For Christmas: Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors

Dec. 16, 2009

For Christmas: Girls Just Wanna Have Guns
Having a difficult time deciding what to get the special women in your life for
Christmas? Well, those who track Americans’ purchasing and lifestyle trends say
all the data surprisingly points to firearms and shooting accessories as among the most
popular choices for females this holiday season. We also bring you the story of
an alleged game law violator who was apprehended wearing “non-regulation” pajamas
and slippers — and much more!

For Hunting, Protection Or Pleasure:
More Women Shooting

Asked what they’d like to receive for Christmas gifts this year, women
respondents to a “Consumer Reports” Money and Shopping Blog survey overwhelmingly
said they’d be "thrilled to receive boots, purses, pajamas, and guns."

J.R. Absher

And forecasters say the last 12 months of record-busting firearms sales will
easily spill over into the 2009 Christmas season, especially for females who
are both giving gifts and receiving them. In the 11 years since the FBI began
conducting background checks on all potential gun buyers, November and December
have been gun retailers’ busiest sales months, without exception.

There’s more.

The number of women participating in hunting and the shooting sports is
increasing at an historic clip. Between 2003 and 2008, women who hunted with
firearms increased an impressive 3.5 percent to 2.9 million, according to a new
report released just last week by the National Sporting Goods Association

During the same period, women who participated in bowhunting rose 1.5
percent to 600,000. In the past year alone, the number of licensed female
hunters in Louisiana increased a whopping 12 percent, reaching record numbers
for the fairer gender.

Further, the number of woman taking firearms self-defense instruction and
applying for concealed-carry permits shot off the charts for most of 2009.

Female enrollment in the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s "First
Shots" program has set new records all year. Just as the name implies, the
program introduces people to handgun shooting for their first time — along
with expert coaching and safety instruction.

In the classes, women also learn about safe handling and storage of
firearms, state and local permitting processes, how to purchase a handgun, what
model and caliber is right for them, how to determine proper fit, holsters,
apparel, and that some handguns even come in colors designed to be more
appealing to women.

Not only does such training impact a woman’s outlook on personal protection,
but it also influences their buying habits — a fact increasingly addressed by
major handgun manufacturers and marketers.

Alleged Game Violator Wore Jammies, Slippers
It’s the busiest time of year for those men and women who are charged with
protecting our natural resources and enforcing state game and hunting

More and more state conservation agencies are using innovative methods to
apprehend those ne’er-do-wells who are prone to take game animals out of season
or ignore game laws meant to protect and manage our valuable wildlife

One anti-poaching tool becoming increasingly popular with game agencies
across the country is the mechanical and motorized deer decoy. Made to look and
move like the real thing, the decoys are often placed in "no-shoot"
situations — such as in a field at night or on private property located across
a public road where shooting and hunting is prohibited. Wildlife law
enforcement officers stake out such locations, waiting for game law scofflaws
to come along and do something stupid.

Unfortunately, more often than not, they usually do.

During the recent firearms deer-hunting season, Sgt. Ron Kimmerly with the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources was operating such a stake-out with a
robotic deer placed on private land in Taymouth Township. On the stake-out, a man in a pickup pulled up, saw the deer, and aimed a rifle out the truck

Then the man began shooting at the faux whitetail buck.

"After each time this guy shot, I made the deer look at him, and after
he shot, I had it look away," Kimmerly told the Saginaw News. He said the
man was accurate, but after three shots struck the deer in the chest and it
still didn’t drop or run, a would-be poacher realized something was afoul and
began to drive away.

When assisting officers pursued and stopped the alleged lawbreaker, they
found that in addition to violating trespassing and weapons transportation
regulations, he was not wearing the hunter orange garb required by the state
for deer hunting.

In fact, he wasn’t even wearing hunting clothes.

Sgt. Kimmerly said the man was clad in flannel pajamas and slippers, none of
which were blaze orange — yet another hunting violation.

West Virginia Joins Wildlife Violator Compact
West Virginia has become the 32nd member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s
Compact, a cooperative agreement honoring hunting and fishing license
suspensions enacted by all member states.

Under the compact, game law violators in West Virginia may face additional
consequences for their illegal actions in all member states. Terms of the
agreement treat wildlife law violations by a non-resident the same as those
made by a resident.

Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member
state could also be denied future purchase of a license in West Virginia until
he or she has satisfied suspension in the other state.

"This cooperative interstate effort will enhance West Virginia’s ability
to protect and manage the state’s wildlife resources for the benefit of all
residents and visitors," said Gov. Joe Manchin as he signed the measure
into law last week.

Survey: CRP Lands Vital To Nebraska Pheasant Hunting
A survey of Nebraska pheasant hunters reveals what many already knew: the land
managed under the federally authorized Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is
vital to providing habitat for game birds such as pheasants, and critical to
the future of upland bird hunting in The Cornhusker State.

The poll revealed that 32 percent (nearly one-third) of the total Nebraska
pheasant harvest during the 2008-09 season took place on Conservation Reserve
Program-Management Access Program (CRP-MAP) lands.

CRP-MAP offers public access to private walk-in hunting sites, focusing on
grassland and upland game habitats.

The survey randomly chose 8,000 residents and 2,000 nonresidents who
purchased either a Nebraska hunt permit — often referred to as a "small
game" permit — or a Nebraska combination hunt/fish permit. There were
2,367 respondents.

In addition, CRP-MAP lands accounted for 25 percent of the quail harvest and
13 percent of the grouse harvest during the 2008-09 season.

The survey also found that Nebraska dove hunters harvested 4.3 doves per each
day spent hunting, a figure that has been trending upward since the mid-1990s.
The estimated small game harvest during the 2008-09 season was: 322,798
pheasants, 320,139 doves, 93,251 quail, 38,144 grouse, 43,970 cottontail
rabbits, and 17,996 squirrels.

Quote Of The Week
"When blizzards and storm winds strike, other hunters curl up by the
hearth. Waterfowlers go forth."
-Zack Taylor
“Successful Waterfowling,” 1974

J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear
in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the
outdoors weekly for You may contact him at

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