Female hunters head to the outdoors

Kristy Kain has hunted for nearly 13 years. PHOTO/MICHAELA SCARSELLA

OU News Bureau

While hunting has long been a male-dominated sport, recent years have shown a trend heading in the other direction.

Eleven percent of American hunters were women in the 2011 U.S. Census, a 25 percent increase since the prior census in 2006.

Michigan, which had over 630,000 deer hunting licenses purchased in 2016, has seen a similar trend. Not only did the state’s first female hunting guide make national headlines in 2016, workshops such as Becoming an Outdoors Woman have been created to encourage women to join the sport.

Hana Passarell, 27, a resident in Lapeer County’s Dryden Township, has hunted for three years.

Hana Passarell often hunts using the blind in her backyard. PHOTO/MICHAELA SCARSELLA

“I got into hunting because of my husband,” Passarell said. “I was just trying to spend time with him, but then I started getting interested in it. I feel like it’s a good hobby. You enjoy the outdoors. I think our wildlife in Michigan is pretty neat.”

Before getting into the hobby, she took a hunter education course through North Macomb Sportsmen’s Club in August 2014. The course is required for anyone who wants to purchase a Michigan hunting license and was born after January 1, 1960. It is available to take both online and in person.

Passarell now hunts at home and at her family’s property in Sanilac County’s Marlette.

“Marlette is probably the most populated place to hunt in the Thumb of Michigan,” she said.

In the fall, she hunts during bow season for deer. Then, in spring, she switches to turkey. Passarell prefers to hunt with a crossbow. According to the 2016 DNR Harvest Survey Report, more than 193,000 people also bow hunted in Michigan last year.

Kristy Kain, 21, of Macomb County’s Armada Township prefers using a bow, as well. She has been hunting since she was 9.

“I like hunting more with a bow than a gun. It’s more challenging and rewarding,” Kain said.

To prepare for hunting season, Kain said she sets up trail cameras and monitors what deer are living in the area. Toward the end of summer, she finalizes her hunting spot and sets up her tree stand.

Kristy Kain

Kain shot her first deer, a seven-point buck, when she was 16. Since then, she has shot two turkeys and one more seven-point buck. Since Passarell took up hunting, she has shot an eight-point buck and one turkey.

It is possible to hunt both morning and afternoon, but there are time restrictions.

Although Passarell does hunt in the morning, she has found that deer are more active later in the day. Apparently, other animals are, too. While hunting in the afternoon recently, she had a close encounter with coyotes.

“I had a big buck about 80 yards away,” she said. “I was waiting for him to come in closer. I realized there was three coyotes coming in the same area and spooked him off. The coyotes stuck around until dark and I had to wait to get out of my blind. That was scary.”

Still, with risks come rewards, and Kain insists there are many.

Hunting can decrease the 50,000 deer-related car accidents that happen in Michigan annually. State Farm Insurance found that 1 in 85 drivers in the state will hit a deer, making it the ninth worst for deer claims in the country.

“[Hunting] provides a variety of food to my family and friends,” Kain said. “It’s a hobby that keeps you from being in the house all day and you learn a lot about the benefits of conservation and various animals themselves.”


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Posted by on Oct 31 2017. Filed under Featured article, Michigan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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