Seasonal transitions and traditions

Data also revealed women have outpaced men among the newcomers to target shooting, where female participation grew by 4.1 percent.

The growth in new participation among women, perhaps counterintuitive to traditionalists, is no surprise to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry.

He explained, "Over the past several years, our industry has worked hard to help build this segment of our market. We've developed shooting and hunting products especially for women, reached out with welcoming and instructional workshops for women, and encouraged existing hunters and shooters to introduce their spouses, daughters and other newcomers to shooting sports and outdoor lifestyles. I believe these efforts are paying off, which is a bright spot for our industry as well as for conservation."

Although hunting camps have nearly always been the exclusive domains for male members of the hunting fraternity, there has been an interesting increase in the number of "Doe Camp" weekends in recent years.

The popularity of programs such as, Becoming an Outdoors Women, have served to introduce thousands of women to a world of sporting pursuits that were once the sole realm of men. Now that women realize what they've been missing, there's no turning back.

Eventually, they'll be in camp too. It will likely make for some awkward moments when some poor fellow decides to pee off the porch.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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