Several years ago, I attended the first annual Women in the Outdoors event in Bunkie, LA hosted by the Louisiana State Wild Turkey Federation Bossy Hens. That event helped me overcome my prejudices against shotguns. In October of the same year, LilSis, my friend Sherri, and I attended a Baton Rouge WITO one-day event, where we enjoyed archery and shooting clays with shotguns.
Sherri and I returned from that event talking about how we wanted to offer such an event in Houma, but neither one of us are members of the Wild Turkey Federation or of any women’s group associated therewith. So, the idea just sort of sat there, because neither one of us had the connections to make this happen. Fast forward to earlier this year when Sherri ran into a husband and wife couple, the Donaldson’s, who are involved with the local Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) through the Sheriff’s Department. The wife had attended a couple Becoming and Outdoors Woman events hosted by the state Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries and was familiar with the concept. One thing led to another, and our first planning meeting took place soon after.
The name chosen wasn’t my first preference, but that’s how it is in democracy! The majority rules! I wanted to call our event WOW, for Women’s Outdoor Workshops. Regardless, the mission remained the same, which is:
“Educating women in outdoor activities through skills
building, encouragement, and confidence building”
The Sheriff’s Department provided us a place to have the event, while YHEC provided instructors, ammunition, guns, bows, and targets. My friend, Kim Cedars, whom I met in Bunkie, came down and taught the archery class. Between the rest of the committee and generous sponsors, everything else was taken care of. Oh, and we had LOTS of great prizes. Every lady went home with a gift!
For the small fee of $25, the ladies chose four classes from a list of eight: archery, shotgun and duck hunting skills, muzzle loader, .22 rifle, self defense, wilderness skills, wildlife ID and gun safety, casting and fish cleaning, We were equipped to handle 64 women, and we ended up with about 45 paid registrants. I guess you want to know what classes I took? Well . . . .shotgun/duck hunting, .22 rifle, muzzle loader (I LOVED this class), and archery (loved this, too). The registration fee also included cold drinks throughout the day, and a home-cooked jambalaya lunch. You just can’t beat that price.
It was a hot day, but we still had a great turnout. The feedback we received was all positive, and we are looking forward to offering this event again next year–hopefully on a cooler day!
Without further ado, here are some photos from the day’s highlights.
Many thanks to all the planners, sponsors, instructors, and attendees. It was a great first-time event, and I look forward to attending next year. (No, I was NOT an instructor!!! I got to play for the day!)