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Women now a strong presence in the outdoors

Earlier this month, I visited The Whitetail Summit 2009 hosted at the Sports Dome in Queensbury. Although attendance levels were lower than expected, the event offered numerous high quality exhibits and a wide range of interesting seminars. It was a good start toward building a quality show that will hopefully grow into an annual event.

I stuck around to attend The Whitetail Summit dinner sponsored by Trijicon and watch as Vermont deer hunting legend, Larry Benoit, was inducted into the newly created, Whitetail Hall of Fame, as its first member. Benoit's sons, Lanny and Shane, accepted the award on their father's behalf.

Among the camo clad crew, one enthusiast stood out. Karen Turner, aka the Vermont Huntress was notable for one simple reason. She was a female and she represents the fastest growing constituency among an ever diminishing breed of outdoor enthusiasts, hunters.

Whitetail deer are a hunter's equivalent of bass. And like bass, whitetail deer are widely distributed across most of the country. Relatively easily accessible, whitetails are the most commonly hunted big game animal in North America. They are a blue collar animal, the prey of Joe Sixpack.

Despite the fact that whitetail deer are pursued predominantly by rural, white males, women constitute the fastest growing segment of the hunting fraternity today.

Over the past decade, an interesting and important trend has quietly taken place across the wild lands of North America. Women are taking to the woods in ever increasing numbers. They possess more effective outdoor skills and a greater level of confidence than ever before.

Hunting, fishing adventures are no longer the exclusive domain of the male of the species. Nor, in reality, were they ever!

Women were the original campers, from the earliest days, in almost all corners of the earth. Aboriginal people relied on women to prepare shelters, to make clothes, gather the water, cook the meals and tend to the necessities essential to insure survival of their people.

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