By Lexi Spivak, KY3/KSPR News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR)
Women in Shooting Sports on the Rise in the Ozarks and according to the organization Shoot Like A Girl, new research on women’s participation in shooting sports shows significant increase from previous years.
The organization conducted a study on participation of women in the shooting sports industry, including pistol, rifle and shotgun shooting, archery and hunting. They said the leading activity capturing women’s attention is target shooting.
“It is a known fact that women have been the fastest growing demographic for several years now, and we continue to grow,” said Karen Butler, President and Founder of Shoot Like A Girl. The study found the current growth in participation since reported in 2015 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation has increased by as much 189% in some areas.
Springfield instructor Stacy Bright agreed. “Over the last two or three years we’ve definitely seen an increase in women coming to classes,” said Bright. Bright is not only an instructor but also serves as the leader for the Southwest Missouri Chapter of the group The Well Armed Woman.
She said that it’s not just for sport, but also for self-defense. “Women are learning that first of all the world is not a safe place, crime is on the increase anywhere you go,” said Bright. “I’ve had a lot of older women even come to me who have always had somebody else that was there to protect them, and now they are either single or widowed and they’re thinking I need to protect myself and where do I start with that.”
She also talks about why her group is set apart from your average training class at the range. “We get together and we just have a good time together and learn and empower each other,” she said. “That’s the one thing that I’ve found in women’s shooting sports, it’s not a competitive thing, we want to teach each other and help learn from each other.”
The Shoot Like A Girl study also suggested several economic impacts from the increased interest from women. “In times where overall retail numbers and hunting licenses are on a decline, women’s growth is nourishing sales in both and also impacting their families spending,” said the study.