Women are reportedly the fasted growing portion of the Wyoming hunting population, according to the Wyoming Game & Fish. While many women across the county would like to learn to hunt as a way to provide affordable, nutritious food for their family, there are barriers preventing them from heading straight to the field.
Thanks to the generosity of their sponsors, the Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) brings together women from diverse socioeconomic levels by offering scholarships to attend their Annual Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt. Scholarships offered benefit Wyoming single moms, women who lack a network of hunters to learn from, Veterans and active military members, and women looking to share conservation values and outdoor experiences with other women. Thus far, over one hundred women and girls have attended the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt on scholarship.
In 2023, the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt scholarship application will be open from February 15 – March 15. Applicants can learn more and apply now by visiting wywf.org/antelope-hunt-participate.
By coordinating an all-inclusive hunt that offers full scholarships, WYWF ensures that participating hunters struggling to overcome the barriers associated with hunting have access to qualified mentors, professional hunting guides, necessary equipment such as firearms, scopes, and binoculars, and the chance to learn how to handle a rifle safely and confidently in the field.
According to the hunt’s coordinator, Alex Shannon, “[WYWF’s] scholarship program is vital to our success. We cannot thank our incredible sponsors enough for making this possible. ”
At the event, women of all ages with various hunting experience levels and backgrounds have the opportunity to sight-in their rifles and to practice shooting and firearms field-handling before being paired together with their hunting partner and a guide. Less-experienced hunters are carefully paired with more-experienced hunters to create mentorship opportunities. Because the women that participate in the event have a wide variety of hunting experience levels and backgrounds, WYWF ensures that the experience includes teaching hunter safety and ethics. The pairs then spend the next two days hunting together with a shared guide on mostly private lands. Once both have harvested, activities including sport shooting, archery and fly fishing instruction are available. Hunters also have the option to process their own meat with the help of an experienced volunteer and learn the art of cooking with game meat.
The three-day, three-night hunting event has proven to be an incredibly empowering experience for all involved. When asked about her experience, a 2022 scholarship recipient reported, “I didn’t think that I would leave the hunt saying it was a life changing experience. I expected that it would be fun and that it would be something I’ve never done before. That hopefully I’d harvest an antelope and have a great hunt story to tell. But I didn’t think it would be as powerful as it was. I didn’t think that I would come out a different person when it was all said and done, but I truly did.”
To learn more about the event and how you can get involved visit www.WyomingWomensAntelopeHunt.org or call 307.721.7007.
The story of the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt:
The Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt was founded in 2013 by the Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) as an opportunity for mentoring and developing camaraderie between women and to raise funds for the Wyoming Women’s Foundation’s work for women and girls.
Teaching women to hunt can help them feed their families nutritious food and fulfills WYWF’s mission of investing in the economic self-sufficiency of women and opportunities for girls in Wyoming. The event emphasizes hunter safety, ethical hunting practices, and conservation of natural resources. Click here to learn more about the Spirit of the Hunt.
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About the Wyoming Women’s Foundation
Established in 1999, the Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) is one of a family of funds held at the Wyoming Community Foundation. WYWF makes grants and spearheads initiatives that benefit women and girls as well as our communities overall. As a statewide leader dedicated to promoting women and girls, we leverage funds through our endowment, and grantmaking is focused on lasting change.
Learn more about the Wyoming Women’s Foundation by visiting wywf.org