By Lars Dalseide | December 1 2013 11:42

Huntresses from Missouri, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Colorado send turkeys our way

Lea, the little gal, shows off her turkey claws

Fairfax, Virginia - The only holiday with a chance of supplanting Christmas as America's #1 family celebration is Thanksgiving. Earmarked for the fourth Thursday of November (or the second Monday of October in Canada), it's a time travel from one end of the country to the other for a chance at mom's pumpkin pie, Aunt Jenny's cornbread stuffing and grandma's famous sweet potato mash.

In recent years, thanks to the ever growing popularity of home fryers, dad has taken over the turkey cooking duties. Just as well. After all, in a number of homes, it appears that mom is on the verge of taking over the turkey hunting duties.

As National Geographic reported earlier this November, "(t)he total number of women hunters surged by 25 percent between 2006 and 2011". That number falls in line with the increase NRA experienced in 2012 with their Women on Target Instructional Shooting Clinics.

Wisconsin's Britney Starr with a Rio Grande Gobbler

"Those numbers are going to be even bigger for 2013," said National Women on Target Program Coordinator Diane Danielson. "We blew past last year's totals somewhere back in September."

In light of this revelation (to some), we put out the call for donations. We wanted to share some the success of those women in action and the fruits of their bounty. What you see here is a small portion of the response.

Starting at the top, we have Lea "the Little Gal" from Colorado showing off the spur and claws of a recent success. Next is Britney Starr, managing editor at Women’s Outdoor News and partner at Starr & Bodill African Safaris hoists a Rio Grande turkey on her knee while on the hunt with a Benelli crew down in Texas.

Outfitter and guide Mia Anstine talks turkey with a tv crew

Following Britney is Women’s Outdoor News columnist and Wolf Creek Outfitters owner Mia Anstine. Mia — a hunter, mother and blogger — is getting a little camera time with big ole' gobbler.

Finally, we have Barbara Baird. Prois Pro-Staff, outdoor freelancer and a regular in Turkey Country, Barb brings us a double bearded turkey taken in Missouri this October.

Prios Pro Staffer Barbara Baird walks a turkey out after a Missouri hunt

We can't say for sure if any of these birds actually made it to the plate this Thanksgiving. Most were probably devoured soon after the hunt. But what we can say for sure is that Lea, Britney, Mia and Barb are back out in the woods with an ever growing number of women as they enjoy one of America's greatest traditions. Hunting. A pastime older than baseball.

These women have moved past the grocery stores and plunged headfirst into the crisp, fresh, welcoming splendor of the great outdoors.

When will you?

For more on NRA's Women on Target program, visit their website at


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