Licenses to hunt moose were granted this week in Maine, and the list of recipients included a surprising number of women.
Women have frequently been in the minority when it comes to big game hunting, but there was a noticeable change this year in Maine. Moose hunting licenses are picked from a lottery, and 2,820 will be awarded in 2019.
Every year since 2010, the numbers of female licensed hunters in the state have increased, accounting for 13 percent of hunters as of 2017, according to the Portland Press-Herald.
Registered Maine Guide Ron Fournier weighed in on the difficulties faced by female hunters going for big game.
“I’d say among the women hunters, about 40 percent want to hunt moose. It’s a minority,” he said.
“Moose hunting is a huge time commitment, and there are a lot of barriers. You need a week off. You have to haul it out of the woods. With turkey hunting, you can go near where you live before work.”
Applicants don't need to list their gender, so it's not possible to determine exactly how many of the permits issued were to women. However, as a crowd of more than 1,000 waited anxiously in a large tent for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso to read the names, many of them were for Susans, Rachaels and Barbaras.
Kelly Lamoreau, 45, told the local publication that hunting big game like moose allows her to feel more secure in herself.
“It gives you confidence. I have confidence in myself. I don’t think it’s just a man’s sport anymore. I hope more women try moose hunting," she said.