SCIF, in partnership with Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WYGF), First Hunt Foundation, supporting sponsors RMEF and Federal Ammunition, held the second annual Beyond Becoming an Outdoors woman (Beyond BOW) program in September at the AWLS ranch near Jackson, WY.
Beyond BOW is a program SCIF and WYGF developed as part of a larger hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (termed “R3”) initiative, to help introduce and teach adult women how to hunt. The 5-day program included teaching components about proper equipment, planning a hunt, outdoor survival, shooting techniques, simulated hunt scenarios, scouting, knife sharpening, field dressing and meat processing. In addition, this program educates people that are interested in mentoring new hunters on the importance of mentoring and techniques for effective mentorship.
This year’s program featured 17 women from Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, and Minnesota. Participating with the women were eight mentors who attended to learn mentoring techniques and give support to these new hunters. An exciting addition to the program this year was having all of the participating women apply for an antelope tag in hopes of drawing a tag. Five women were fortunate to draw a tag and were partnered with mentors to go with them on their pronghorn hunts.
All participants who drew a tag were successful in harvesting an antelope. One participant, Tylynn Smith, was a 25-year-old first time hunter from Wyoming. Tylynn attended with her mother who was first time hunter as well. As part of their experience, SCIF had Into the Outdoors education network film their journey together through the program and on Tylynn’s hunt. SCIF has been in partnership with the Into the Outdoors education network for the past two years developing educational curricula and videos for youth education as a part of SCIF’s America’s Conservation and Hunting Heritage program (another R3 initiative). Tylynn’s experience will be used as a half-hour syndicated broadcast to educate youth about hunting and family experiences as an important component of hunting heritage in North America. Look for more information about SCIF’s America’s Conservation and Hunting Heritage program at https://intotheoutdoors.org/wildlife-conservation/
The Beyond BOW program was a huge success. All the women and mentors who attended the program went away with new knowledge and added confidence to move into the phase of being an active hunter/mentor and conservationist. SCIF looks forward to working with the WYGF and their partners/sponsors to continue providing this program.
Beyond BOW participant Kathrine Weadley shared her appreciation saying, “Thank you for your amazing support for Beyond Bow. I come from a non-hunting family, and I can’t image learning on my own. The amount of support I have experienced here has been meaningful and I truly appreciate the role SCIF has played in my transformation from a non-hunter to a hunter.”
Plans are in place to have another in September of 2021. If you know someone who would be interested in attending next year or would like more information about the program, please contact Assistant Director of Education, Todd Roggenkamp at email@example.com or 520-954-0664