuse to shoot anything over a feeder, I can not see the sport in that. I love the still hunting one can do after whitetail or pronghorn, and take pride in getting closer and even closer. Understanding shot placement is of utmost importance as well. I despise the macho guys that brag about their magnums that can shoot 4-600 yard shots. Real hunting is getting close and personal and then put the bullet where it is supposed to go. Magnums do not make up for poor and sloppy shooting!
About women in camp with a bunch of guys: It is up to the woman to make them feel comfortable with their "alian" companion. If the only woman in camp is whiney and demanding, no wonder they will be sour. But if the female shows that she has what it takes to hunt, take care of her game, to deal with less than optimal comforts, she will soon gain their admiration and respect instead of scorn. The guys don't expect much of the "weaker" sex, so it does not take much to surprise and impress them. Smiles and cheerfulness go a long way. And honestly, if they feel they can't swear, belch, fart, tell dirty stories with a woman in camp, nobody has missed much! Happy shooting and hunting girls!
Berit Aagaard

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