When we look at the attrition rates of hunter numbers, it's not a pretty picture. There is a bright spot in the data, however and it involves the number of women who are taking up our passion for bowhunting.
Ten years ago, this wasn't the case and one need only look at the women's products available then to see that most companies didn't take the movement too seriously.
The typical product was something designed for either men or youth, with a few pink or purple accents added. That was it. These days, thankfully, that trend is dying on the vine because the end consumer saw right through it.
Modern women's products are actually designed for lady bowhunters, by - you guessed it - lady bowhunters. That's a big deal and it speaks volumes on the future of hunting in general, and bowhunting specifically. For examples of these products, look no further than the following - all of which are ideal for women who take to the field with full quivers.
Cabela's | Women's Elite Fleece Jacket
Any jacket that doesn't truly block the wind, won't be of much use after about October 15th. That's why Cabela's Elite Fleece Jacket utilizes the 4MOST WINDSHEAR technology, which is highly effective at keeping heat-sapping wind at bay.
This jacket also features 150-gram Thinsulate Platinum Insulation to trap in body heat. Choose from sizes ranging anywhere from small to XXL in this Realtree XTRA covered jacket.
Carbon Express | Maxima PNK RZ Mathews Edition Arrows
The true test of a quality arrow is how well it carries a fixed-blade broadhead down range. PNK RZs, which are made with CX's proprietary Diamond Weave carbon material, accomplish this quite well. These arrows also employ RED ZONE, which essentially concentrates the arrow's flex at the middle of the shaft.
To ensure each PNK RZ is just like the next, each is laser checked for straightness, spine tolerance, and weight tolerance. These arrows weigh 6.59gpi, are fitted with LAUNCHPAD Precision Nocks, and are fletched with NRG-2 high-performance vanes.
Elite | Spirit
When I reminisce on my favorite bows of the past, one names pops up quite a bit - Elite. When it comes to bows, they do things right. That's why it's no surprise that their Spirit is one of the most popular women's bows in the country.
The Spirit weighs less than four pounds, measures a shade under 32 inches between axles, and is available in peak draw weights of anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds (in 10-pound increments). Arrow speeds of upwards and beyond 300fps are possible thanks to the SPIRIT Cam System, which works in conjunction with the revolutionary Riser Cage to transfer as much energy as possible to your arrows.
Hunter Safety System | Contour
Where quality safety harnesses are concerned, Hunter Safety System has very little competition. Their lineup provides quality safety gear for anyone planning to hit the woods this fall, and their Contour is an excellent choice for all the ladies who like to take an aerial view of the comings and goings of local deer.
The Contour is engineered to properly fit a women's body, features two zippered side pockets, is covered in Realtree XTRA camouflage, and weighs only 2.5 pounds. Better yet, it is sold standard with a lineman's climbing belt and and adjustable tree strap.
Lakewood Products | C275-W Drop-In Bowfile
The C275 from Lakewood Products is a killer bow case. I've used mine for over-the-road hunts and have flown with it several times (it's fully airline approved) without ever having a problem. The drop-in design is not only handy, but also allows for extra room for an arrow case and other assorted gear (plus you can store your bow with the quiver attached if you like).
This made-in-the-USA case weighs 16 pounds, features a shoulder strap, and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. In other words, it'll be the last case you'll need to buy whether you're a back-40 whitetail hunter or a globetrotting, fill-the-trophy-room-with-exotics-of-all-species type. To fly your women's hunter pride loud and proud, opt for Muddy Girl camo.
Rage | SS-85
Bowhunters who shoot low-poundage bows but still want the benefits of a 1.5-inch cutting diameter broadhead should look no further than the new SS-85 from Rage. Weighing 85 grains and boasting a pair of .035-inch thick blades, the SS-85 is engineered specifically for shorter-draw length shooters whose rigs aren't setting records for the amount of KE generated.
In-flight diameter is only .75-inch on the SS-85, which utilizes Rage's popular Shock Collar to ensure that its blades open only when it hits the target and not while on its way.
Quest | Storm
Quest just might produce the most underrated bows on the market, and their Storm is certainly no exception. This silky smooth, single-cam bow is capable of producing arrow speeds of up to 290fps, measures 31 inches between axles, and weighs in at only 3.7 pounds.
Choose from draw lengths of 23 to 27.5 inches and draw weights of 30 to 60 pounds. To ensure that the Storm will put arrows where you're aiming, it's built upon the new Stabilite riser and features a slimmer grip, which is always welcome.
Tru-Fire | Spark
Designed to fit wrists measuring anywhere between 4.5 and eight inches, the Tru-Fire Spark is perfect for women archers. This release, which is an off-shoot of the popular Smoke model, features spring-loaded jaws, Tru-Forward trigger fingering positioning, and a brushed-black-cotton buckle strap.
To keep unwanted clanks and clinks to a minimum while hunting, the Spark is also designed with the Foldback ring so that the head can be flipped around 180 degrees and essentially tucked away when not in use. Lastly, this made-in-the-USA release retails for only $50, which is a steal.
Under Armour | Artemis Hybrid Jacket
It's hard to beat UA clothing whether you're elk hunting or working on your 10K race times. If the new Artemis Hybrid Jacket is any indicator, that trend is likely to stay alive and well. This 100-percent polyester jacket features a durable STORM1 woven body, Primaloft insulated front and back panels, and secure hand pockets.
The Artemis Hybrid also happens to feature ColdGear Infrared sleeves and UA's Scent Control, to ensure that you not only stay warm on stand - but that you also stay undetected.