ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the number of female hunters is on the rise despite an overall decrease in hunting interest.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that nearly 70,000 of Minnesota's 550,000 hunters are women today, compared to 55,000 female hunters in 2010.

Linda Bylander runs the department's Becoming An Outdoors Woman program. The program is one of the department's training and research efforts that aims to increase women's interest in hunting, fishing and outdoor activities.

Bylander says women are becoming more interested in using wild game as part of the local food movement. She says women are also having an easier time getting into hunting as more hunting gear and clothing is being designed for them.

The department says the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has seen the greatest decrease in overall hunter participation.