More pictures and story to come after Thanksgiving!
I can’t wait to eat the back strap on Thanksgiving!
My second workshop of the weekend was Archery. I’ve had an interest in bow hunting for a couple of years now and was really looking forward to being able to shoot a bow. The only time I’ve shot a bow before was way back in middle school when they had archery during P.E. one week. We used recurve bows and I remember loving it/being decent. So I was hoping I’d still be a pretty good shot!
A local news station came and did a great video on the weekend. Check it our here and watch the part on our archery workshop!
At first our instructor had us tie a piece of rope that we could use to practice our draw and release. We stood in a line and practiced releasing the rope a few times, focusing on “painting our faces” with our fingers as we let go.
Next, we went over the kind of bows we’d be shooting. They were compound bows that had a universal draw anyone could learn on, regardless of their arm length. She said it shot similar to a recurve bow. Everyone was getting antsy to get out and start shooting but first she went over course safety. It was helpful knowing the same rules and whistle sounds apply at most archery ranges.
Finally, it was time to start shooting! She handed us three arrows we were to keep using the rest of the day, they matched our draw length so we couldn’t switch with anyone else. We had three main targets and two animal targets. At first everyone shot at the big main targets.
My arrows have the black and red fletchings, and the one arrow missing a fletching. I immediately fell in love with shooting the bow! There’s something very relaxing about focusing on the target and hearing a nice “thud” when it hits where you want it to go.
After 20 minutes of everyone getting comfortable with the bows, our instructor decided to add some bullseye targets. I liked the added challenge of really seeing where the arrow was landing.
Then, our instructor added balloons to the targets and the fun really started! There were several of us shooting at one target, so we’d call out which balloons we were trying to hit. It definitely brought all the women closer, cheering each other on when they made a great shot.
By this point, we had been shooting the bows for a couple of hours and I was absolutely in love. The instructor walked up to me and said, you’ve been bitten by the archery bug! She was so right!
They added a bear target and smaller bullseye targets. We then took turns going down the line and shooting at each of the targets. It was another activity that had all the women cheering for each other. Some of the targets were harder to hit, especially that turkey! So women made it their goal to hit it at least once and everyone was beyond excited for them when they did make the shot.
The workshop was four hours and we probably shot for 3.5 of those. Toward the end, some of the women asked to take a break. Four of us kept shooting. I really couldn’t get enough of it. I was loving every minute of it and really didn’t want this workshop to end. I think my face shows how happy I was doing this, I had a permanent smile.
I’m glad I took the workshop because I now know that investing in a bow is definitely worth it. I hope to be able to get a bow soon and begin practicing. I want to get out next season with it!
I can’t choose which workshop was my favorite, but this was definitely up there! This is when I knew I’d be coming back to the workshop next fall.
Stay tuned for my next post on an impromptu fly fishing course!
The second day of the Washington Outdoors Women workshop had us all up bright and early! Breakfast was at 7am sharp so my alarm was set for 6:15am.
Everyone woke up groggy. Our area of the cabin was next to the bathroom which meant we fell asleep to a symphony of flushing toilets, creaking doors, and muffled voices. Needless to say, it took a couple hours to fall asleep. Luckily, the excitement of the day ahead had everyone in a good mood!
I walked over to the Duck Hunting 101 workshop after breakfast and met our instructor. The class was set up in a “blind” with our decoys out in front. She told us to grab a bag and take a seat.
The bag was full of the first round of goodies I got that weekend. Inside was a Ducks Unlimited baseball hat, a waterfowl identification guide, a couple decals, an issue of Ducks Unlimited, and information about duck hunting. It was unexpected but really awesome to receive.
We started the class by first going over a handout that covered everything in the workshop. Since I went duck hunting with my brother last Christmas, I knew a few things already.
We covered safety with firearms, staying warm, knowing the weather and area, and letting someone know your hunting plan. I’m a person who’s always cold, so it’s going to be really important for me to figure out the proper layers to stay warm.
Our instructor had a great tip in case we did get really cold while sitting out there waiting for ducks. Take two hand warmers and then place them in your pants, directly on your kidneys. It’s a point that will warm your body faster. I’m definitely trying it out!
Next, we went over shotguns. She covered proper fit which was great to learn as a woman. Since most guns are made for men, they don’t always fit the best. She recommended cutting stocks down so the gun fits perfectly to your arm length.
An incredibly useful exercise she went over was “shoot the moon.”
Driving up to camp, I had no idea what to expect. They gave us a list of what to pack and a rough outline of the weekend, but nothing about what would happen once we were actually there. I was greeted by women on the WOW team and directed to park in a field with all the other cars.
As I began gathering my stuff, I noticed a couple girls walking toward camp with only a backpack that had their sleeping bag attached at the bottom. Now I don’t think that I’m someone who needs a lot of stuff for a weekend, but the list they gave us included a lot of items I wouldn’t normally bring. I had about three bags for clothes, sleeping stuff, and my day pack with hunting boots in there.
As I was closing my trunk, another girl walked by with several bags and said, “Oh thank god someone else actually brought a lot of stuff with them!” We walked over to the main barn to pick up our welcome packets. It was both our first times at the retreat, so it was nice having someone else to be somewhat clueless with.
We picked up our packets and were told to go find a cabin with an open bed. After talking to the girl more, we realized we went to the same college and both loved Bob Seger which meant we became fast friends, or as we affectionately called each other—buddy.
It was interesting, even though I’m in my late-20s at a camp with women of all ages, it felt like being a kid again going back to camp. The same thoughts went through your head… will people like me, where will I sleep, I hope there are cool people in my cabin, who will I eat with in the dining hall?
My move was successful and I’m slowly settling in. I now have a bigger group to talk hunting with which is awesome. A friend and family member were both telling me about their love of muzzleloaders.
I don’t have much knowledge about muzzleloaders and have never seen anyone shoot one. They look cool to learn to shoot though. So add on yet another gun I want to eventually buy!
I hope to buy a bow in a month or two. Maybe next year I can look into muzzleloaders. Washington does have a tag you can draw that allows you to hunt multiple seasons. So it would be nice to be able to truly hunt all three.
So, what’s your favorite to hunt with? Or do you have one you’d also like to learn? Share them below!
Hope everyone has a great Fourth of July weekend! Be safe!
I’m ready to take the plunge and get into bow hunting!
I don’t know many people personally who bow hunt, so I’m hoping some of you hunters can help me with my search for the perfect compound bow.
I’m looking for a bow that will be in the middle of the pack price wise, I can’t see dropping $800-$1,000 right out of the gate as I’m learning. I want to use it for deer and elk hunting next season. And, since I’m not a fan of the colors, no pink or purple bows.
I’m so excited to get out and start learning! I’ve been interested in bow hunting since before I even took the hunter safety course. It looks like something fun, as well as challenging. I don’t want to rush getting a bow, so I’m ready to spend the next several weeks going over articles and product reviews.
What all did you feel you needed to buy to be ready to go out in the field? I’d love to hear your experiences with the bows you currently use or have used.
So, what compound bows do you love and recommend? Are there any brands you’ve found that are better than others? Let me know in the comments below!
Today is the deadline to put in for 2015 special hunt permits in Washington. In this state, being drawn for special hunt permits is based off a point system. The more points, the better your chance of being drawn. For once in a lifetime hunts, like moose, it can take more than a decade before being drawn.
When it comes to the point system for drawing permits, I definitely regret not hunting sooner and building points longer. This is the first year I’m putting in for special hunt permits that I hope to draw years down the line. I’m starting by putting in for moose and elk tags.
I absolutely love reading hunting stories. Last year, I was captivated reading the story of one woman’s moose hunt. The adrenaline and excitement sprang from the page and I felt like I was there with her. After reading that, I knew that one day I wanted to go on my own moose hunt.
I also love bowhunting stories from elk season. That is one hunt I can’t wait to do. I’m looking forward to hunting deer this year with my rifle. But I am going to be beside myself excited for the first elk hunt I do with a bow. Hopefully I can make that happen in the next couple of years.
Putting in for special hunt permits isn’t cheap, but it sure has me excited thinking about hunts to come!
Are you hoping to be drawn for any special hunts this year? Comment below and share what hunt you’d love to go on!
As many awoke excitedly on Christmas to open their presents, I woke up bright and early excited to head out for my first duck hunt.
With no holiday plans until the afternoon, my brother and I seized the opportunity to get out and see if we could shoot some ducks. I’d been interested in duck hunting for awhile so I couldn’t wait to learn more about it.
Duck hunting is my brother’s favorite and he has his go-to spots around where he lives. But since we were both home for Christmas, it was all new territory neither of us knew. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website has a great “GoHunt” feature that shows public land for different types of hunting. I put in our location and found a couple of areas for duck hunting.
We headed out as the sun was rising and drove to a large lake outside of town. We figured there wouldn’t be many other hunters out since it was Christmas morning, but boy were we wrong! Several cars were parked along the road and we heard gunshots ring out almost immediately after stepping out of the car.
This area seemed to be along a migratory route as several flocks of ducks flew overhead and quacking echoed throughout the sky. The only problem was they were too high to shoot. As we walked along a small stream, my brother taught me about jump-shooting. Unfortunately, we saw no ducks to actually jump-shoot.
In case you missed it last week, Eva Shockey sat down with Sandra Smith on Fox News’ Opening Bell to discuss the hunting industry and female hunters.
You wouldn’t expect it, but the word “huntress” is actually quite polarizing in the world of hunting.
By definition, a huntress is a woman who hunts.
In actuality—it’s not that simple. Some women are so absolutely put off by the word, you’d think it means something completely different. When researching reasons why women hate the word, I found a lot of people saying they’re not “that kind of girl.”
Of course, I had to dig deeper to find out what made someone “that kind of girl.” It appears the term refers to women who are perceived as high-maintenance, want rhinestones on their pink camo, a cute gun to tote around, and is more concerned about how they look than shooting an animal.
To me, that definition stems from people letting their preconceived notions make the word far more loaded than it truly is. Not to mention putting limitations on what they believe females can do.