Is pink gear the answer to getting more women in the woods to hunt?

Anything Wisconsin can do, Minnesota can do the same, apparently.

Just weeks after Wisconsin approved of blaze pink hunting gear, a bill to allow the same thing is making its way through the Minnesota Legislature including the requisite ribbing among the male legislators that one of them will wear pink. It’s a girly thing, you know.

And therein lies the problem, writes Kristen Schmitt on National Geographic.

Hunting is in decline, the theory goes, and one way to attract more women to the sport is to allow them to be more fashionable in pink.

“We felt that the bill’s authors missed an opportunity to ask women who are active with hunting what they felt other women needed to attempt the sport if they were feeling hesitant,” Sarah Ingle, president of the Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association in Wisconsin, tells Schmitt.

“I really applaud them for trying to do something to promote women in the outdoors and elicit new hunters. Honest to God, high five, man,” says Carrie Zylka, an avid hunter who created the only female-hosted hunting podcast, called Hunt, Fish, Travel. “However, I think that the money invested would have been better placed in some of the outdoor programs like Being an Outdoors Woman, because, realistically, blaze pink or blaze orange, it really doesn’t matter.”

Will blaze pink entice more women to pick up a rifle and head to the woods this fall, or will it create yet another barrier that they have to overcome to become part of a male-dominated sport?

Zylka believes that blaze pink will hinder more women than help. She worries that jokes about blaze pink “will make a new hunter who has zero self confidence in themselves say ‘Well, I don’t want pink because I don’t want anyone making fun of me.’”

Not everyone agrees with the assessment, of course.

In Colorado, where the pink bill is also advancing, its sponsor — a female legislator — says pink hunting gear is a declaration that hunting is just as much the domain of women as men.

MPR’s Brian Bakst reported today that the Minnesota bill is headed to the House floor for a vote after the House Government Operations and Election Policy Committee gave it three minutes of discussion before sending it there.