Texas women have been bolstering the ranks of hunters in recent years, constituting as much as 23 percent of all hunters in the state in 2014, reports DallasNews.com.
The number of female hunters in Texas who have passed the hunter education course has steadily risen since 2000, climbing from 5,264 at the start of millennium to a whopping 16,534 in 2014. Some women have taken up hunting for the challenge, while others do it to be a part of the family, but regardless the reason it’s a quantum leap forward for the hunting society.
“We’ve been encouraging women to try hunting and shooting sports through our outreach programs,” said Nancy Herron, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s outreach and education director. “There’s also been a surge in movies and television of very capable women being resourceful.”
Monica Bickerstaff had been fishing for years, but decided to try her hand at hunting so she could spend more time with her husband L.D. Bickerstaff. She enjoyed it so much that she and her husband became hunter education instructors for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
But for Bickerstaff, hunting turned into more than just quality family time. She quickly learned that taking game meant complete control over how her food was prepared.
“My husband and I prefer to have more control over how our food is processed and prepared,” said Bickerstaff. “This is not the sole reason that I hunt, it’s merely a bonus. I share some of the great experiences I’ve enjoyed – like the pride and accomplishment when the hours of training come together and a wily pheasant rises under my Labrador retriever’s nose.”
While some hunt for trophies, Bickerstaff, and likely many other female hunters and hunters in general, savor the unique solitude offered only by nature.
“For me, it’s not all about the hunt and filling a tag,” said Bickerstaff. “It’s more about getting into nature, spending time with family and regenerating. Spending time with family and friends is a big reason women participate in hunting. Females take up the sport to become part of that social network within their family or community.”
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)