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Take a female friend hunting this fall

September 23, 2011 at 07:36 AM

The State Journal-Register

According to the National Weather Service, and based on a life expectancy of 80 years old, the chance of someone in the general population being struck by lightning during his or her lifetime is 1 in 10,000.

Not all lightning strikes are fatal and not all occur when the victim is outdoors.

But a recently released study indicates that men are 80 percent more likely to be struck by lightning than women. There was a wide variety of speculation about why the spread is so gender specific. It’s probably not because most men are taller.

Conducting my own somewhat less than scientific study, I asked the Little girls for their take on this alarming statistical disparity. Without hesitation, they reached the same conclusion.

“You keep mowing when there’s thunder and lightning,” they said. “Then you stand outside and watch it. We don’t.”

I suppose that could have something to do with it. When the weather radio goes off, they actually heed the warnings and get under a roof. I have always thought I had enough sense to come in out of the rain. Maybe I don’t.

While they are less likely to be struck by lightning, women entering the shooting sports are more likely to become better rifle shooters than men who enter the sport at the same time.

Beginning women are more willing to start at the bottom, taking a class from an experienced shooting instructor. These teachers say women are better listeners than men. They have fewer preconceived notions.

Women follow instructions better than men and are better able to concentrate. Instructors say women master shooting mechanics more easily because they understand why they are doing what they do.

The National Sporting Goods Association says more women took up hunting in 2010 than men. The apparel and equipment manufacturers already know where the new customers are. Equipment is getting lighter. Hunting clothes for ladies fit better and have become stylish.

The impact of new female hunters may be far greater than just one more hunter spending money on new stuff. Judy Rhodes, a member of a Texas women’s outdoors organization says, “Men tend to stick with the same hunting partner for (about) 70 years. For every woman we introduce to the outdoors, she brings in seven (more).”

That might be something to think about for outdoor clubs and organizations that need fresh ideas to expand their list of active members. It’s a new way of thinking, but the numbers say the female segment of the population is where most of the new hunters and shooters are.

Sylvia Payne, director of “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” in Alabama says, “If you teach a man to hunt, he goes hunting. If you teach a woman to hunt, the entire family goes hunting. Children who are brought up hunting are likely to pursue the activity for their entire lives.”

If you want hunting to become a family affair, and make the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone, think about taking the ladies along.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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