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Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

Watch a clip about Outdoors-Woman Program and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.
Becoming and Outdoors-Woman National Logo
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman student practices archery

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) and Beyond BOW are programs designed to teach women outdoor skills. These programs provide women with information, encouragement and hands-on instruction in outdoor skills such as fishing, shooting, archery, hunting, trapping, outdoor photography, map and compass, survival, camping, canoeing and outdoor cooking. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are designed primarily for women who have little or no experience with outdoor activities. These are three-day workshops that offer many different classes over the course of a weekend.

Beyond BOW workshops are another opportunity for women to learn outdoor skills and are anything we offer that is not the traditional three-day BOW workshop. They may be "next step" classes for women who have completed a beginner class at a BOW workshop. They may be one day, one subject classes. They may even be an actual hunt, canoe trip or camp-out.

BOW and Beyond BOW workshops are open to anyone aged 18 and over - past participants have ranged in age from late teens to the mid-eighties!


"This and previous workshops have really changed my life. I participate in so many activities that I never would have tried otherwise. My husband doesn't hunt or fish, so when I go out to do these things I'm alone, and the education I got here gave me the start I needed to get going and continue enjoying these activities."

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop Participants

"I came here feeling a little out of place and intimidated and am leaving feeling very comfortable and excited about trying some of my new found fishing and hiking skills."

"This program fulfilled a lifelong yearning I have had. Thank you."

"Great instructors, every single one was high quality: knowledgeable, practical & kind."

"I had a great time, I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself. I would highly recommend this program to any woman interested in learning more about our great outdoors. I'm looking forward to going again next year, there are so many other things I would love to try. Without these workshops I would never be able to try out so many new things. I also really enjoyed being with other women that would like to fish & hunt."

"It is a life experience! I wanted to learn skills that my husband, brother and father never had a chance to teach me. And to challenge myself without the guys around, I felt this was my chance."

"This is an extremely wonderful program that brings women together - all ages, all walks of life, with similar interests. It empowers women to take on a challenge that they may have been intimidated to take on their own."

Upcoming BOW Workshops:

2015 Schedule

The 2015 BOW workshop will be October 2-4 at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George near Hague, NY.

This workshop is full. If you register you will be put on a wait list.

Print or download a 2015 BOW Workshop Registration Form (PDF) (88 kB).

We are offering over 30 courses at the workshop on topics ranging from hunting and fishing to hiking, camping, and nature study. View this year's course guide for a description of the courses being offered: 2015 BOW Workshop Course Guide (PDF) (144 kB).

Participants have the option of receiving their hunter or trapper education certificate while attending the workshop. If you are interested, please view the requirements for Hunter or Trapper Education Certification (PDF) (34 kB).

If you have questions, please call (518) 402-8862, e-mail us, or write to: NYS Outdoors-Woman, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Upcoming Beyond BOW Workshops:

Beyond BOW workshops are any event other than the 3-day, 30+ courses BOW workshop listed above.

August 22, 2015 - The Complete Hiker - Fun and Safety in the Wildlands
$60 Fee does not include meals or lodging. For information or to register, contact Adirondack Foothills Guide Service, Sonny and Sheila Young 518-359-8194 adkfoothills@yahoo.com

September 19, 2015 - High Peak Jaunt: Views from the Summit
$45 Fee does not include meals or lodging. For information or to register, contact Adirondack Foothills Guide Service, Sonny and Sheila Young 518-359-8194 adkfoothills@yahoo.com

November 11-12 or November 18-19, 2015 - Guided Adirondack White-tailed Deer Hunt
$125 (NYS hunting license and legal, serviceable rifle required) Fee does not include meals or lodging. For information or to register, contact Adirondack Foothills Guide Service, Sonny and Sheila Young 518-359-8194 adkfoothills@yahoo.com

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Listserv

Sign up for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman e-mail notification listserve and get notices and registration information for all BOW and Beyond BOW events sent right to your inbox. To sign up, use this link to subscribe to GovDelivery by entering your e-mail address. Fill in and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page.

This will take you to the "Quick Subscription" page where you will see all the topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Scroll to the "Education and Outdoor Skills" category and check the box next to "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman." You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).

For further information on the BOW or Beyond BOW program, contact: NYS Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or call (518) 402-8862.

More about Becoming an Outdoors-Woman: