Women's Outdoor Weekend (WOW) put on by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. I'd first heard about this when I took my firearms and hunting courses in 2013, but it wasn't until this year that I was actually able to attend.
The weekend is designed to introduce women to the elements of being an outdoors sportswoman (which is not the same as playing pond hockey). All the courses were taught primarily by women, and the atmosphere was welcoming and inclusive. There was very little, if any, posturing, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
I drove three hours to an outdoor centre in Ontario. Everyone was assigned cabins, yes, in the woods.
|We ended up calling ourselves the Beaver Dames|
On Friday, when we arrived, we had the option of a number of activities such as kayaking, wood carving, a high ropes course and rock climbing wall. I stopped by the high ropes course and climbing area as well as the survival skills, where I made this handy survival bracelet.
In addition to the introductions to archery, rifles & shotguns, fishing, and hunting skills, there was a falconry demonstration and a Saturday night comedic hypnotist (which I skipped because I find those things kind of humiliating, and I was also in need of a little downtime).
|Roxy, the peregrine|
|We shot both compound and crossbows.|
Then my group moved onto the rifle range:
Our third rotation was the hunting skills and small engine repair. I'd say the latter was the least successful unit, for me at least. But I did learn that ethanol messes up your engine.
On Sunday we had our final workshop, angling, where we were introduced to both casting and fly fishing.
|A demo on how to filet a fish was included in the angling rotation.|
I had a great time. I also won a fishing rod. For me it's all part of my overall philosophy of sustainability and responsibility. I'm always looking for more ways to walk the walk.