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Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

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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. BOW 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 mid-eighties!

woman learning how to shoot a shotgun with the help of an instructor

View the photo gallery from past BOW workshops on DEC's Flickr page.

Challenge Yourself

BOW and Beyond BOW Workshops are for you, if you:

  • have always wanted to try outdoor activities, but have never had the opportunity;
  • would like to learn new skills surrounded by supportive and enthusiastic instructors and students; or
  • would like to meet other women interested in the outdoors.

Upcoming BOW Workshops

Fall 2020 BOW Workshop

Date: Sept 11-13, 2020
Greek Peak Ski Resort

Join us at the beautiful Greek Peak Ski Resort in Cortland, NY for the 2020 Fall BOW Workshop!

Woman holding fish during BOW fishing course on Lake George

Classes offered may include:

  • Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education
  • Rifle, Muzzleoader, Shotgun Shooting
  • Flyfishing, Lake Fishing, Fly Tying, Fish Identification
  • Field Dressing Wild Game, Wild Game Cooking, Taxidermy
  • Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboard
  • Backpack Camping, Wilderness First Aid, Self-Defense for Women, Day Hiking
  • Dutch Oven Cooking, Canning, Food Preservation
  • And much, much more!

Registration will open in June 2020.

Testimonials from BOW Students

"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."

"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."

"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."

woman learning to kayak woman on a high ropes course woman practicing archery with targets

"Great instructors, every single one was high quality: knowledgeable, practical and 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 changing 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."

women learning to paddleboard on river women learning rifle basics from female instructor woman learning how to shoot a rifle with the help of an instructor

Beyond BOW Workshops

Beyond BOW workshops are any event other than the 3-day, 30+ courses BOW workshop listed above. To get the most updated information on all Beyond BOW events, enter your email address in the blue DEC Delivers box at the top of this page, and you can also follow us on social media.

Women's Hunter Education Course - Western New York

Out of an abundance of caution to prevent the community spread of COVID-19, this class has been postponed until further notice.

Location: Springville Field & Stream
8900 Chaise Rd, Springville NY 14141
Cost: FREE
Contact Region 9 Hunter Education for more information and to register

Women's Hunter Education Course- Adirondacks

Date: April 25, 2020
Time: 9am-5pm
Location: Hague Fish & Game Club
488 West Hague Rd, Hague NY 12836
Cost: FREE
Contact Region 5 Hunter Education for more information and to register.

Women's Bowhunting 101 Workshop- Catskills

Out of an abundance of caution to prevent the community spread of COVID-19, this class has been postponed until further notice.

Location: Amahami Girl Scout Camp
434 Page Pond Rd, Deposit NY 13754
Cost: TBD
Registration will open in late March.

For More Information

The best way to get up to date information about BOW and Beyond BOW events, when BOW registration opens and other programs of interest to outdoors women, is to sign up for the BOW email notification list. To sign up, look for the blue "DEC Delivers" box in the upper right of this page. Enter your email address to get started.

To contact us, please call (518) 402-8963 or e-mail us.