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SALT LAKE CITY -- More women across the nation are taking up hunting, either for the food or for the recreation. Numbers are up in Utah and across the nation.
Every year more women have purchased hunting licenses and signed up for hunter education classes in the state. Ralynne Takeda teaches those classes at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
"Our shotgun class is the biggest one we have," Takeda says. "We've actually offered women-only shotgun classes and they are just filled to the max. They just love it."
My husband, my brothers, my dad enjoyed all this stuff over the years and as girls we had to stay home, and we're tired of staying home.
The National Sporting Goods Association reports the number of women hunting nationwide went from 2 million to 3 million between 2004 and 2009. The Deseret News reports the number of female bow hunters jumped from 500,000 to 800,000 and female target shooters went from 4.3 million to 4.7 million.
Takeda says 22,962 women bought hunting licenses in Utah 2008. In 2009, that number rose to 24,475, and this year they are on track to meet or exceed that number. In 2008, 2,737 women took hunter education classes. That number climbed to 3,072 in 2009.
Takeda says women really take to the classes. "A lot of times men started out when they were little shooting, and didn't learn the proper form. All that stuff that goes along with it, so you have to try and correct those bad habits. But women don't have those bad habits and they listen a lot better," she says.
Takeda says women tell her they like to go hunting for the sport, the meat, or just to enjoy the outdoors.
"My husband, my brothers, my dad enjoyed all this stuff over the years and as girls we had to stay home, and we're tired of staying home," she says.