Hunting and Shooting Industry Targets Women for the 'Sarah Palin Effect'


Pike said sales more than doubled in 2010 and, this year to date, Prois has seen 400 percent sales growth. Prois sells its merchandise online and through sporting retail outlets such as Bass Pro Shops. She said the company has expanded sales into Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Sarah Palin Effect for Conservation

Pike said there is huge potential in the female hunting customer segment, though she is not sure their number will match men's.

"But you are seeing more and more women enter the sport in baby steps, then start to take on new types of weapons, firearms and new species to hunt," Pike said.

She said such expansion includes women joining competitive shooting in archery, pistol and trap sports.

When asked if there the "Sarah Palin Effect" exists, Pike agreed Palin has influenced women in hunting.

However, she was not sure to what degree Palin has become an unintended recruiter for women in hunting.

"I do think Sarah Palin adds a new dimension to the hunting and shooting sports arenas," said Pike. "I believe that any woman can look at her and think, 'I can do that. I can be that,' because she promotes hunting in a way that is without bravado."

Pike and Rhodes said they agree with Palin's approach to hunting through a conservation perspective and the idea of harvesting meat.

"We eat this food every day," said Rhodes. "We're not just trophy hunters. I call myself a social shooter."

Rhodes said she has been to Africa 19 times, but she has never shot an elephant or lion.

"I didn't care to do that. I don't condemn anyone that does," said Rhodes. "I love looking at pictures in homes and applaud them. I have a whole house full of trophies. I'm not into awards. I'm into teaching the next woman that's learning to shoot and be a part of the outdoors."

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