NEW SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – While the number of hunting licenses and deer permits have declined or remained steady, the number of women joining the sport has increased.
Sara Chaszeyka is one of them and is no stranger to the woods.
The 18-year-old has quite a few hunts under her belt. She said her grandpa piqued her interest in hunting.
“I started hunting when I was probably about 10 and I’ve been doing it ever since. I go every year. I do deer, turkey, squirrel, all sorts of stuff.”
More and more women are following suit.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said within the last five years, there’s been a jump. ODNR only expects those numbers to grow.
“We actually sold roughly 30,000 licenses to female hunters in 2015, which compares to just over 24,000 in 2011,” said Jamey Emmert, with ODNR.ODNR breakdown of hunters by gender (PDF)
Chaszeyka said it’s exciting to see more women who are interested in hunting.
“It’s nice to see that women are taking this on themselves,” she said. “It’s not just a man thing like you used to hear.”
The growth has become so noticeable, even manufacturers are taking notice. They’re marketing tools of the trade and more form-fitting clothing for women.
“Everything in the industry has kind of geared that way and we now have a big section just for the female population,” said Joe Ault, with Fin Feather Fur Outfitters.
Chaszeyka said there are only a few girls at her school who hunt but she encourages others to give it a try.
“I think everyone should go out once, even if you just go out without a gun and you don’t want to shoot anything, just…being with nature and everything, it’s amazing.”
Recent reports by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Sporting Goods Association estimate there are over 3 million female hunters in the U.S.