BEND, Ore. -

Recent reports show women's gun ownership and participation in shooting sports in on the rise.

The New York Times reports women target shooting increased by more than 50 percent from 2001 to 2011 and more than 40 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Gallup poll reported that just 13 percent of American women polled said they owned guns in 2005. In 2011, that number was 23 percent.

In Deschutes County, gun experts say they've noticed the trend.

Bend concealed carry instructor Harry Brizee said so far this year, more than 40 percent of his students have been women, up from less than 30 percent last year.

"Women see a mass shooting, where small children are the primary victims, such as the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut -- I think the protective mother instinct takes over," Brizee said.

He also added that he often sees spikes in this classes after mass shootings and presidential elections.