CASPER, Wyo. — The number of women hunting and fishing in Wyoming appears to be on the rise.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says that the number of women getting hunting and fishing licenses has jumped over the last decade.
“Over the last ten years, women’s participation in hunting has increased 30.5% and 14.4% for fishing,” Game and Fish said on Monday, Dec. 2. “While women’s participation numbers continue to increase, men’s participation in hunting and fishing is declining slightly.”
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“There was just under a 5% decrease in both activities.”
Game and Fish say they are working to encourage more women to hunt and fish.
“It’s a trend Game and Fish has been nurturing, reaching out to women who are interested in learning more about the outdoors and conservation,” the department said. “Game and Fish Hunter and Angler Participation Coordinator, Kathryn Boswell, coordinated two Becoming an Outdoor-Woman (BOW) camps this year to teach women outdoor skills and activities.”
There are two versions of the camp:
- Traditional BOW camp: covers topics like local plants and wildlife, canoeing, maps, orienteering, fishing, archery, shooting sports and photography
- Beyond BOW (new in 2019): specializes in hunting ethics, firearms, archery, gun cleaning, optics and a simulated hunt with a mentor
119 women have attended one of the two camps in the last two years and reported thinking they had the knowledge and resources needed to hunt, according to Boswell.
“’I think women are starting to see hunting as an activity that is accessible to them,’ Boswell said. ‘And, it comes with a certain pride in putting healthy food on the table and knowing exactly how it got there — something I think all hunters regardless of gender can relate to.’”
Boswell suggests that a generational shift may be playing a role in the changing demographics of Wyoming hunting and fishing.
“‘Our baby boomers are getting older, and at the same time women are seeing hunting and fishing as options for their recreation and food choices,’” she said.