Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Factors that Enhance or Inhibit the Participation of Women in Fish and Wildlife-Based Recreation
Ensign, Jolie D.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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This research project surveyed women who indicated an interest in the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program by asking to be put on the BOW mailing lists in New Jersey, Florida, and Colorado. Mailing list recipients who had attended a BOW workshop and recipients who had not participated in a workshop to date received the same survey. Non-participants were instructed to skip over questions pertaining to BOW alumni. This was done to provide a basis for comparison, and to determine whether attendance at a workshop makes a difference in their outdoor activities, license buying activities, and their needs and motivations. This research has shown the positive impact that Becoming an OutdoorsWoman makes on participants. Respondents who attended the BOW program were significantly more likely to be able to identify the state resource management agency in their state. Of particular note to resource management agencies is the fact that the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is positively influencing the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and park permits. The respondents were happy with the structure of BOW workshops as they are, but are also interested in further learning experiences. Wilderness orienteering, survival skills, and edible and medicinal plants were the top interest areas cited by respondents. Respondents listed time, not owning equipment, lack of companions to go with, and lack of knowledge about how to get involved as major barriers to participation. According to participants, involvement in outdoor activities is enhanced by availability of inexpensive programs and equipment, companions to participate with, and activities available close to home.