Annie, get your gun!

Notes from the North Woods

Growth areas for women included muzzleloading (up 134.6 percent), bowhunting (up 30.7 percent) and hunting with firearms (up 3.5 percent). According to Corey Cogdell, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in trap shooting, and a lifelong hunter, "Shooting is one of the most fun and empowering things you can teach a young girl or a grown woman.”

he dramatic increase in female participation can be attributed to numerous programs intended to introduce women to hunting, such Becoming An Outdoors Woman program, Doe Camp and as well as more manufacturers producing clothing and gear designed for women.

From 2001 to 2010, the number of women participating in target shooting competitions went up 46.5 percent. The success of the USA Womens Shooting Team, which captured at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is likely to generate even greater interest in shooting sports.

The team was lead by Kimberly Rhode, the first American to achieve individual medals in five straight Olympics, with a record-setting, near perfect performance.

Rhode began her Olympic career as a teenager in 1996 while taking the gold in double trap at Atlanta, and she took bronze in the same event four years later at Sydney. She earned the gold in trap at Athens in 2004 and won the silver in skeet at Beijing in 2008. She won the women's skeet shooting with a world record performance in London, while setting an Olympic mark by missing only once in 100 shots.

My first experience with a female shooter came over twenty years ago. It occurred while I was hosting an afternoon of skeet shooting for a private group at a local resort.

I had set up two clay pigeon throwers, one of which sent targets on a crossing pattern from left to right, and another which sent targets straight away from the shooters. The straightaway station provided a much easier shot.

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

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