It’s not surprising to hear that women’s-only hunting and conservation organizations, groups and chapters are becoming a staple in the hunting industry. We know for a fact that women are the fastest-growing demographic of hunters in the United States. The total number of women hunters has surged 25 percent from 2006 to 2011, with at least 11 percent of all U.S. hunters being women—up from 9 percent in 2006 according to National Geographic. Women’s-only chapters of organizations such as Pheasants Forever are popping up all over the country, including two women’s chapters that I am proud to be a part of in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Something that most people don’t understand about women hunters is how much we really enjoy cheering each other on and applauding our fellow hunters’ accomplishments. We love to support other women who enjoy doing what we do. I had the opportunity to discuss the formation of the only current Women’s Pheasants Forever chapter in Minnesota with the president of that chapter, Kelsi Smith. Smith, like me, is always looking for more opportunities for women to get together to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors, not to mention meeting like-minded women and gaining experience with conservation and giving back. After chatting with Pheasant Forever’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Bob St. Pierre, Smith was motivated to start the women’s chapter here in Minnesota called “Legendary Longtails.” Using social media as the catalyst to attract interest, the group grew to over 100 women interested in becoming chapter members seemingly overnight.
The Legendary Longtails hosted a ladies-only pheasant hunt at Wings North in Pine City, Minn. Women tend to find women-only hunting clubs supportive and encouraging both in pre-hunt training and in the field. (Image courtesy of the author.)
This group has motivated a lot of women to get out hunting for the first time, learn new things and socialize with other women near them who have the same interests. At one of the chapter meetings, Smith recalls a new member speaking about how this was her first year hunting and she was excited to get started. The whole chapter applauded and cheered her on, which is exactly what the chapter is all about: passionate women who support each other and want to empower each other through their love for the outdoors.
Legendary Longtails had a great first year of events including hosting a kick-off benefit that raised money for conservation, participating in a Clays for a Cause charity event at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club and a public women’s-only clay shoot where non-members were encouraged to attend and check out what the chapter has to offer. It also is hosting a ladies-only pheasant hunt this fall at Wings North in Pine City, Minn.
When women get together to hunt, the group quickly becomes a sisterhood. We share a common bond. We do not compete, we encourage. Women can learn new skills here, in a positive environment, full of support. If you would like more information on the Legendary Longtails of Minnesota, you can follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.
About the author: Jennifer Piasecki-Dums is the Wisconsin and Minnesota state coordinator for Próis Hunting and Field Apparel for Women. She is also secretary for the Lake Superior Safari Club International chapter.