Trends in the Women’s Hunting Industry
Dr. John Woods 12.25.17
Trying to figure out exactly the percentage of women involved in the hunting sports is a difficult demographic to nail down. From many different sources, the indication is that women still continue to grow the ranks of hunters. However, for those in the business of supplying hunting clothing designed just for women only, it is a confusing situation.
Kirstie Pike the CEO of Prois clothing often scratches her head in trying to track trends in how or what women are buying in terms of hunting clothing. She has been in the business since 2008 and her Prois clothing is considered one of the top lines of women’s camouflage hunting clothing in the marketplace. But, her company just recently elected to sell direct to consumers since it was not moving hanging on racks in traditional retail outlets.
“When we first stuck our toe into the hunting industry, it just so happened that the timing could not have been better. There was an absolute lack of any performance hunting gear for women. With hunting television taking off and women being seen on these shows, the women’s hunting industry was now the buzz. It was determined that women made up about 11% of hunters and this was really the first time the industry took note of the women involved in hunting and the outdoors, “ says Kirstie Pike.
Pike continued, “Everyone wanted to capture this huge, untapped market. Women were everywhere. Every ad was now catering to women. Every product line now had a female spokesperson. Everyone was set to capitalize on this demographic.” But as Prois continued to ride the female hunting boom, Pike became more and more confused by it all.
She began tracking trends in the women’s only hunting market. Suddenly though female numbers were supposed to be so high, four of the “women’s only” companies went out of business. Big box stores were underselling and returning shipments. Men’s camo clothing companies cut their female lines. Even hunting specialty stores were unable to move much in the way of women’s apparel. Then retailers began to cut back on their purchases of women’s products. What was going on?
Women hunter demographics continue to be difficult to track. Updated numbers from various sources have not been refreshed since 2013. Numbers seem to be consistent. Women are loyal customers and seek out gear specifically for them. They want to be recognized as hunters, not female hunters. Forget the pink.
The women’s hunter market is viable. Women looking for quality hunting clothing designed for them should check out Prois Hunting at www.proishunting.com.