This year the annual North Carolina Wildlife Commission BOW (becoming an outdoors woman) program was held at the beautiful Camp Harrison in Boomer, North Carolina. This was the first year to use this facility and it was beautiful. B.B. Gillen, the event coordinator said she would use it again in the future as they were very accommodating to all the ladies’ needs and it was set up perfectly with safety and convenience in mind for all the classes.
B.B. asked Jim and I, once again, if we would come and teach archery for the program. Of course we agreed. We believe that the program would not run without her. She is a one in a million and is so easy to work with. Every year this program is like clockwork, the entire program is flawless thanks to B.B. We would also have John Mitchell assisting us again this year. We met his wife Karen several years ago at a B.O.W. event and became friends with them. They now assist us with classes when they can and we also have the privilege of being hunting buddies as well.
We have been teaching archery for this program since 1998 but have missed a few of those years due to scheduling conflicts.
Ladies from all walks of life attend these event, Teachers, Medical Professionals, Lawyers, Domestic Goddesses, college students, Grandmothers, Hunters, Non-Hunters and the list goes on and on.
The B.O.W. program is one of the best we have taught for women. This program is a 3 day event where the ladies get to pick 4 classes to take during the weekend. Shotgun, archery, pistol, outdoor cooking, bird watching, canoeing, motor boat safety, fly fishing, fly tying, target shooting, hunter safety, tracking, map and compass reading and many others. They always add new classes every year as well and this year one of them was Falconry. There is something for everyone no matter your skill level or experience. For many of the ladies this is their first experience with the outdoors and it’s our goal to make them feel comfortable and give them the knowledge they will need to learn a new sport.
This year, like in years past, we would teach beginning archery and an advanced 3-D archery class and we incorporate the crossbow into our beginner classes as well. We teach our beginner classes with long bow, recurve and compound bows. We are very big on safety as well. It’s never fun to learn a new sport if you get hurt so we make sure the ladies know how to hold their arms and draw correctly so the string doesn’t hit their arm.
This year all of our classes were full, we teach multiple classes over the 3 day period so we get to meet a lot of new ladies that are new to archery and we also have a lot of, as we call them, “repeat offenders”. One of the biggest rewards of this program is when you have ladies that take the beginner class that have never shot a bow come back the next year to take the advanced class with their own equipment.
We always take our hauler that is set up with a small shop. Thanks to Last Chance Archery and their amazing E-Z press we can move it from our shop to our hauler bench in a matter of minutes. The press is so easy to use and it makes life easy when the ladies in our advance classes have problems with their bows. Jim can have them fixed and shooting in very little time thanks to the E-Z press.
This year was no different, we had one lady that we nicknamed “sniper”. She had never shot a bow, she signed up for all of our classes even though they were duplicate classes for beginner. She was really eager to learn how to shoot a bow. In our beginner classes we shoot very large field targets and we start out at 10 yards to build the ladies confidence, then we back up to 15 or 20 yards if they want to as the class goes on. “Sniper” signed up for the 3-D and the look on her face was priceless when she arrived. “Where are the big targets”? “These are little animals with lots of space all around them”. She was very apprehensive about shooting but we encouraged her and she tried it, she loved it and out shot some of the ladies that had their own equipment. We were very proud of her as we were of all the ladies who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.
At the end of each class we give out the names of our sponsors, their website and contact information. Thanks to our very generous sponsors each lady goes home with a “swag bag” of products from our sponsors. This lets the ladies know that companies in the outdoors, hunting and shooting sports are behind them and that they offer equipment for women. We would like to thank Wildlife Research Center, Outdoor Edge Knives, Mathews, ThermaCell, Real Tree Camo, Sure-Loc Sights, Manzella Gloves, Danner Boots, Quality Archery Products, Leupold Optics, Muzzy Products, Big Green Target, Gorilla Treestand, Carbon Express Arrows, Tru-Ball Releases, Excalibur Crossbows. Game Plan Gear, Heartland Wildlife Institute, Pine Ridge Products, Big and J Products and Last Chance Archery.
We would also like to say a special Thank You to Borg Warner Turbo Systems, for your continued support and belief in our programs. Your strong commitment to our community makes you a leader among companies in our area.
Without these companies Jim and I could not continue to do our programs. Their continued support for all these years means the world to us. We believe in these companies and know they offer the greatest products on the market. The “swag” that they send for this program is much appreciated by the ladies as well. They are the new customers in the outdoors and shooting sports and we want to do what ever we can to keep this market growing.
This year we had an exclusive product to show to the ladies before it hit the market. Wildlife Research Center has launched a Wildlife Scent Killer Gold for “Her” Ultimate Value kit. It comes with a bottle of Scent Killer Gold Clothing Spray with Hunt Dry, Scent Killer Gold Shampoo ( safe for color treated hair) Scent Killer Conditioner, Scent Killer Body Wash and to top it off it comes with a pink pouf. All the bottles are pink as well. This product will be on the market in late July and will retail for $32.99. The ladies loved this and the price is spot on as well.
To sum it up, this is a program that should be supported in every state. If you can volunteer your time, do it. If you want to attend but are unsure, attend one. If you have a special skill and would like to teach a class, contact the BOW coordinator in your state. So many of these programs are being cut due to lack of funds and man power so if you can make a difference please do. Jim and I can honestly say that what we bring home from these programs are much more that we give. The people that we work with in the Educational Wildlife division and the ladies we meet are very special to us. We have made life long friends at these events and have met some of the most interesting people.
For more go to: Lynne Frady