You may have noticed a lot of news out there lately about the upward trending of women and outdoor pursuits, particularly in the area of hunting.
From the 2010 National Sporting Goods Association’s Participation Report:
5.4 PERCENT INCREASE IN NUMBER OF FEMALE HUNTERS: More women than men took up hunting last year, according to new figures from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). A news release from National Hunting and Fishing Day highlights the new statistics. NSGA’s report shows that the number of female hunters in the United States increased by 5.4 percent last year, netting 163,000 new participants. Muzzleloading showed an annual increase among women of an astounding 134.6 percent.
Although this is great news, we need to keep pushing forward, especially in the mom and immigrant women demographics. Because we all know this behavior: if you teach a mom to fish (or hunt or shoot or trap), chances are she’ll not only teach her kids, but she’ll invite her girlfriends, her mom, her relatives, and anyone else that she wants to include.
I just returned from a trip to the West Coast, that has a huge immigrant population, and I started wondering if these women had ever entertained a notion to fish, hunt, shoot, pull a bow, etc. With the burgeoning immigrant population in this country, statistics already point to a decrease in hunting and fishing in certain regions because of the lack of interest in the population. Is this a cause and effect thing?
In fact, The NSSF, in its 2009-2010 Industry Reference Guide, suggests that the large surge in immigrant population – a largely non-hunting dynamic – may be causing the correlation between more people and fewer hunters.
In an article in Guns & Patriots, “416,000 Legal Immigrants, Who and From Where?”, Jennifer Kendall writes,” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that 15 percent of all persons becoming Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) in the United States in 2009 were born in Mexico. China was second with 5.7 percent, and then the Philippines (5.3 percent), India (5.1 percent) and the Dominican Republic (4.4 percent) finished out the top five. Those countries alone accounted for 35 percent of all new LPRs in 2009.
“The five states with the largest percentage of immigrants gaining LPR status were California (20 percent), New York (13 percent), Florida (11 percent), Texas (8.4 percent) and New Jersey (5.2 percent). The majority of new LPRs in 2009 were female (55 percent), the median age was 31 years old and more than half were married.”
Did you notice? Did it jump out at you? The majority of new LPRs are female with the median age of 31 and married. Women’s programs contribute a lot to the success of the trend upward, but really, we all need to do our parts.
So, invite a woman to go with you next time you head out. Go ahead, profile for the outdoor cause. Invite a mom or a legal immigrant hunting, shooting, fishing, or to the archery range with you. You might change her life … and you know what, she’ll probably change yours for the better, too.
Thanks, Barb, for spurning us on in our journey to reach out to other women with our outdoor skills. I’m always anxious to learn more too, and I’m sure you’re right, we can learn just as much from them.
Aw Gretchen … I don’t mind when you read and comment here. You get IT, I know you do! Good for you … and let’s just keep spreading the gospel of the outdoors.
Barb – great read again! (I know stop lolling around reading and get writing LOL) – one of the best experiences I’ve had in the outdoors is becoming friends with Korean lady – she and her father hunted mushrooms and gathered wild edibles in Korea and she was so happy the first time she went foraging with me – to say that we have learned from each other about our respective cultures uses of wild foraged foods and medicinal is an understatement. The smile on her face that first mushroom hunting trip was priceless.. She’s a heck of fisher woman too! Now if we can just get her talked into trying the bow….
Thanks, Barbara, this was great information!