HUNTING IS LARGELY a male-dominated pastime, but that has been changing more each year as women increasingly take to the woods to hunt and kill large game.
According to Doug Bohn, Lead Bow Technician at Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, archery in particular has increased dramatically across the board especially with women and girls.
“The young girls have been influenced a bit by Hollywood with the popularity of movies like Brave and Hunger Games, but ladies are more inclined to hunt for other reasons,” he says.
Female hunters like Shannon Guisti, 22 and Hannah Robb, 21 say a sense of empowerment, reverence for nature, and healthy eating are just a few of the reasons they enjoy the hunt. They both enjoy the intensity of getting close to their game and the fitness that is required for a good hunt.
Guisti has had a few successes, killing deer and elk with both a rifle and a bow over the past few years. Her latest accomplishment this season is a large buck in velvet. Her next goal – a bull elk. Guisti’s passion for fitness and hunting has resulted in her sponsorships with Kryptec camouflage and Matthews Archery among others.
Robb has yet to get her first kill with her bow, but she’s enjoying the experience and is working hard to get there. Robb also hopes to get sponsors as well as be a role model for young women looking to enter the sport.
According to Bohn, a lot of women aren’t really into the loudness and force of a gun, so archery is a natural choice. However, women are still getting into hunting with a gun more so than ever, in large part, to spend time with their father, husband and/or boyfriend Bohn says.
Jessica Herbig of Clark Fort has hunted with a rifle most of her life and has killed a few Whitetail does. She loves the leanness of the meat and spending time with her family.
“My favorite part of hunting is not the early mornings or the cold, or dressing out an animal. It’s more about feeling capable and knowing I can do something so immensely useful and immediately gratifying,” says Herbig. “You can take a lot of walks in the woods before you actually get a chance at shooting an animal.”