Game and Fish Program Encourages Women to Become Outdoor Insiders
Becoming and Outdoors Woman (BOW) is an outdoor skills program offered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department each summer. The weekend-long workshop introduces women to a variety of activities they can enjoy in Wyoming’s great outdoors â€“ from hunting and shooting to fishing, canoeing or wildlife photography.
Wyoming’s BOW camp will be held June 19-21, 2009 at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp outside of Dubois, Wyo. Women participants can select from a variety of classes and programs, tailoring their experience to individual interests and comfort levels. Classes include shooting, firearms safety, spin-cast fishing, fly-fishing, outdoor photography, campfire cooking, horse packing, outdoor survival and archery.
The original BOW program was started more than 15 years ago as a way to allow women to learn about and participate in outdoor related skills in a safe, non-threatening environment. Although interest by women in outdoor activities is increasing across the nation, some still need a nudge to try a new activity like hunting or fishing and turn it into a lifelong passion. Game and Fish believes BOW workshops give women the chance to take that first step and get involved.
“Some women believe they can’t, or shouldn’t, try a particular activity,” explains Janet Milek, BOW workshop coordinator and aquatics educator for the Game and Fish. “It can be intimidating starting in an outdoor activity. We really strive to create a fun, supportive atmosphere. BOW is a great venue for women to take a risk or learn a new skill so that one day, they can enjoy all of the great outdoor activities this state has to offer.”
New to the BOW camp this year is the option for women to complete the hunter education program required to do any hunting in Wyoming by attending the BOW hunter education field day. BOW participants can register for and complete an online hunter education course through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, then attend the BOW hunter education field day and satisfy the field day testing requirement.
Evenings are left free for the women to test some of their new skills hiking to nearby Lake Louise or fishing Torrey Creek or the Wind River. They can also enjoy special programs on wildlife photography and area history and culture or explore the surrounding landscape with other participants.
“It’s not just about the activities, it’s about enjoying the whole experience and the camaraderie of women,” says Milek.
Applications for the June session will be accepted through April 15, 2009. The three-day event costs $150, which includes all meals, equipment and lodging in rustic cabins. Space is limited to fifty women, and final participants will be selected through a random draw.
Applications are available on the Game and Fish Web site.