Increase in Female Hunters Leads to Women Only Classes in Alaska

From 2001 to 2013, the number of women hunters in the U.S. doubled.

According to this story from ktva.com, women have become the fastest growing hunting demographic in the country, based on stats from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, a trend that extends to all 50 states.

In Alaska, the trend has led to the institution of women-only hunter education classes.

"We've found over the years that women sometimes like a more safe environment where they can ask questions," Ginamaria Smith, the program coordinator for the department's hunter information and training program, said in the story. "They don't have to feel like they might be asking what they would term 'stupid questions,' even though they're not."

The growth has been significant and steady: in 2001, women made up about 10 percent of the hunters in the U.S. By 2013, that had doubled to nearly 20 percent, according to the Nation Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

"More and more women are getting interested in what used to be a male-dominated sport, and they see the fact that they can spend time with family and friends and get out, harvest sustainable food and wild game locally, instead of having to necessarily outsource that," Smith said in the story.

Smith says in the story that she grew up hunting, beginning at age 12, and that she was the only girl on her father's trap team.

"A lot of our volunteers, directors, are men. And we're just starting to get more and more women instructors as well that are volunteers, that teach the classes and make sure to pass on our hunting heritage and pass on the firearm safety, and everything in the class," Smith said in the story.