With all the efforts out there to get women into hunting, I was surprised to learn this morning that some states have regulations that can keep women out. Check out this excerpt from a story today by Shannon Tompkins in The Houston Chronicle:
Texas is one of only 14 states where bowhunters are limited to using bows that have a minimum peak draw weight of 40 pounds; all other states with archery-only hunting seasons have lower or no minimum draw weights.The story, which is about Texas considering a change in this regulation, goes on to say that bow technology has improved to the point that you don't necessarily need a 40-pound draw weight for an effective shot.
That 40-pound draw weight — basically, like lifting a 40-pound sack of sand with two fingers — was designed to limit archers to using only bows that wildlife managers figured produced enough arrow velocity and energy to be effective on white-tailed deer.
And the minimum, which has been in place for decades, applied to equipment used for bowhunting any game animal except squirrel.
But the draw-weight requirement meant a lot of young people and many women were shut out of bowhunting because they didn't have the upper-body strength to draw a 40-pound bow.
I'm not a bowhunter yet (give my huntress sister-in-law a few years to work on me). But if I had to meet a requirement like this, I'm not sure I could.
I'm reasonably strong and fit - hell, I have a black belt in tae kwon do - but my hands just aren't that strong.
When I went to lift this 32-pound salmon I caught on the Sacramento River earlier this year, it was a real struggle, which should be evident by the take-the-dang-picture-already look on my face.
So cheers to Texas for considering a change to the regs!