Hunting is no longer a male-dominated sport

On the hunt


Being out into the woods on a hunting trip is no longer just for men. More and more women are discovering their passion for hunting these days. Even though men still account for the majority, the number of women actively hunting has steadily risen over previous years.

According to the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU, the percentages of female hunters range between one percent in Belgium, Bulgaria and Italy, five percent in Denmark and the Netherlands, and ten percent in Germany. However, the highest percentage of female hunters is found in Norway with twelve percent. These numbers are incredible, considering that hunting used to be a tradition just for men. What is drawing women to the hunt?

The likeliest reason for more women going hunting is societal changes. While historically men used to go hunting, it has nowadays become socially acceptable for women to do the same. Over recent decades, women gained have more independence and gender roles have changed as well. Today, there are even workshops on “Becoming an Outdoors Women” (BOW) that set themselves the goal of eliminating the barriers within society, where most of the time, it is the male who performs outdoor activities rather than the female.

The aspect of truly free-range meat is another important factor when women choose to hunt. Meat from the woods is preferred over meat from the supermarket for good reason! With its short transport journeys, game supports both the local environment and economy. You can definitely taste the difference! At the same time, hunting your own meat establishes a new relationship with what you eat. You are no longer detached from the meat, as you shot the animal yourself. Not only does hunting allow women to become self-sufficient, it is also the best way to obtain organic and free-range meat. Additionally, it helps to create a more sustainable food system.

Yet, women consider hunting not only as a means of obtaining food; it is also a way of being outside and enjoying nature. Mother nature poses challenges that hunters have to overcome – be it the weather or other elements of nature. While being on the hunt you constantly learn new things, which excites many female hunters. Nature may pose stimulating dangers that the job cannot provide.

As hunters women become experts about wild animals, shooting and nature. As such, hunting is not only about shooting animals – it is about much more! As a hunter you take responsibility for the game and its habitat. You become a gamekeeper. For many women, hunting resemble both a sport and a way of tending and respecting nature’s creatures. These two aspects are seldom separated.

Even though hunting takes place outside and away from home, it is nonetheless a way to spend time with the family. Many female hunters come from families, where the father, husband or son actively hunts. Thus, these women are able to establish new family traditions while going on a hunting trip together. However, this aspect should not be generalised, as there are women who go hunting particularly to spend some time alone. Being in the woods is a way to release and escape the day-to-day stress. At the same time it can be a way to change up the lifestyle.

Nowadays, women have definitely arrived in the hunting tradition. This can be clearly seen by the change that is occurring within the hunting industry. Hunting manufacturers are constantly adapting their products to the needs of female hunters. Not only are retailers outfitting women hunters with clothing and accessories, archery manufacturers have even begun to design lighter bows that are scaled for the shorter arm spans of women. Such adaptation is the result of more women deciding to pursue their #passionforhunting!


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