The more women hunting and fishing, the merrier

3:36 pm July 11th, 2012

By Bob Brown

Twenty-five years ago, women who enjoyed traditional outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and shooting were considered novelties .Today, seeing women in hunting and fishing camps, on shooting ranges or participating in shooting competitions is commonplace and welcomed with open arms.

According to a recent national survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there has been a steady decline of hunters nationwide since 1991. To make up for the loss of revenue because of decreased license sales and Pittman-Robertson funds, many fish and wildlife agencies, including our own Wasthingon Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), have initiated programs to introduce women to hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports. And the effort appears to be showing signs of success. Nearly 1.5 million women hunt, and triple that number fish yearly in the United States.

A basic workshop on fishing, hunting and other outdoor skills, coordinated by the Washington Outdoor Women (WOW) and WDFW is scheduled for Sept. 14-16 at Camp River Ranch in Carnation. Twenty classes will be offered throughout the weekend on archery, freshwater fishing, fly fishing and tying, kayaking and big-game hunting. The annual workshop is in its 15th year and is an outreach program of the Washington Wildlife Federation. Several WDFW staff members will serve as volunteer instructors for the event. Biologist Shelly Ament will teach wildlife identification, while biologists Laura Till and Susan Cierebiej will teach map and compass skills. In all, 32 instructors will volunteer their time and expertise to help women reconnect with the outdoors.

Participants must be at least18 years old andhave a current Washington recreational license to participate in the fishing sessions. For information, including registration fees, contact Ronni McGlenn at (425) 425-1986 o Till at (360) 902-2352.

Sylvia Payne, director of Alabama’s Becoming an Outdoors Women program, said, “If you teach a man to hunt and fish, he goes hunting and fishing. If you teach a woman to hunt and fish, the entire family goes hunting and fishing. Bringing women into those sports helps us reach many more people. Children who are brought up hunting and fishing will likely pursue those activities for their entire lives. Both are healthy and rewarding activities.”
Dispute over sea lions ending?
It looks like there might be an end to the challenge by the Humane Society of the United States to curtail the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service’s authorization to kill California sea lions that prey on salmon below the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a measure allowing lethal removal. The measure, authored by Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, was included in the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (HR 2578).

The bill, which will move to the Senate for consideration, allows Washington, Oregon, Idaho and four Columbia River treaty tribes to obtain one-year permits from the federal government for the lethal removal of a limited number of sea lions preying on salmon, steelhead and other fish in the main stem Columbia and its tributaries. According to media reports, multiple California and Steller sea lions, most with gunshot wounds, have been discovered on beaches in southern Washington, northern Oregon and near the mouth of the Columbia River. The Humane Society and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust have announced they will pay a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal shooting.

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