Many women enjoy outdoor activities, but plenty have not had the opportunity. For them, the Alabama Department of Conservation Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries division has a special program called “Becoming an Outdoors Woman.”
Hope Grier, who heads up the program at WFF, said the program is designed for women age 18 and older who have no outdoor experience. The three-day course offers more than 40 classes that women can select from. The classes are hands-on and are taught by certified instructors. Grier said although the program is primarily for the novice, there are a few level 2 classes for more experienced outdoor women.
Classes offered include boating and canoeing, from basic canoeing to motor boat handling. There are several different fishing classes, including Introduction to fishing, fly fishing, woolly buggers, and there are classes on bass fishing and bow fishing. Naturally there will be classes on hunting. Those include deer, turkey and squirrel hunting. There is even a class on hunting waterfowl.
If you have never used a firearm, there are classes for you. The shooting sports classes cover archery as well as handguns, rifles and shotguns. If you are going to hunt for food, you need to learn outdoor cooking. There are two classes on Dutch oven cooking and a field-to-freezer class.
If you spend any time outdoors, the navigation skills classes will be of great use. The general outdoor skills classes include backpacking, hiking, beekeeping, edible and medicinal plants, photography and rock climbing. ATV and mountain biking classes are available. The wildlife classes cover backyard wildlife, bird watching, predators and prey and much more.
The next BOW event will start Oct. 4 and runs through Oct. 6. Registration for this event opened Aug. 7 for ladies who have never been to a BOW event. Aug. 12 registration is open to ladies who have attended before as well as those who have not. Grier explained that ladies are encouraged to come back and take classes they had not taken before.
To get details and to sign up, go to www.outdooralabama.comand click on activities. Scroll down to Becoming an Outdoor Woman. All the classes offered and an event brochure in PDF form are on the agenda found on the page. The workshop is held at the 4H center in Columbiana. A $275 fee for the weekend covers meals, lodging, program materials and instruction. All instructional equipment is provided. Grier said just bring yourself, a couple changes of clothes and whatever hiking or outdoors foot wear you prefer.