First Annual Ladies Outdoor Learning
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!)
Did you have any information on your blog about this? I keep reading about things after the fact and thinking, “Gosh. I wish I’d known about that.” Maybe I could have come and maybe I couldn’t, but there might be other readers who have no way except your blog to get information about events like this. Keep it in mind for next year!
The photos are great, and it looks like wonderful fun. I’ll bet it was fun to be a student and not a teacher, too.
Some of those skills were being put to use over here this past weekend. The teal are thick, and people were getting their limits in the first half-hour! Amazing.
No ma’am, I did not mention this on the blog beforehand. I very well could have, though. I guess I’m never sure how interested the vast audiences are in that sort of local thing . . . . but then again, you never know unless you put it out there. Teal were not think here. So, send them this way, will ya?
I, too would love to have advance notice of an event like this. I live in Austin, but could make the trip if given enough notice. I would love to learn new outdoor skills.
Caroline, do you do Facebook? If so, please go LIKE my Bayou Woman page, because I did advertise it there, a couple of times, and even posted the brochure there. Sorry you missed out, but I’ll be sure and let everyone know next year via this blog. Okay?
Next year you need to add a duck calling class. Take the course, then it’s off to the duck blind with or without your duck hunting son, Termite.
Ditto to the other replies.
We did get a little bit of calling instruction, and we received a teal call in our dittie bags, but a full-blown class would be good! You’re right!
Saw your FB post. Congratulations on the venture with N.O. Propeller.
Thank you! Why wouldn’t you leave a comment on FB? Just curious. I’m probably going to say something about that here later, but first I have another post I’m working on today.