University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

States' workshops creating outdoorswomen

States' workshops creating outdoorswomen

If the notion of firing a rifle, fishing on ice or kayaking in winter seems intimidating, Peggy Farrell has a solution: Give it a try for a weekend in a nonjudgmental setting among others whose curiosity outweighs experience.

Farrell is director of Wisconsin's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program, which began in the 1990s at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Now BOW chapters exist in 38 states and six Canada provinces, usually led by a natural resources agency.

A three-day format with up to four classes for women age 18 and up is typical. Choices are a deliberate mix of intros and immersions in hunting, fishing and "nonharvest" activities (snowshoeing,...