Some of the most dedicated members of the Dearborn County Shooting Sports program are young girls. Each year, more than 100 4-H members there participate in gun and archery shooting, and then exhibit items they make related to the sport, or posters about the sport, at the county fair. When I judged the exhibits last year and the year before, young ladies were as adept and knowledgeable about firearms, bows and hunting as the guys in many cases. In fact, the member that brought in six posters and had a variety of bows and guns for hunting and practice was a young lady, not a young man.
That trend is apparently spreading across Indiana. Jennifer Piotrowski, a senior in Purdue University Ag Communications, wrote about Mary Ryba, a mother near Michigan City who likes to spend spare time hunting deer during the season. She has been successful at bringing back her fair share of animals. Her son, Chris, also hunts. Piotrowski was attracted to write about Ryba because the student is also an avid hunter.
Ryba was featured in a story by Jennifer on the Web here a couple weeks ago. She will also be a part of Jennifer's story in the December issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer about trends in deer and deer control in the state. When the story appeared in the Web, it brought a response from a follower. Mark Lawson, Danville, a farmer, agronomist with Syngenta, and father, told us about his daughter, who hunts and harvests deer during the season.
His daughter, Terri Girt, was hunting shortly before the item on women hunters appeared on the Web, and took her first buck. She was hunting near Cayuga, her father reports. The 9-point buck weighed 170 pounds. She shot the deer with a 38 pound bow.
Deer and hunting deer are important topics to Indiana agriculture because deer can damage crops. Hunting helps keep the deer population in balance.