Aja Fournet is one of the crop of new female hunters, she’s a small part of a growing trend of women who are taking to the woods and swamps of Louisiana to re-claim a sport traditionally dominated by men.
“I mean I enjoy it as a sport or a hobby or whatever you want to call it. When you get out there it’s quiet in the woods. Sometimes I’ll bring a book for while I am waiting for the deer to show up,” explained Fournet.
“I’ve seen an increase to about 35-40% of my students in my hunter’s education class are now females,” Gene Cavalier, with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, added.
But making your way in to a male dominated field can be intimidating for many women.
“When I go out to the camp by myself sometimes I feel a little bit awkward. You know there’s all the men out there riding up and down,” Fournet explained.
“It can be very intimidating to a female who number one has never shot a gun, who number two has never been alone in the woods, even with a firearm. Or number three, process the game or know what to do with it after they’ve killed it. All of those things are intimidating,” Karen Crabtree-Edwards, with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, added.
That’s why many women are choosing to do it together; the trend has started to have a snow ball effect. Women are encouraging each other to try out the sport for size, and finding they like it.
“I have had friends that are interested and they’ll say, ‘hey can you take me?’ and I’ll probably take them when I learn a little more what I am doing out there. But yeah I’ve seen more interest in women for sure,” Fournet added.
“I don’t do anything by myself. If I am going to go do something I call my friend and she’s going to come do it with me. So that’s just how women operate. They do travel in packs and if you’ve got one, you’ve got her friend, and her other friend. I mean sometimes women even form posses,” Crabtree-Edwards explained jokingly.