Women Continue to Join the Ranks of Hunters, Shooters
A couple weeks ago I had a tech-guy come out to install new cable at my house. Upon entering, he saw two deer mounted on my front room wall and asked where my husband had shot them. I just rolled my eyes and told him “in Northern Minnesota” to avoid any further conversation on the topic. I deal with misconceptions like this more often than I’d like, which is what inspired me to write this blog. Many females have similar experiences in what can be considered a male-dominated outdoor industry. That said, take note, because for several years now, women participants in hunting and sport shooting have been on rise.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2016 shared some interesting data: In 2001, there were 1.8 million women hunters – in 2013, there were 3.3 million. And, in 2001, there were 3.3 million women target shooters – in 2013, there were 5.4 million. It’s a fact that more women have taken a liking to hunting, target shooting and owning a firearm for personal defense.
When I go to the shooting range, I’m usually surrounded by the more typical gun owner … men. And even though I’ve been in the hunting and shooting sports industry for the past 9 years, I often get treated like I know nothing when I visit a gun shop, sporting goods store or any type of gun show/outdoor show. I want to be educated and informed on products that work for me, which is why I try to learn as much as I can when I teach others, females specifically, about hunting and the shooting sports.
When I do training seminars, it’s very common to hear among females that they are exhausted with the amount of gear that features pink or more feminine colors. While some find it appealing, others have actually been more offended. Most women I have come across want the very best gear for the intended purpose, be it shooting on the range or hunting afield.
With regards to firearms and ammunition, the same holds true. Many times I’ve been told that women need to buy small or less powerful firearms for personal protection or hunting. I can’t agree with that entirely. For my personal-protection, I carry a 9mm most of the time. When I hunt deer, I have a rifle chambered in 308 Win. For hunting birds, I use a 12-gauge Browning Citori. These are all considered bigger, more powerful firearms. I did not simply start out with these types of firearms, however. I worked my way into them through proper training and education.
I encourage anyone that’s going to buy a firearm to try it before you buy it. You can only figure out what fits and feels good in your hands if you take it out on the range for a test-shoot. As a woman and one who instructs many females on gun safety and proper shooting techniques – women do not have to buy into the notion that “smaller is better.”
With Browning’s ammunition line, anyone will feel that much more confident and comfortable knowing that their firearm is loaded with the best ammunition on the market because of the science and technology Browning has put into their ammo line. In my opinion, I feel Browning has taken the initiative to listen more deeply to what women want in both their guns and in their ammo. For example, their BPT (handgun target ammo) and BXP (handgun personal defense ammo) have matched bullet weight and velocity so you can practice at the range with what you keep at home as a self-defense round. This leads to greater confidence in real personal-defense situations.
Being relaxed and self-assured is really what it is all about when it comes to hunting or self-defense. Firearms and ammunition should be respected. It takes a lot of practice time at the range to get totally comfortable with the firearm in your hands. It’s always good to seek training advice from professionals and credible sources that can point you in the right direction. A good place I have found and would recommend to check out in regards to information on firearms safety instruction and places to shoot in your area is nssf.org, and then click on “ranges.”
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