Research shows that naturally, participation in hunting is declining. A lack of access and opportunity are often cited as the primary drivers of this decline. However, one segment of the hunting community is actually bucking this overall trend – the ranks of female hunters is growing. According to the National Rifle Association, “in 2001 there were 1.8 million registered female hunters in the U.S., but by 2013 that number almost doubled to 3.3 million.” To provide additional support for this growing sector of our hunting community, new organizations and companies have emerged to help provide access and opportunities for female hunters. This is where The Sisterhood of the Outdoors comes into play.
The Sisterhood of the Outdoors is an inspirational company comprised of amazing women from all across the United States who all share the same passion for the great outdoors. This group of women work diligently to provide additional access and opportunities for female hunters wishing to get afield. Amy Ray, President and CEO of The Sisterhood of the Outdoors, whom I had the pleasure of hunting with, presents a clear mission of The Sisterhood to, “empower the next generation lady hunter and to provide ladies with quality hunting, fishing and outdoor adventures at an affordable price.” In fulfillment of this mission, The Sisterhood of the Outdoors provides over 100 opportunities across the nation each year for women to learn how to hunt and shoot. Through these opportunities, participants enjoy unforgettable experiences, develop lifelong friendships, and learn additional skills in the hunting and shooting sports.
I know firsthand The Sisterhood of the Outdoors is a truly unique group of women that works hard to provide the best outdoor experiences, quality hunts, and great hunting education for those women who chose to get afield with The Sisterhood. Recently, I had the opportunity to join The Sisterhood of the Outdoors for an educational hunting seminar, as well as a women’s waterfowl hunt hosted by Victoria Jones, Pro Staff Manager for The Sisterhood. It was an unforgettable experience consisting of quality outdoor education, guest speakers, and truly felt like a sisterhood where I was fortunate enough to meet some very inspirational people. In addition, those of us who participated in the hunt were lucky enough to experience some of the finest waterfowl hunting in the country located right in Cecil County, Maryland. What a lot of non-hunters don’t understand is, it’s not all about the “kill.” It’s about the experiences, the people you meet and the memories you make along the way and The Sisterhood definitely did not disappoint.
I am sincerely appreciative to have been introduced to these ladies, and am grateful for my friends at the Maryland Hunting Coalition for connecting us. This Sisterhood, consisting of women across the country, undoubtedly embodies what it means to be a hunter conservationist, and advocate for women in the outdoor industry. As a hunter, it is imperative to surround yourself with like-minded people and groups such as, The Sisterhood of the Outdoors, so that we can continue to expand our outdoor knowledge and experience the great outdoors to carry on our hunting legacy.