Elk NetworkStudy: Women Hunt as Much as Men

General | July 14, 2023

A new study shows women hunt as often as men do in many societies that still hunt.

Researchers examined data from 63 different societies that continue to utilize hunting and gathering, including 19 from North America. Among them are the Central Eskimo, Fish Lake Valley North Paiute, Iroquois and Northern Ojibwa peoples. Data shows 79 percent of the groups had women who hunted. Not only that but women were involved in tracking, locating and killing large game as well.

The study shows men primarily hunt alone, with a single partner (their wife) or with a dog. Women, on the other hand, hunt with their husbands, other women, children, dogs or own their own. Depending on where they live and what species they seek, women hunt with knives, bows and arrows, nets, spears, machetes and/or crossbows.

“Women in foraging societies across the world historically participated and continue to participate in hunting regardless of child-bearing status. The collected data on women hunting directly opposes the traditional paradigm that women exclusively gather and men exclusively hunt and further elucidates the diversity and flexibility of human subsistence cultures,” according to the study.

(Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)