NRA: Number of female hunters on the rise - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

NRA: Number of female hunters on the rise

(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

More and more women are becoming "outdoors women."

“Becoming an Outdoors Woman” was a program created in 1991. Since then it has spread across the country and into Canada.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the program caused an ever-increasing number of women to hit the woods hunting, fishing, backpacking, kayaking and more.

Opening day for the regular firearm season is just one week away and that typically means girlfriends and wives band together for deer widows weekend. However, some employees at Cabela's said more and more women are gearing up and heading to the woods.

"I've been going up in the tree stands with my parents since I could walk," said Rachel Lokajtys, sales coach at Cabela's.

She said she is an outdoors woman. She said everyone in her family goes hunting and it's an experience she would recommend to anyone.

"Coming back and sharing what you saw with your family, sharing the story with family and friends, the pictures. That's probably what really means the most," Lokajtys said.

Not only does Lokajtys work at Cabela's, but she studied biology in college and spent a summer working with the DNR. So for her, hunting is more than a hobby.

"Even if you don't get anything, I love being out there and just watching the animals," Lokajtys said.

She is not alone. According to the NRA, there were 1.8 million female hunters in 2001. In 2013, that number spiked to 3.3 million - an 85 percent increase.

Jake Bokuniewicz, archery outfitter at Cabela's, said with bow season already underway he has been seeing an increase in folks in and out of the store.

"Now people are looking for that second chance you know, the 15th is rolling around. I think people are looking to get it done and being able to take that extra shot a few hundred yards out. It's a little easier that way," Bokuniewicz said.

Bokuniewicz said he is an Eagle Scout who loves the outdoors. He said any increase in folks heading to the woods is a good thing.

"I like it a lot just because getting everybody outdoors benefits people because it calms them down, right? So it takes that experience and you can pass that on to everybody," he said.

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