(WAOW) — This year, an increased number of female hunters joined the boys in bagging bucks.
During this COVID-19 year, deer license sales are up 3.2 percent from last year. Women participants increased by 9% from last year, totaling about 90,000 women who joined the hunt, according to the DNR.
It’s growth that Jessica Tomaszewski, program manager of the College of Natural Resources at UWSP, says is necessary.
“We need to grow the population of hunters and fishers,” she said.
Tomaszewski says more hunters heading out means increased funding. The sale of licenses and hunting equipment ultimately comes back to the DNR, which gives them the funding they need to continue conservation efforts.
“To be able to manage lands, to be able to manage fish and game as well as endangered species,” she said.
Beyond aiding in conservation efforts, women hunters say the benefits for them are spending more time with loved ones.
This is true for 11-year-old hunter Jayda Steinke.
“My dad always took me hunting and I always liked it and getting to watch him shoot a deer,” she said.
Steinke said spending time with her family is one of her favorite parts about hunting… among other things.
“Spending time with my dad, and being outside, and drinking soda that I don’t usually get to drink,” she said.
There’s been a growing movement to get women into outdoor sports. That’s what Tomaszewski has seen in her work with programs geared towards budding outdoorswomen.
“People are becoming very conscious about harvesting for food, becoming conscious about getting out and recreating,” she said.
Steinke encourages all young girls who are interested in hunting to just try it out.
“Maybe they can try hunting with somebody else and hopefully see a deer being shot, and see if they would want to do it themselves,” she said.