Why has there been quite a dramatic increase in women who hunt in the USA? The reason is that women are reclaiming their natural role in society as existed hundreds of thousands of years ago and which was squashed by males including scientists specializing in anthropology who presented the classic argument that men in prehistory where hunters and women stayed behind preparing food and doing other tasks within the settlement. The male human dictated the role of women in society. Yes, scientists in their writings supported this male dominance and suppressed the female’s role as existed in the days of, for example, Neanderthal man (about 400,000 to 50,000 years ago, as I understand it).
In some cultures, extreme male dominance is still obvious. I’m thinking of the culture of Moslems when women are kept under wraps in clothes which cover them head-to-foot turning them into invisible ‘non-people’ and in Afghanistan where under the Taliban females were not allowed to go to school and so on and so forth. There are numerous examples in many countries. In India, there was the infamous gang rape and brutal killing of a woman on a bus. It is admitted that rape in India is too often accepted by men in authority and women seen as creating the problem. Things are changing, though.
Just to make it completely clear, it is now believed that in the era of Neanderthal man, both women and men hunted. It was a necessity. There may have been some gender-specific roles but this did not prevent women hunting. The increase in women hunting in America today is an expression of their liberation from male dominance and a return to their roots. That is my opinion and not fact.
National Geographic state that, today, women are hunting to put more fresh meat on the table (is there a lack of supermarkets in some parts of America?). Although men are in the majority at 13.7 million US hunters, the number of women hunters is on the rise. Between 2006 and 2011 there was a 25% increase in female hunters. In 2006, 11% of all hunters in the USA were women.
A big game hunting website (BGH Journal) states that there is a decline in male hunters and a corresponding increase in female hunters in America. In South Dakota from 2008 to 2010 there was an increase of 20% of female hunting licenses. There was a decrease by 2% in male licences. Male youth hunting decreased by 10% over that period. It appears that young men have decided not to go hunting whereas young women have. There was a decrease of 3 million men hunters from 1984 to 2010.
Some female hunters in America do so to put food on the table. They might say that they don’t have easy access to meet at a supermarket. This situation should be unusual, I’d have thought. That may be one factor but it would seem that a greater factor is that they enjoy sport hunting, reprising their natural instincts which are hardwired into their DNA from Neanderthal times.
The increase in the desire of females to hunt has resulted in an increase in retailers who sell hunting clothes for females and in the number of training courses and such like dedicated to women who want to go hunting. This increasing commercial activity around hunting reinforces and facilitates the desire of women to go hunting thereby promoting an increase in their numbers.
One woman, Lily Raff McCaulou, author of Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner, said that:
“Hunting may be the next frontier for local food”.
Another reason why women go hunting is that they want to be with their spouse or partner more often and as men historically have enjoyed sport hunting it allows women to participate more frequently in family life.
I am sure that when daughters see their mother hunting they pick up their skills and the desire to do it themselves. No doubt, also, mothers will want to pass on their skills to their daughters, further promoting the increase in the number of women hunters.
The American government authorities, namely the U.S. Fish and Wildlife services, say that hunting helps conservation because of the taxes raised which are fed back into conservation.
National Geographic said that women are realising that hunting is fun and that it can bring them closer to their families and improve relationships between family members.
“The whole concept is that I’m shooting my family’s dinner tonight and we are eating something I shot.” (Tiffany Lakosky – Co-host of the Outdoor Channel hunting show Crush With Lee and Tiffany)
The thoughts Tiffany Lakosky above could have be those of Neanderthal women. That is not to criticise because Neanderthals are now seen as very similar to today’s humans. They have bigger brain cavities, for instance.
In hopefully a more civilised society, my thoughts are that people should put away their natural gut instincts to hunt. For me, there is no place for it in modern society anywhere on the planet. We can do better and we can live more harmoniously with other species. Killing animals for pleasure is no longer civilised.
Finally, it might be the case that women prefer to hunt with bow and arrow as used by Lindsey. This may be because they are lighter, they are being manufactured specifically for women’s anatomy and are perhaps naturally better suited to females.
The reason why I wrote this article is because I wanted to try get into the head of the two young women referred to in the recent article by Elisa namely the now notorious Kristen Lindsey and Rebecca Francis who, incidentally, look almost identical in their photographs.