It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the BOW (Becoming an Outdoors Woman) program. This marked our states 20th anniversary and Jim and I have been there for 18 of them.
This program plays a huge role in bringing more women to the outdoors. We always have women that tell us they wanted to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and different. That is exactly what this program offers.
This year the program was held at Camp Harrison in the beautiful mountains of Boomer, North Carolina where we offered classes in shooting sports, hiking, fishing, fly tying, rod building, rope walls, bird watching, how to prepare wild game, outdoor cooking and the list goes on.
It is a three day weekend held usually the end of March or the first of April. It is held in the mountains one year and the coast the next which gives a lot of diversity to the classes. One thing for sure, no matter where the program is held it is a great time for the ladies and instructors attending.
I cannot say enough about B.B.Gillen, event coordinator and her amazing team. B.B.’s love and passion for this program is plain to see in the meticulous manner in which this program is organized and managed every year. She runs this ship like a well-oiled machine and I have never heard her complain or have a negative word about anyone or anything. She makes this program what it is and goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everyone attending has the time of their life and leaves with new knowledge and new friends. We love her and appreciate the fact that she asks us back every year to be a part of the amazing program.
Jim and I instruct the archery classes for both beginner and an advanced 3-D class for ladies that have their own equipment. There is always a nice mix of new people that are beginning and curious about 3-D and veteran shooters. 3-D with animal targets provides knowledge of shot placement for 3-D tournament shooting but, importantly, for hunting live game animals. We love teaching those who are new to the sport how to correctly shoot a bow and that it does not take Herculean strength to draw a bow, just a few of the myths that we throw right out the window.
This year the ladies were incredible and so willing to listen and learn and they caught on with lightning speed. We also had a great time with ladies who had been in our classes in the past. We love hearing how they went home, bought bows and equipment and are loving to shoot and are teaching their kids and their friends as well. That is what it’s all about for Jim and me, passing it along to help grow and ensure our sports future.
Friday night I gave a seminar and demo on working with retrievers for wildlife conservation. Sky, my 14 month old Labrador retriever stole the show, as usual, with her great work ethic, handling skills and her full bore retrieves. It also helped that she worked the crowd making sure that they all got plenty of fur therapy and puppy kisses, she is such a ham. Working retrievers are a huge part in game recovery and they are such a pleasure to hunt and work with. Sky has been doing seminars and demos since she was 11 weeks old and loves to train. I can’t wait to get her into the duck blind this season and hopefully to some HRC and AKC hunt test this fall.
Saturday night is always extra special with a silent auction and band. This year the band was “Lonesome Sound” they play southern rock, some country and they blew it out of the water! The ladies were dancing, singing and had a great time. Thank you B.B. for the awesome band. The silent auction was a huge hit with some great items and the ladies getting furious over being out bid, lol. I also must mention the Mel Porter Scholarship fund. Part of the money raised goes to this fund that gives scholarships to women who can’t afford to come. This is a great scholarship in the name of a very special man.
This year proved to be another great success and is a program very near and dear to Jim and me. We want to say a special thank you to B.B. Gillen and the Wildlife Commission for your tireless work and making this program such a huge success every year. There are countless amounts of volunteer hours that go into this program and we appreciate every one. Happy 20th Anniversary BOW may it continue to grow and prosper for years to come. Hopefully we will be there helping teach and having an awesome time bringing more women to the great outdoors.
Jim and I would also like to thank our sponsors that make sure the ladies go home with plenty of swag to help them in their archery and hunting adventures.
For more please go to: Team Frady
Mathews Solocam Bows , Quality Archery Design, Danner/Lacrosse Boots, ThermaCELL Heated Products, RealTree Camo, Wildlife Research Center, Last Chance Archery, Outdoor Edge Knives, SportDOG Brand, Sure-Loc Sights, Tru-Ball Releases