Artemis Georgia Expands Outdoors Programs For Women Through 2023 Turkey Hunting Workshop

Artemis Georgia is expanding the horizons for women to participate in outdoor wildlife programs, such as hunting. One of the Artemis Georgia programs is the 2023 Turkey Hunting Workshop. Early May of this year, “six ladies headed into the northwest Georgia hillsides to pursue eastern wild turkey,” which represented the culmination of Artemis Georgia’s 2023 turkey hunting opportunities. The Georgia Wildlife Federation’s (GWF) had offered a three-part workshop that enabled female hunters to prepare for the hunt of a “tom,” which is a breeding male turkey.

As reported, on March 8th, Georgia state turkey biologist Emily Rushton presented a “casual, virtual, fireside chat” which was attended by twenty-one women. The informal event presented information about “wild turkey recovery, their habitat, diet and behavior.”

Background information places this women’s hunting opportunity into a larger social and historical context. “In America, the majority of conservation funding comes from hunters, fishers and target shooters.” Demographics threaten hunting’s future. “Over the last few decades, the percentage of Americans who hunt has declined, leading to concerns over the future of conservation.” To maintain conservation funding and a vibrant and informed population that can support hunting, engaging with new audiences is a paramount strategy.

 Part of that effort is what is referred to as the R3 strategy, which stands for recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters, fishermen and women and target shooters. “The Georgia R3 Initiative consists of the Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Department of Natural Resources-WRD, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited. For more information visit gwf.org/r3.”

As reported, “according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, females make up less than 15% of active hunters.” This gender disparity can be viewed as “an opportunity to expand women’s participation” in such outdoor activities. This reality was the motivating factor in creating Artemis Georgia. “Artemis was established by the GWF in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and the Georgia R3 Initiative. They are engaging women who have never had the chance to learn, are encouraging mentoring and empowering everyone to pursue their passion.”

To ensure the success of May event, a scouting venture for the turkeys occurred in March, which drew nine attendees. A workshop offered guided hunts, which drew thirteen women participants. As described by one of the participants, the event was rewarding and successful. Artemis Georgia volunteer hunt host, Melissa Hulsey commented: “It is always exciting to introduce new women to hunting and this weekend three ladies had their first experience in a turkey blind. Although we did not harvest any, we heard many.” As reported, “Women left with a new found understanding of the bird’s prowess, a sense of community and gratitude for nature.” See here for a photo of women participants.

D & B Staff

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