GOSHEN COUNTY – Wyoming is known as “The Equality State” and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is doing its part to make sure this designation rings true in our wide-open spaces, as well as the civilized world.
2017 marks the inaugural year of the WGFD Women and Youth Pheasant Hunt, an event developed due to an upward trend in the number of women buying hunting licenses in the state.
“There’s been an increase in women’s hunting licenses for several years now,” Tristanna Bickford, WGFD hunter education coordinator, said. “We wanted to (create) a program designed to help women enter the field and bring their kids and families along with them.”
The three-part educational series is designed to teach women and children how to hunt pheasants.
“It’s hard to go from being interested in hunting to actually hunting,” Kathryn Boswell said in a press release. She works as hunter and angler participation coordinator for WGFD. “The safety, skills, laws, gear and even how to clean and cook your harvest can be overwhelming. This is a special opportunity for women and youth to learn – and hunt – in a non-threatening environment.”
The first class, held last Saturday at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Cheyenne, covered gear, cooking, shotgun and field safety, and target shooting.
The second part in the series is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Cheyenne Trap Club and will focus on additional safety tips, pheasant habitat and behavior, a hunting dog demonstration by the Cheyenne Retriever Club, safety when shooting over dogs and how to plan a pheasant hunt.
The final event is scheduled on Oct. 21 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. – a pheasant hunt near Hawk Springs.
WGFD provides all equipment and classes for a $50 fee for adults and $25 for children.
“Anytime we can reduce barriers and get women – and people in general – out in nature, hunting … it’s a good thing,” Bickford said.
All 18 spots in the Women and Youth Pheasant Hunt filled quickly this year, but as the number of women hunting continues to grow, WGFD anticipates the number of programs geared toward females and youth will increase, as well.
Bickford, herself, enjoys hunting and considers the sport a healthy and positive past time.
“It’s a healthy lifestyle for me and my family,” she said. “Whether we’re hiking or hunting, we’re out in the fresh air. And all of the food we get from either myself or family members hunting is all-natural and healthy for everybody.”
For more information, visit www.wgfd.gov.