I wasn’t the least bit surprised when the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) put out a report earlier this year that noted that the fastest growing demographics in shooting were young, female, and urban. I’d seen it personally in the Appleseed events I’d attended as an instructor, as young ladies and girls as young as eight or nine were hitting the range along with their families, seemingly even more so than their brothers.
What I didn’t realize was that a decent amount of these young ladies seem to transferring their shooting skills into hunting success.
City girls not only survive but thrive in the country.
Erikka Murphy, a 2013 Newark Catholic High School graduate, and her sister, Kristie Perusse, are prime examples.
“Growing up in the city, we never thought about hunting,” Perusse said.
But her fiance, Kyle Eyre, introduced her and now her sister to it, and both are hooked.
“It used to be quality time my fiance and I got together, but now I’ve kind of become addicted myself,” said Perusse, who has been hunting for two years and got her first buck last year during gun season. “You’re out there, every day, trying so hard for something. I’ve done turkey hunting and duck hunting this year, too.
“You see more and more girls and women hunting. A good friend of mine never used to do it, and now she hunts with her husband.”
There is an adrenaline rush who the hunter first senses game that is hard to replicate, and certain primal sense of accomplishment at the end of a successful hunt. Even unsuccessful hunts help people reconnect with nature, and seemingly re-calibrate in a world that is too often rushed. In that respect, it is no different now than when “Nessmuk” wrote about it in the 1880s. I doubt Sears would have imagined young ladies of his day involved in such pursuits, but I like to think he would have approved.