Shoot Like A Girl (SLG², Inc) is a company dedicated to growing the number of women who participate in shooting sports by empowering them to particpate with confidence! Look for Shoot Like A Girl at six Cabela's Grand Opening Celebrations in 2015 and RMEF's Hunter Christmas.
USSA's Kali Parmley reached out to Cabela's, the world's foremost outfitter, in the first episode of USSA's Industry Insider to discuss the growing trend of female participation in hunting. Cabela's OutfitHer Clothing line is making a big difference in getting women into the field. Together, we are continuing our time honored traditions.
The November/December 2014 issue of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle Magazine, Gear 101 featured the latest and greatest in gear and clothing specifically for women and kids. It is no suprise that Cabela's OutfitHer and Meindl footwear for women was on the top of discussion.
Conservation. Hunting. Wildlife and Wild Places.
Bugle magazine puts all of the pieces of elk country together in six exciting issues each year. When you become a member of RMEF, you help ensure a future for elk and other wildlife, while getting the very best of elk country and the hunt.
Through the pages of Bugle, we hope to inspire every RMEF member to help us do more to protect and enhance elk country. We like to explore issues affecting wildlife conservation, elk ecology, and hunting. We also really enjoy sharing good hunting stories and some of the best wildlife photography today.
Sun News Special Report
By: Bryn Weese
VANCOUVER - The image of good old boys heading into the woods for a fall hunt sometimes seems a thing of the past.
But the sport isn't dying. Not by a long, well-placed shot.
The resurgence in hunting across North America is thanks, in part, to a growing number of women who are taking up the sport.
One of the trend's most recognizable figures - even gracing the cover of this month's Field and Stream - is Canada's own Eva Shockey who co-hosts her father's successful hunting show Jim Shockey's Hunting Adventures.
"I was lucky. I was born into the right family," Shockey told Sun News in Vancouver recently. "But the thing is, I didn't actual hunt when I was little. I started hunting when I was 20."
"When I was younger, I was busy and my mom didn't hunt so I thought: ‘girls don't hunt so I'm not going to hunt.' But when I was 20, I thought just because girls that look like me don't hunt - I'm a girly girl, I dress up and I love doing girl things ... I still wanted to try hunting," she said. "I'm 26 now and I've literally done it full time for the last six years and I'm obsessed with it. It's the best thing in the entire world."
And Shockey's not alone. Kristy Titus and Tiffany Lakosky - to name just two - are other powerful feminine figures in the television hunting industry.
But the trend isn't only evident on-screen.
In British Columbia, the percentage of resident hunters who are women has jumped from 6.8% in 2005 to 8.3% last year. It's an increase of 39%, from just under 6,000 female hunters in 2005 to more than 8,000 now.
In Alberta, the number of female hunters has increased 47% since 2007, when just 7,754 women hunted. Last year, there were 11,400. The percentage of hunters in Alberta who are women has steadily increased from 7% in 2011, to 8% in 2012, and 9% last year.
And in Ontario, 25% of all hunter safety course students now are women.
"People are getting used to having women involved, and realizing that we just love being out there," Shockey said. "I do it because I love it, and that's why the guys do it. So really, what's the difference? It's fun to be out there together."
Manufacturers and retailers, too, recognize there's money to be made in the growing demographic.
Reports indicate Bass Pro Shops has seen a ten-fold increase in it's market for women's products in the past decade.
And Cabela's, which promotes itself as the ‘world's largest outfitter,' recently introduced it's OutfitHER line of hunting clothing and accessories "made by women for women.
"It was developed because women were tired of having to wear downsized men's clothing, so they started with a few key pieces and today we have over 20 different pieces in the OutfitHER line, from cold weather gear to rain gear to boots and gloves ... and it's growing," said Katie Sanford, a retail marketing manager with Cabela's at it's Tulalip, WA location.
She's a new hunter, too.
"When I started, I was wearing men's clothing and using my husband's gun. It was big and bulky and really not suited to me. Now, I have OutfitHER clothing - I have the whole line - it fits perfect. And I have my own gun made just for a woman."
While women are a growing hunting demographic now, there have always been very capable trailblazers who bucked the bygone trend of hunting as a man's pursuit.
Nova Scotia's Laura Wood has been doing it for nearly a century ... literally!
Two years ago, the 97-year-old from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia became a local celebrity when she successfully killed a cow moose with one shot while hunting in Newfoundland.
It had been a life-long dream of the mink rancher's, and reports indicate she's been hunting since she was a teenager.
Decades later, it seems, more and more women are joining Wood's ranks and picking up their guns to put meat in the freezer.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of American women participating in outdoor activities rose 25% between 2006 and 2011. And the National Shooting Sports Foundation pegs the increase of women hunters at 10% nationally between 2008 and 2012.
There are now 3.35 million women who hunt stateside.
You have just watched your dream bull crest over the horizon. The magestic bull stands atop the mountain looking over his territory below; he is royal and knows that he is king. This was not a dream that I would need to awaken from. Don't blink...my dream bull was waiting for me as this was my reality in the mountains of Montana.
Tune into RMEF's Team Elk this week with me and Vicki Reed hunt archery bulls in Montana. Thursday @ 10am, Saturday @ 6:30pm, or Sunday @ 6:30pm EASTERN.
Hunting with girls, is something that I don’t get to do as often as I would like, so I am certain to never miss an opportunity when it arrives. This was my third year turkey hunting with Mikyla Jahnke. I love this girl. She has a smile that will light up the mountain and an awesome personality to go with it. I met Mikyla at the Medford RMEF banquet as she was the first youth hunter that I took out with Jeff Heil as part of our now annual youth turkey hunt donation. I couldn’t wait to go hunting with her again.
I met up with Mikyla and father Mike for a short afternoon hunt. The weather was warm and the sky was clear, perfect for turkey hunting. Mike had a spot where he had been steadily seeing several flocks of turkeys.
We set up Mikyla and I side by side and Mike just behind us. The decoys were on display as Mike began striking his slate call sending sweet sounds of putting hens into the air. Sometimes luck is just on your side and for Mikyla and me that day, we were surrounded by luck. It turns out the turkeys were within ear shot of Mike’s calls and literally came in running.
Whispering as quiet as possible, Mikyla and I selected turkeys from the strutting frenzy of jakes that suddenly surrounded us and at the end of a count to three; we had both filled our tags. I am already looking forward to returning to hunt with Mikyla to share a few laughs and of course a good time on the mountain for the fourth year in a row. The RMEF fundraiser started a new tradition for us, one built on friendship and a shared love of the outdoors and conservation. This is what hunting is all about.
It was like having tunnel vision, working our way down the steep mountainside in the dark to the valley below. I could hear the roar of the swollen creek below. With waders in hand, we were prepared to cross. Jeff Heil had planned quite the turkey hunt Western style with lots of mountains to climb and adventure to be had.
The quick water rushed against my legs as I slowly I waded across. The water was surprisingly warm compared to the cool morning air. Making our way up the other side of the mountain, my feet slipped in the wet mountain grasses. The sun was beginning to light up the sky when we heard our first gobble. The turkeys were on the ground from the roost and from the sounds of it, moving in a hurry.
Jeff and I rushed side hill across the mountain with the hopes of intercepting the flock of turkeys. I set up, back against a large pine, Jeff just behind me calling with a series of soft puts and purrs. The flock of turkeys was just below us but the tom had his fare share of ladies already and paid no attention to Jeff’s calls.
We made the decision to make a move with the hopes of locating a more cooperative tom or potentially getting back with this particular tom after his hens had gone to nest. The more time that I spend mountain turkey hunting the more that it reminds me of elk hunting; setting up and hoping for an answer in areas that you often find turkeys followed by quick strategizing and implementation.
Our patience and persistence paid off with a faint gobble in the distance. Time to make a fast move and get to the eager tom. This is the exact reason that I work so hard at staying in shape, when it’s time to go after a turkey that makes a living running up and down the mountain, I had better be able to keep up.
Closing the distance, I set up with a large oak at my back and a bit of scrub in front of me for cover; Jeff was slightly behind me and to my right calling his set of soft puts and purrs. Both of us were in a position to take a shot depending on where the turkeys appeared.
There is nothing quite like the drumming sound that a big old tom turkey makes and when he is close you can even feel the vibration coming off of him through the ground. I am sure the hens are quite impressed with the display of this dominance, it certainly impresses me. We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a frenzy of turkey gobbles. The turkeys that were above us were making their way down and out of the timber towards the grassy meadow that lay below where there was more gobbles erupting from. This was about to be a strut off and we were in the middle of all the action.
The toms strutted right by our decoys on their way to the other flock of turkeys without making any effort or showing any interest in checking them out. After the turkeys had disappeared out of sight, Jeff continued to call softly with the hopes that one of the toms would show back up and wouldn’t you know it, just as Jeff stood, a turkey saw him, let out a loud warning and scooted off.
The rain began to pour out of the sky and the turkeys vanished as quickly as they had arrived. Our western adventure turkey hunt was over for the day as Jeff had to get to work. This had certainly been the most adventurous and exciting turkey hunt that I had ever been on and even though we didn’t tag a turkey that day, it made me look forward to joining Jeff on the mountain for another try at the wild birds.
In the May/June issue of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle Magazine, President and CEO, David Allen highlights the importance of women in the outdoors.
Women sharing their passion and love of the outdoors with other women and kids is creating a community and new family of hunters. RMEF invested more than $500,000 to fund 244 workshops giving women the opportunity to learn about hunitng and help them feel at home in the woods.
RMEF volunteers such as myself, Outdoor Life's Open Country Award winner Kati McCrae, the first ladies of of the Elk Foundation Vicki Munson, and Yvonne Decker and countless other RMEF volunteers and supporters are pouring themselves, heart and soul into creating a legacy to last for generations to come.
If you are not a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, join today at www.rmef.org.
Cabela's OutfitHer Camo Collection
Strong, durable weather-resistance built just for her. The OutfitHer™ Series complements a woman's figure to deliver comfortably-fitted hunting apparel. Fill tag after tag knowing you're wearing OutfitHer™ - your most reliable hunting partner.
"The Snow-covered mountain peaks can take your breath away with their beauty, but they also can chill you to the bone if you're not properly prepared. That's why I wear Cabela's OutfitHER™ Dry-Plus jacket and pants when I'm hunting. They offer the best waterproof and breathable protection from the elements. Inside the soft, quiet shell of both pieces is a warm, comfy liner. The jacket hood cinches down tight, keeping the chilling wind off my head and neck, and the length is just right, preventing it from riding up and over the waist strap on my backpack."
Rhinestones & Rodeo
The Wild Sheep Foundation Ladies Only Luncheon is without a doubt one of the best events of the year. Event organizers Kelli Thornton, Pauline Rupp, Mickie Jefferson and the entire ladies luncheon committee pay close attention to the tiniest of detail making this year’s Rhinestones & Rodeo theme an absolute hit, all brought to us by Cabela’s.
Attendees were greeted at the door by cowboys serving glasses of champagne welcoming us into the marvelous room filled with silent auction and raffle items. It is so awesome to have a room full of women with a shared passion for the outdoors and our hunting heritage.
This was a great opportunity for women to network, share business cards, stories and make friends. Everyone shared in laughter either watching or riding the mechanical bull. Many even got up and danced as Midnight Riders performed live.
Tables were perfectly decorated and everyone went home with a goody bag, including a “Red Solo Cup” wine glass. Rachel Ahtila was this year’s guest speaker sharing a few of her experiences as a woman coming up in the industry and becoming a professional hunting guide.
The luncheon was finalized with a live auction where up and coming artist Madison Drinkall’s donation, a pencil drawing titled “Home in the Mountains” sold for $7,600. Madison was born into a well known outfitting family in the mountains of British Columbia, hence the inspiration for her awe inspiring piece. It really was a profound moment to see the tears of joy welling from her eyes at the outpour of support from the women in the room. We all witnessed a young women’s dream come true.
Our mission as women hunters and shooters is to educate, empower and inspire others with the ultimate goal of giving others the confidence to try out new outdoor activities including hunting and shooting sports. I was proud to be at this luncheon filled with a room of remarkable women as an ambassador for Cabela’s who contributes so much in order to help ensure the continuation of our time honored traditions ensuring a timeless legacy.
This December during the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Shoot Like A Girl featured the debut of their new innovative firearms test shots program. As a certified NRA Instructor, I was beyond thrilled to join SLAG for this exciting launch.
During the ten days of Cowboy Fanfest, Shoot Like A Girl had just under 900 shooters through their trailer where women shot a 9mm pistol, a .223 rifle and bows. Being part of an excellent team of instructors, Jennifer Blake, Raychel Shaw and Ginger Morehead was such an honor.
The positive impact was seen on the faces of the participants; women empowering women to try shooting sports, some for the first time in years, others for the first time ever. Together, we are helping to ensure the future of shooting sports.
17 Year old Mikyla was the lucky winner of the Youth Turkey hunt that features a two day Turkey hunt on private property. An extra thanks goes out to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls, Montana Decoy, Team Elk for your generous donations and support.
In April, volunteer Jeff Heil, myself, Mike Jahnke, and Mikyla were successful in calling in and filming Mikyla while she took down a beautiful turkey. Way to go Mikyla!!!
|Hunters Victoria and Alexa, Mikayla was observing.|
|Alexa and her first blacktail doe.|
|Alexa and I packing her doe down the draw.|
Later that afternoon, it was time for Lexi to hunt her first blacktail doe. Filled with anticipation, the ten year old climbed into my truck along with Victoria. Lexi talked about her fears and I sat and listened to her and thirteen year old Victoria discuss the upcoming hunt. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life hearing Victoria, who is now an experienced hunter having successfully harvested her first deer earlier that morning, talk to Lexi about what to expect, how she is going to feel and most importantly letting her know that she is going to do great.
|Elizabeth and I with here first blacktail buck.|