Karen settled the sight of her Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun on the strutting tom as he worked his way toward the decoys. Before she placed her finger inside the trigger guard, I can only imagine the thoughts going through her mind. On opening day of turkey season in North Carolina, her husband Randy and she took a pair of Eastern Wild Turkeys at the same time from the same location. Now they were together in Kansas chasing a Rio Grande, the only subspecies Karen had not taken in the wild turkey grand slam (Eastern, Merriam, and Osceola are the other three). With Randy’s enthusiasm in teaching and Karen’s eagerness to learn, Karen had become an outdoors woman.
In 1991, Dr. Christine Thomas founded a program that later turned international called Becoming and Outdoors Women. BOW as it is called, started in Wisconsin with 100 participants in the first workshop. Now over 20000 women participate in events throughout the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, amongst other locales. North Carolina began their program in 1997.
The BOW program has even expanded in curriculum, and during the Big BOW weekend, North Carolina offers nearly 30 types of sessions. North Carolina also offers Beyond BOW (BBOW) events where women learn advanced techniques and hunt for deer and birds, fly fish, and participate in outdoors skills programs.
This year, North Carolina will offer Become and Outdoors Diva, geared toward young ladies during a summer camp setting at Centennial Campus. The Diva program is not part of the BOW program, but will introduce teenagers to different outdoor skills. Information for both programs can be found at ncwildlife.org.
|Karen and Randy Mabe|