Season 2 Episode 1 – Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Jodi is in Wyoming at the Ranch at UCross talking about the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt (WWAH). Her guests include the visionary behind the hunt retired state supreme court justice Marilyn Kite, Rebekah Smith Executive Director of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation which hosts the event, Abby Atol event marketer with SITKA Gear a sponsor of the event, and three of the women who participated in the hunt – Melissa McGarvin-O’Melia, Chelsea Johnson, and Rachael Esch. The Wyoming Women’s Foundation is working to help women in the state achieve economic self-sufficiency and provide opportunities for girls, and they recognized that teaching women to hunt can help provide that independence. The hunt is a fundraiser for the Foundation along with providing an opportunity to introduce women to hunting – about one-third of the women that participate in the WWAH have never hunted before. Event organizers work to pair inexperienced women hunters with experienced hunters to serve as mentors and the event also offers meat processing and game cooking instruction. Bekah and Marilyn describe the event in more detail and talk about how potential hunters or outdoor companies can get involved in next year’s hunt, and Abby Atol talks about the importance of events like this for the outdoor industry that is increasingly developing quality hunting gear for women. Jodi then talks to three of the women who received a scholarship to participate and either have never hunted at all or had limited experience. We talk about how on the first day of the event hunter education instructors and event organizers help participants make sure they are comfortable with their gun and how to handle it safely in the field. And we hear the hunt stories from these new hunters and about their plans to continue hunting in the future.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.