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Gender barriers coming down

Notes from the North Woods

The fashion industry has taken note of the trend of women in the outdoors, as evidenced in recent advertisements for JCrew and Este Lauder, which feature canoes, flyfishing and similar outdoor scenes

The fashion industry has taken note of the trend of women in the outdoors, as evidenced in recent advertisements for JCrew and Este Lauder, which feature canoes, flyfishing and similar outdoor scenes

Roughrider Teddy Roosevelt was known to shrug off the most miserable weather, even after having spent hours on horseback.

His obvious mental and physical toughness was not an indication that he was oblivious to the natural world. In fact, it was more likely an indication that Roosevelt was under some sort of spell.

From his earliest years, Roosevelt was inexorably linked to the land. His spent his time catching and cataloging insects, studying birds and pursuing other courses of natural history.

In 1906, the famed naturalist, John Burroughs remarked, “He (Roosevelt) craved once more to be alone with nature; he was evidently hungry for the wild and the aboriginal, a hunger that seems to come upon him regularly at least once a year…”

Roosevelt often placated this personal hunger with a hunting trip, a birding expedition or a camping outing. For Roosevelt, a trip into the wilds was a sure way to decompress and escape the duties of the day, and it remains so even into the internet era.

Fortunately, many of the very same natural escapes that Roosevelt once enjoyed are still available to most Americans today.

In fact, a recent study of outdoor recreation in New York provides a breakdown of New York recreation users. It reveals that 29 percent bicycle, 23 percent participate in wildlife viewing, 22 percent hike, 19 percent camp, 12 percent paddle, 8 percent fish, 8 percent snow sports and 4 percent hunt.

However, the current research indicates the recent increases are not as gender specific as most would believe. In fact, female hunters currently constitute the majority of new hunters both in New York, and nationwide.

Fortunately, the gender barriers that once defined outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing and camping as as the sole domain of the male of the species, have since been demolished.

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

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