I’m a hunting and fishing fanatic and a strong advocate of introducing others to the sport; It’s fashionable these days to promote the introduction of hunting and fishing to youth and women and it’s often said they are the fastest growing segment in the outdoor industry. I don’t doubt this but I’ve never taken the time to review hard data that proves the statement.
Personally I think it’s important to get women and children outdoors mostly for the quality family time it delivers. We recently took our first family Canadian fishing trip. Our destination was a remote fishing camp near Sioux Narrows, Ontario, called Totem Resorts/Wiley Point. We were there for 4 nights and 3 days, caught 100’s of walleye, a dozen smallies and 3 muskies! We had about 24 hours of boat time as a family in a 19’x8’ area….amazing quality time. We took about 150 fantastic pictures to record the experience and came away the picture below which will most likely be our Christmas card this year...
Kristin Petrie's First Muskie - 46" Lake of the Woods - 8/31/11
Women and children are being presented with great opportunties to hunt and fish thanks to the MN DNR and conservation groups. I don't think we should lose sight another important demographic....men age 28-54.
This is a generation who owned BB guns as kids, had hunting and fishing experiences but were distracted by other priorities growing up. This generation isn’t entirely lost as they had parents and grandparents who hunted or fished, they just need to be reminded to get back to the boat or field. Why are they as important as women/youth to the future of our sport? They are the economic engine of the outdoors. Most women and children who hunt and/or fish have very little input in the equipment they're using...it's the husband/father who's driving the purchase. Most women aren't programmed like men to want to buy $1000 shotguns or $400 deer blinds. Perhaps that will change over time but for now the long lines I see at local outdoor retailers are 98% male.
Should we still promote youth and women hunting/fishing initiatives? Absolutely....but do us all a favor and bring back a few guys to our sport as well!