Traditional Gender Roles Are Out the Door, More Women To Rifle Hunt

With cool weather on deck and some snow, it couldn't be more of a perfect opener for hunters gearing up to sit in a tree to wait for that big buck.

But the thought of the boys going to the deer camp for the weekend seems to be going out of style with the number of women joining the hunting world on the rise.

More than half a million people take part in the nine-day rifle hunting season, and a growing number of those hunters will be women.

Twelve-year-old Brianna Kriesel said she has hunted since she was 10 years old, and she fits the trend.

"My grandma packs us the food," Kriesel said. "She packs us sandwiches soups and snacks for hunting."

Kriesel said traditional gender roles have changed. She'd rather be bringing the prize back to cook, rather than cooking it for the boys.

"Girls can hunt too because some girls like to be outdoors," Kriesel said.

Local retailers said to NewsChannel 7 they're seeing, more and more women coming in to prep for hunting.

"They (women) tend to have a better shot than most guys," Gunsmith Jake Owner Jake Schira said.

Schira said women should make sure to find the proper rifle that fits their build.

Because women are built a little differently than men, Schira said one of the most common things that women say helps them hunt comfortably and safely is if you shorten the buttstock on the back of the gun. The buttstock is the part that rests on a shoulder and kicks back when you fire the rifle.

"They (women) shoot better. They (women) listen better," Schira said. "They're more attentive when their in the blinds and in the tree stands."

Getting gear for the stands is important too.

At Gander Mountain in Rothschild, workers sell the rifles fit for a woman build, which the difference is only a matter of inches on parts of the gun.

Putting gender aside, both men and women are excited to put the blaze orange on this weekend, and at Gander Mountain, around 70 licences have been sold per day, and sales are expected to soar.

"Weather is going to be fantastic," Paul Schliepp, Gander Mountain employee, said. "Weather is cold, and the deer should be moving around. As long as you can stay out in the woods, you have a good chance of seeing a deer and getting one."

That's exactly the Kriesel's plan when she wakes up at 5 a.m. Saturday with her grandpa.

She's keeping her eye on the prize, and no traditional gender role will scare her away.

Schira also said safety is most important for all ages and genders. Here are some tips he said you should follow before heading out to the stand for the season:

- If you're exposed in a tree stand, wear a tree harness.
-Make sure your ammo is the right caliber for your rifle.
-Clean your scopes
-Store guns outside where it is cold. Moisture can be a problem, and it can cause issues in the firearm long-term.
-Wear blaze orange.
-Keep animals inside.
-Educate children if you store guns at home. You shouldn't hide them. Hunter's education is important.

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