An increasing number of women are taking to the nation’s fields, forests and streams to enjoy hunting and angling opportunities once embraced almost entirely by men.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife data, collected in part by Florida research firm Southwick Associates, shows that in 2001, 26.1 percent of freshwater anglers and 9.2 percent of hunters were female. In 2011, women comprised nearly 27 percent of all inland anglers and 11 percent of hunters.

While the increase seems incremental on a national scale, it signals a significant rise in the actual numbers of female hunters and anglers, according to researchers.

In another Southwick Associates study published last year, hunting and fishing recreation was estimated to be a $2.8 billion economic driver in Colorado, making it the second largest tourism industry in the state behind only skiing and snowboarding.

Combined with fishing, Colorado hunting recreation is a $2.8 billion economic driver, according to the report by Southwick Associates, commissioned by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and published in February. Hunting and fishing is the second-largest tourism industry in Colorado, trailing only skiing.

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