Women hone outdoors skills in Bonner

BONNER — An annual summer camp for women to learn outdoors skills wrapped up Aug. 6 in the woods southeast of Missoula. 

More than 70 women ranging in age from young to old gathered at a forest camp in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest outside of Bonner to not only learn new skills but also to share a whole lot of laughter during a three-day camp organized by Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW). BOW is administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. 

The BOW weekend retreat featured workshops like wilderness survival, using a map and compass, backpacking basics, archery, nature journaling, butterfly and bird watching, gun basics and shooting  and fly-fishing and tying flies. 

New this year was a section on stand-up paddleboarding. 

BOW is held by many U.S. states and other countries, said Montana BOW Coordinator Liz Lodman. BOW was founded in 1991 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 

“People were wondering why more women don’t hunt and fish,” Lodman said. 

Montana BOW started in 1994. Today, BOW features not only the annual summer camp, but day-long and other weekend activities throughout the year, including activities such as birdwatching, nature journaling and ice-fishing. And coming up Aug. 26 is a caving adventure at Lewis and Clark Caverns that will take participants off the regular tour pathway. 

Lodman said BOW is a great way for women to try out something new without committing to it financially. 

“You don’t have to go out and spend money on something you don’t know if you like yet,” Lodman said.  “It’s better to come to a workshop and see if you like it or not. And then if you’re going to make a purchase, you’ll know what to look for — you’ll be intelligent when you go into a store.” 

For more of this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Timber Pioneer on newsstands now, or subscribe online at bigtimberpioneer.net.

PHOTO CAPTION: BOW participants take a break during an evening raffle drawing held at the BOW camp Saturday. Vendors and business owners donate fabulous raffle packages and also donate heavily to provide lots of outdoor-related door prizes to the campers. (By LIZ KEARNEY / Yellowstone Newspapers)

By LIZ KEARNEY / Yellowstone Newspapers



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