Female hunters on the rise in Minnesota

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the number of female hunters is on the rise despite an overall decrease in hunting interest.
Nearly 70,000 of Minnesota's 550,000 hunters are women, compared to 55,000 female hunters in 2010, Minnesota Public Radio reported .
The department's Becoming An Outdoors Woman program is one of the state's training and research efforts that aims to increase women's interest in hunting. 
Linda Bylander, who runs the program, said women are becoming more interested in using wild game as part of the local food movement. She also said women are having an easier time getting into hunting as more hunting gear and clothing is being designed for them. 
"Getting women to learn how to hunt is trickling down," she said. "Now they're introducing their children to these sports."
Female hunters also mentor other women interested in the activity, she said.
"The social connections are huge and I have a ton of stories about women who meet other women and continue the sports after going through these skill workshops that we offer," Bylander said.
Mackenzie Green grew up in a hunting family in rural Clay County. The 24-year-old said she enjoys the time she gets to spend in nature. Green uses a crossbow when she hunts.
 "It's like when I step into the woods, I'm in a different zone," Green said. "All the distractions of the real world are gone. It's just you and your thoughts and things around you. That's what I love about it."
Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has seen the greatest decrease in overall hunter participation, the department said.